I saw this teaser line on some news site: "Are gift cards cheating?"
I think not. I think most DEFINITELY not.
Case in point...
I know my sister-in-law shops at a certain store all the time. In fact, I'd bet that a good majority of her paycheck is earmarked for this store... not judging, it's just a fact. So, when it came time this year to buy one of her Christmas presents, I knew exactly what I was going to get her. A gift card from that store. She'll LOVE it. *
Because of the type of store it is, I would never think about going to buy her something there. First of all, it's not my bag, baby, so I wouldn't have the first clue. Secondly, even if it was my bag, I still wouldn't be entirely sure of what she needs. Therefore, the gift card rules.
That's one case where gift cards are a thing of true beauty.
Another is -- and this is not going to be grammatically correct, but I just don't care-- those people who are hard to buy for.
You know who they are. You think, and you think, and you think... until you are all thunk out. It's not that they are strange, obtuse little creatures with bizarro tastes... they're just hard to buy for. They're not even difficult to please... they're just hard to buy for! Either you pick something out for them and they already have it, or their tastes are so extremely opposite of yours that you risk making a very bad purchase. I know, I know... it's the thought that counts, right? So... why not make that thought a gift card?
Some people don't like to give gift cards, because then the gift card recipient "knows exactly how much you spent." So what. If you're worried about that, tack another five bucks onto the thing and be done with it. ;-) I am typically a bargain shopper, and I can find great buys on presents that should cost me a fortune but really don't. When that's the case, I'll buy the gift. If not, Uncle So-and-So is going to know that I only spend about $40 on him for Christmas.
The other advantage to gift cards: the clothes always fit. No returns, because you get the sizes you need! You know the relative that always wants to buy you clothes for Christmas? (Personally, I love this relative and wish he/she would move in and buy me clothes every day) This wonderful, thoughtful person who might even have really good "clothes taste" and might buy you exactly what you wanted? Yeah, that person really has no idea what size you wear. And if you're unfortunate enough to be a woman, that person might know your size at one store, but not at that store. Or that store. Or even that other store. (Okay, so that's a topic for another post someday.)
But I digress...
What I want to know is what you think about gift cards. As you can tell, I actually quite prefer them in some cases. Some people may think them impersonal, but I tend to believe that sometimes MORE thought goes into the gift card than most people think. That's my story anyway, and I'm sticking to it.
*Yeah, so I'm 99.9% sure she doesn't read the blog... otherwise, she's TOTALLY gonna know what I got her for Christmas. :-) **
**Ummm... like... yeah... I gotta stop hanging out with my kids, because I'm even blogspeaking like them. Gah!