WWMAD: Can I ask for cash this Christmas?

Each Sunday, Marie Antoinette stops whatever it is she is doing in the afterlife to help modern Maries live a life more fabulous. To have your questions answered, email whatwouldmarieantoinettedo at gmail dot com.

My queen,
I love the holidays, but frankly, not the gift giving. All I end up with are Bath & Body Works gift baskets and sweaters that never seem to fit. I end up hauling a lot of things home that I later haul to the curb. Rather than watch my family waste its money, I’d rather get cash. Is there a classy way to ask for this?
-Seeing green

Madesmoiselle Verte,
Is there a way to ask for cash without seeming crass? Your majesty is puzzled by the question. It seems that the situation would only invite degrees of crassness, from clueless to greedy to downright boorish, and not an either or scenario. I suppose you could avoid asking for a bank balance so you could better calculate a friend or family member’s contribution. Donation cards might also be a no-no as well as a Christmas morning pat-down.

A gift is a gift is a gift is a gift. This is not a transaction. To ask if you can ask for cash assumes that you are receiving a gift in the first place, an idea that seems a bit presumptuous. You are not owed a gift nor can you make demands on the budget or spending of your gift giver.

I suggest you take a page from my playbook and focus your attentions to the gifts you give and not the ones you receive. I was known for my charity work and once had the most fabulous playthings brought to Versailles to show my children the sacrifice they would make for children who were less fortunate. Donate your own funds if you can afford it and your time if you can’t. Sing carols at a shelter or deliver toys to a battered women’s home. Whatever you do, find a pastime that doesn’t involve calculating holiday gift futures.

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