Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gift Cards Easy for the Giver, Great for the Receiver! #GiftCardsRock

Is all your holiday shopping finished? 

No matter how early in the year I try to complete my holiday shopping, there is always one or two people on my list who are near impossible to buy for.

Do you have any of these in your family?
  • The "before-Christmas-buyer" - With all those great pre-holiday sales they buy everything and anything they could possible want for themselves. Ugh...
  • The "I-have-everything" - This personality is just slightly less frustrating. They didn't do it right before the holidays, but they have everything they could possibly need or want already. Also commonly known as a shopaholic.
  • The "fad-of-the-minute" person - Their tastes and interests are so mercurial you just can't keep up!
  • The "person-you-barely know" - This can happen with friends, family or colleagues. You really have no idea what they would like.
If you are stuck with any of these personalities on your list, what about the classic gift card?

Gift Cards are not impersonal gifts, they are caring gifts. I am always appreciative to not have to return something or figure out what to do with another knick-knack.  My Mom started sending us all electronic gift cards which I can choose to put towards fun purchases like toys that were overlooked from Christmas lists or for something more practical like clothing for the kids. Any myself? Well, I always enjoy adding to my baking and kitchen collection of flours, ingredients and specialty pans. Stuff no one would buy me for Christmas!

This year some wish-list items may be out of your budget, but remember that gift cards, especially for one store, can be combined. If your child has their heart set on an XBox, find out where the best bundles are sold and let family know that gift cards can be used towards that purchase. That way everyone can contribute to one amazing gift.

We have even started a tradition of hitting up those day after holiday sales armed with the gift cards we collected over Christmas. We have found some pretty amazing deals and can buy exactly what we want in the correct color, size or model.

So how do I like to give gift cards? Forget about the little envelopes, there are so many ways to get creative!
First you can stop by your local craft store to find simple brown or white boxes that can be stamped or dressed up to fit the card or person you are giving them to. Gift cards make great bookmarks in a book, or a music gift card can be placed inside a decorated CD case. Decorate and attach gift cards to your Christmas tress this year along with the ornaments. For children they can be attached to a small stuffed animal or even nested inside a series of boxes for added fun! Another great idea is always to include them in a themed gift basked along with other inexpensive items.

So why not give a few gift cards this season? 

Don't forget that this time of year there are some amazing deals for buying gift cards. At some of our local restaurants, buying a $25 gift card to give away can earn you your own $5 gift card. I have also noticed deals where the gift cards are discounted. Buy a $25 gift card for only $20, etc.. Some grocery stores participate in programs giving you discounts on gasoline for buying their store's gift cards.

So, who on your list would love a gift card this year?

Join the Gift Cards Rock community on Facebook to learn about great gift cards deals, share exciting gift card tips and keep your eye out for amazing giveaways! Gift Cards Rock is an online community for people who love to give and receive gift cards.

*Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Gift Cards Rock blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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