Gift Cards

By Pete Kaminski

October 17, 2014 4 min read

Whether it's a parent, sibling, niece, nephew or lover, we all have that person on our holiday gift list for whom it seems to be impossible to shop. I'm here to remind you: Don't stress out about what to give that special someone. Get a gift card.

Nothing says "I have been yearning to give you the best gift ever, but then I had no idea what I should get, and I finally ran out of time but still care about you" like a gift card.

Sure, they may seem a bit impersonal at first glance. However, gift cards allow the recipient to choose exactly what to buy. Thus, they end up being more personal than any "I wuv you beary much" teddy bear or golf-themed tie.

The main thing to remember is that the gift card should be to a store that interests your loved one. Once you do that, you are home free. For instance, if your sister is a vegetarian, do not get her a gift card to a butcher shop. If your brother hates sports, avoid giving him a gift card to Sports Authority. That would be a waste of time and resources for all involved. Instead, spend some time reflecting on the interests of the person you are buying a gift for and get a gift card to an appropriate place. This shows some thoughtfulness without the worries of trying to imagine exactly what your loved one really wants or needs.

Gift cards are nifty because they allow the recipients to treat themselves. When you give people cash, they often end up blowing it on miscellaneous daily expenses, or they responsibly choose to toss the cash into the bank. That's no fun! Gift cards force them to buy themselves a treat they might not normally get. How cool is that?

A Best Buy gift card is perfect for the tech lover. A Bed Bath & Beyond gift card is perfect for the homemaker or decorator in your family. A Trader Joe's gift card is a great purchase for the struggling college student or young professional; free groceries are pretty sweet, and the recipient might get to splurge on some sweets, as well.

Alternatively, if you do not have the time to find out your giftee's favorite store, you can buy a Visa gift card. It is a prepaid card accepted at pretty much any store. You do not need to think about the person's interests, wishes or personality. All you have to do is go to the grocery and buy the card. The amount on the card probably should express how much you like the person. If you drew someone's name in a secret Santa pool and have no idea who that person is, buy a card with enough cash on it to meet the minimum requirement for the trade. It might even be unique among the dozens of Starbucks gift cards. If you are buying for a niece and think she is pretty cool, then treat her to a $50 card. If the kid is a brat, get her a $15 gift card and call it a day.

In conclusion, gift cards are the greatest gift ever bestowed upon humanity. They make the life of the gift giver much easier by reducing worries about giving a bad gift. They make the life of the gift recipient easy because that person gets to choose how to splurge. Gift cards are a gift to all.

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