Cash can seem a tad impersonal, yet there are plenty of creative options for show-me-the-money gifts.
▪ How about a little financial drama? Pick up a gift card to a movie theater for the new financial thriller “The Big Short” (opening Dec. 23 in the Treasure Valley) or maybe even wrap up the Michael Lewis book of the same name along with a gift card.
The Michael Lewis book — published in March 2010 — is a riveting read on the subprime mortgage crisis and walks the reader through such cumbersome topics as collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps. The new movie has an all-star cast including Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale.
▪ Give someone a little financial wiggle room. Ever think of paying someone’s electric bill for a month? Or maybe buying them a week’s worth of groceries?
Sure, it’s practical. But it can be practically delightful to be surprised by extra breathing room in the family’s budget for 2016.
▪ Wrap up a tiny piece of Wall Street. This holiday season, it is easier to buy just a small part of a share of stock in Apple, Nike and other popular companies. A $50 gift card for Apple stock, of course, won’t enable anyone to buy one share of Apple, which has been trading around $118 a share.
▪ You could empty your coin jar for a gift card but here’s another idea: just slap a bright bow on it and add it to your Christmas packages.
▪ Feeling generous? How about five gold rings? You could dish out roughly $750, according to the 2015 PNC Christmas Gift Index. The price for a simple, no-fuss gold wedding band is about flat from last year, according to PNC. But the price of gold has been trending down lately and was down roughly about 10 percent in late November from a year ago. Some think the downward trend will continue. Gold would start at around $128 for a one-tenth troy ounce American Eagle gold coin as of Nov. 30, said John Abbott of Abbott’s Coins in Birmingham, Mich. But the price is consistently in flux.
Silver is a less expensive gift option. You can start out as low as $15 or $16 for a troy ounce for silver and “go up to a lot of money,” Abbott said. “There’s a wide range.”