Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gift Cards are a Gift

I love gift cards.  Not only to give them but I LOVE to receive them.  Over the years, my poor hubby has come to the conclusion that I am a bit picky in the gift department.    Often, unless he knows of something specifically that I want, he will give me gift cards to the mall.

He knows me.
He speaks my language.
Shopping is a gift for me.

I used to do it too much and I've had to rein that in over the years.  So, when he gives me what seems like FREE money to spend however I choose, I promise you, I am childlike.

I do know family members and even friends that seem to be down on the gift card as a gift.  They think they take less thought than finding a very personal gift to give someone.   I can see that point.  I am truly honored when someone thinks of giving me something that I would love but might not have bought for myself.   I feel valued when they listen to something I have expressed wanting, make a mental note and buy it for me for as a gift.

But I also feel valued, honored and loved when I get a gift card to a favorite store or... Starbucks.

Honestly, some people are very good at the buying people the perfect gifts.   Others just struggle.  It's difficult and stressful for them.   My mom hates to shop and often has me go buy my kids gifts just because she can't handle the stress of the stores.

And what do you buy a teenager?  A shirt that won't fit or has the wrong color blue on it?  A CD they already have or won't use because they only know how to download music from iTunes?

    • You buy the teens in your Aeropostale, Old Navy, Hollister Co., GameStop or iTunes cards.  You will forever be their favorite relative.

    • Or the sister or friend who has everything?    Starbucks cards.   iTunes, photo-site gift cards, Hallmark gift cards.  A gift card to a bookstore is always a favorite gift of mine.  Even if the person you know isn't a big reader they usually have music, cookbooks, stationary and cards at bookstores also. 

    • Really, Starbucks and iTunes or Rhapsody gift cards are great for most people.  These are things people love but seem to cut back on when times are tight.  Like now.  

      • The brother and sister-in-law who just bought a house?  Home Depot gift cards - wrap it with a screwdriver or hammer if you want to include something they can hold on to.  I always need a hammer or a screwdriver.  Or one of those little bitty screwdrivers that you need to open every single toy in the world.   Those are awesome to have extra.

      • New baby in the family? Send the parents a Target gift card tucked in some little cute socks - diapers are a never-ending expense.

      So, if you receive a gift card, accept it with great joy - it is a gift after all.  And if you are struggling over what to get someone, think of where they might like to shop or eat during the week - a favorite restuarant, movies, etc. and buy them a gift card there.

      I would stick with big name stores when buying gift cards.  You never know when someone will go out of business and don't want your mother in law to be stuck with a gift card she can't spend.  

      So, how about you?  Are you a fan of gift cards or not?

      Tomorrow - Family Gifts.  I'll share with you gifts that work for an entire family.

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      Genny said...

      What a great post, Janel. As for me, I love gift cards too. :)

      The Chubby Dove said...

      Yes, I love gift cards. :-)
      What gal doesn't love free money?

      Stefani said...

      I have to agree with you on the gift card. Sometimes it means just as much that you know what store the person likes as it would that you remembered that perfect sweater they told you about two months ago. It's also great to have the excuse to go shopping without having to worry about if it's in the budget! :)

      Merry Christmas!

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