Your Guide to Gift Cards

Christmas is this weekend! Are you ready? If not, you may be resorting to purchasing a gift card for everyone left on your Christmas list; and while many gift guides will rag on gift cards as impersonable and somehow less special, we are here to tell you that gift cards are great. Why? Because at the end of the day, people want cold hard cash.

Most people don't have something specific on their list; but they do have an idea of places they like to purchase from. It is absolutely glorious to be standing in the checkout line and realizing you have a gift card. Suddenly, the items in your hand are basically free. It's such a lovely treat, and the gift that keeps on giving. Plus, as people get older the things they really want often come with a heavy price tag. By giving them a gift card, you help them purchase what they wanted without footing the bill for the whole thing. 

There are only two downsides to gift cards: 1). It attaches direct monetary value to how much you spent on the person, and 2). They aren't very exciting to wrap for under the tree. The good news for you is that we have solutions to both of those problems!

First, we always recommend giving a gift card with another small gift. Think of this other gift as an impulse buy item. It could be nice hand lotion, a new coffee mug, a fun gadget, or something in that vein. It's an item you can find at a drugstore. This can be as inexpensive as you want. By pairing the gift card with another item, the receiver will know the approximate range you spent on them, but not the exact dollar amount. 

For presentation, an additional item is a great thing to tape the gift card to as a bonus surprise. Or, you can go all out and make the unwrapping of the gift card just as exciting as if they were unwrapping a different gift. For example: put the gift card in an envelope, stash that envelope in a book, put the book in a box and wrap it, put the box in a bag, and so on. You can add as many layers as you feel is necessary!

Gift Cards are a great last minute option, and remember: Christmas is NOT about gifts, so anyone who tries to make you feel uncomfortable for whatever you did or did not purchase is the one in the wrong, not you. Have fun, set healthy boundaries, and enjoy the holidays! 

(Image created via Canva)

Posted by Ken Richter on


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