Rena’s approach is very practical— I plan to do the same thing later today!
Gift cards are the best!
I’ll probably be the odd one out, here. I think gift cards show a lack of caring.
Yes, yes, I know the arguments: “They can buy what they want that way.”
But, if you’d paid attention during the last three months what they’ve been ooohing and ahhhing over, you’ll have a good idea what they want and can get it for them. I guarantee they wouldn’t forget your thoughtfulness.
The only exceptions I can think of are 1) when the person is out of state and won’t tell you what they want or 2) when giving to a community chest to pass out later to a needy family.
I don’t mean to be tacky, but I like Gift Cards. Let’s me get something I like. It’s hard to buy for someone else. This simplifies it.
Well, except for my other half. That’s different. For rest of family I think gift cards are a really good solution, especially with family overseas. Talk about simplification…yahoo.
I used to buy gift cards until I found out that people would stick them in their bags, sock drawers, etc. and forget about them.
Well, I disagree. Except in special cases a gift card says, “I don’t care enough about you to observe and consider what you might like or appreciate. So here’s some money and I won’t have to think about you anymore.” Time is the gift that the gift carder is not willing to give.
It depends on what the gift card is for. I work for a fabric store, and the ladies who receive gift cards love them because they can buy fabric they normally couldn’t afford (or, for quilters, buy MORE fabric…). One of my sons is buying another one a gift card for a brewing supply shop – the 2nd son loves to brew his own beer. First son wouldn’t have a clue what 2nd son needs; this way it’s practical and thoughtful.
I used to feel the same way—I’d pay attention, and then surprise the people. But I don’t spend a fortune on gifts, and it’s become my experience that people don’t ooh and ahh over $25-$50 things—they just go ahead and buy them. Plus everyone is so specific—they don’t want an Ipod, they want the so many gigabyte such a color etc. It’s become impossible. Plus with my nieces’ schedules, I don’t get to spend any time with them shopping—we’re always at a family function or a ball game (they are all athletes but also great students!).
For most of the commenters gift cards impersonal if your not around family members or friends gift cards are great. means no returns to dept stores. One friend wants books we have no idea what kind of books friend wants gift card allows friend to select what they want and since friend has Iphone can download ebooks.I like gift cards or cash I do not find impersonal and I can get what I need without saying if something is too personal.
Ideally we would all do personal handcrafted gifts for everyone on our lists. In the real world, I buy the small grandkids presents and clothes. My son and DIL get cash – their needs are for things like remodeling the bathroom and major preventative maintenance on their cars.
There’s something to be said for both sides of the issue. I tend to feel that gift cards are too impersonal and try to find the perfect gift for the person that I am buying for, if I know what their interests are or know what they want. However, for those that I don’t spend much time with and have no idea what their interests are from year to year, I give gift cards because I know they would appreciate that much more than were I to hazard a guess as to what they wish for. I find that in those cases, gift cards are the more personal way to go. As long as the person receiving your gift is happy, then that’s all that matters, be it a gift or a gift card. :)
It’s the thought that counts.
I’ve noticed that some people have a gift-giving gift. They know exactly what to get for someone! Others have none of this gift whatsoever. This type thinks that the recipient will be thrilled with what the giver likes. (Nunh-unh.) The rest of us fall somewhere between. I always ask nowadays. If the intended recipient won’t tell me or hasn’t given me a clue, he/she gets a Target/Amazon/whatever card or certificate. I plan to take the grandkids shopping after Christmas.
problem with gift cards is a person doesn’t use the full amount on the card…but the store still gets the full amount of what the card sold for=waist of money on a good intention
My nephew and my brother-in-law are getting socks.