December 2009 Muse and Views

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December 2009 Muse and Views

Is It a Gift or a Present?  It`s a Wrap.

A tour guide was showing a tourist around London. The guide pointed out the place in Trafalgar Square where  The Queen supposedly threw coins as a girl. “That’s impossible”, said the tourist. “She couldn’t throw a coin that far!”    “You have to remember,” answered the guide, “Money went a lot further in those days.”

The best gifts are surely those bought with the recipient in mind, doubtless a thought going through many minds over the coming weeks is, would this gift make the person happy?  Whilst some might be responding in a few weeks with Perfect, just what I always wanted, but thinking for a fleeting moment, What were they thinking when they picked this out?

We recently learned, for people needing a certain level of comfort with a matching level of disposable income, of a blanket woven from the first combing of a baby cashmere goat, or maybe using a piglet as upmarket dustpan is more your preference. We’re joking about the piglet but the point is that few, if they wanted to, can opt for gifts such as boxes of kittens to be used as tissues.

Gift giving can be very stressful for some at this time of any year but even more so at the end of this particular year. There is a pleasure in the unwrapping of a present, with even the groans, as we spy the familiar socks and smellies, becoming part of a tradition. However some may opt to give money although, with concerns of such a benevolent gift being possibly perceived as unsentimental rather than altruistic and the redistribution of your wealth as a boring, that too can have its stresses.

But is all fiscal-related giving a classic big-yawn Christmas Gift disappointment?

Your Money – Your Choice;   and in no particular order:

1. Money can be a disguised gift or put into something such as a Money Maze which, as the name suggests, is a cube puzzle in which the gift is imprisoned until the recipient solves the puzzle, a hidden gift.
2. After being out of favour, the incentive to save seems to be the new black and there are huge selections of moneyboxes for all ages and, if a specific objective is being encouraged or supported. Some we’ve seen could even double up as doorstops!
3. Coin collecting either Mint sets,  foreign currency or some other specific group of coins could spark interest for some.
4. For the younger recipient, where the real thing might be unappreciated, a cash register filled with play money might be an option and includes endless play opportunities.
5. Savings Bonds and Savings Certificates are an option or maybe opening a Savings Account, although we’d suggest you consider finding a High Street Branch for young people starting savings in order that the workings of a Banking System, however small, can be gleaned into.
6. For something a little different maybe a share certificate, with choice from Amazon-to-Zurich and everything in between, there is likely to be something of interest.
7. A betting slip for a future sport event could give flutters to the hearts of members of the family or friends.
8. Choice in books is almost overwhelming and seem to be categorised into economic history, study guides or self-help, with fiction tending towards thrillers; can’t think why unless it’s back to finance not giving positive examples.
9. Whilst we’ve found games to be thin on the ground, except for those used as part of number and maths for children’s’ education, the ironically capitalist success story, Monopoly, continues to be popular in its many guises and it’s certain to create the obligatory family get together argument, or, if that’s not the way you like your games, perhaps Anti-Monopoly can be an appropriate alternative.
10. Gizmos and gadgets abound but, when considering savings, an energy monitor could be the way forward for some, or a big hint for others, by assisting in finding out where electricity is being wasted around the house.

Finally, no Christmas stocking is complete without a few chocolate coins, or, if all else fails, as Shirley points out – Diamonds are Forever .


We posted several blogs through November which you might want to catch up with:

1. Faulty Towers – The farce of the latest bailout news
2. Outside the Box – The Pub Landlord’s business model
3. A Slice of Business Cake – The Mom and Pop Shop business model
4. The Value of a Heavyweight Garden – A garden with a purpose
5. Hammering Down the Sale – The scaling back of High Street lending.

(Image credit: H Dickens)

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Step-Up Finance
About The Author - Mike has been doing this for twenty years; this current recession isn’t the first he’s worked through with businesses - His clients are mostly UK based. As well as fresh coffee, movies with good soundtracks, Sunday lunches – especially with his family – two wheels (and four) and using maps to get to the hidden gems of Norfolk, he takes great pride in building bridges for business owners and takes them across the gaps, to access finance and funding. He doesn’t `Do’ egos, irresponsibility or weak tea.

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