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Call it a hard candy holiday season, but this year almost half of consumers surveyed plan to use any cash they are given as holiday gifts to help meet expenses like groceries, gas and other household expenses.

“The importance and desirability of cash cannot be underestimated. More than half of the consumers we surveyed (53%) know someone who wants cash as a gift to help cover daily expenses this holiday season,” said Jorge Consuegra, senior vice president for Western Union, which conducted the survey. “The best gifts are the ones most wanted and needed, and this year, that gift is cash.”

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