I’m Gifting Gift Cards This Christmas, and I Have No Shame

My husband and I were chatting the other day about a conversation he shared with his sister. She was asking what to get us for Christmas because she didn’t want to get us gift cards. My husband laughed and said, “Well, we’re doing gift cards this Christmas for everyone.”

gift cardA few of my mom friends and I were chatting about how prepared we felt for the holiday season. Christmas cards? Check {or at least most of us had the photo chosen.} Christmas gifts? Mostly check.

So many of us tried to get everything in line by Thanksgiving, but life happened. I piped up and said, “I am actually getting everyone gift cards this year. Want it to look fancy? I’ll put it in a box and wrap it in wrapping paper.”

So let me ask you this, why don’t we get each other gift cards more often?
When did gift cards become impersonal?

Gift cards help me in more ways than I can count:

Gift cards take off the pressure.
One major part of the holidays that I hate is how gift-oriented we are as a society. There is a competition to get the perfect gift like the newest $1,000 iPhone or the newest virtual reality game. Regardless of whether or not you are a faith-based believer, the spirit of Christmas can be spread BY SINGING LOUD FOR ALL TO HEAR as Buddy the Elf would say.

Gift cards do not clutter up someone’s house.
Lately, I have been paying for experiences for friends. My best friend is a nurse and my other girlfriend and I paid for her to get a massage. How awesome? As a travel nurse, she needs to be able to easily pack and go. I would rather my husband cook dinner for me and we take a trip over him getting me another pair of leggings. Target leggings are amazing and my life, but to me, that is even more impersonal as I can get that whenever.

Gift cards cut down on shipping costs and shipping delays.

With as much uncertainty in the shipping industry as there is, our local post offices are going to be slammed this upcoming season. Shipping is so unpredictable despite getting a ‘confirmed date.’ I cannot tell you how many items I’ve ordered online months ago, they give me a shipping date of a week later, and I am still waiting on said items.

Have I convinced you to jump on the gift card train? Here are a few tips from Howard Dvorkin, CPA at Debt.com:

Make sure to match the gift card to the recipient! If I have a friend that loves books, journaling, and hot chocolate, I am getting them a gift card to Barnes and Noble or better yet a local coffee shop! My brother is in med school and can’t find time to cook, so I am getting him a restaurant gift card.

Write a message with the gift card. Don’t just dump a gift card on your in-laws without a sincere message. I like to be punny in my messages as my friends and family know me like that, so I can add a message with a cheap holiday card and gift card.

Keep the card amount within your budget. We are not getting $1,000 gift cards to equate to how much the newest iPhone would cost. We can do $10-$30 gift cards for local restaurants or local stores to help someone with a purchase, not make the whole purchase.

As Howard Dvorkin says, “you shouldn’t feel obligated to go into debt and cause your own financial problems just to satisfy someone else.”

So if you receive a gift card this holiday season, the person who bought it did think of you. They love you so much that they are thinking of you while keeping their mental sanity this holiday season.