Today, I need to pick up a birthday gift for my Mom, whose birthday is next week. I know exactly what I'm going to get, it's something that I know that she'll get a kick out of. On the other hand, I could always get a gift card--or could I?

I wouldn't mind giving a gift card to a coworker or a neighbor, but I would never consider giving a gift card to my mother. I just feel that it's much too impersonal. I've been knowing her all my life. I know what she likes. I know what her interests are. Why not give her something that she would just love?

I do realize that in some situations, gift cards are ideal, especially when shipping is a consideration. They also work well for kids, teenagers, college students, and those you just don't know very well. I even keep a couple gift cards around for those occasions that catch me unprepared. But for my Mom? A gift card? NOPE..

How do you feel about gift cards versus a real gift? Are they always acceptable? Are there exceptions? Do you give everyone gift cards or just some people? Tell me about it...

Your comments--priceless!!
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5 Responses
  1. Some folks are just about the cash. A gift card is a way to work with them, but I'd be very careful. Six months ago a Circuit City gift card seemed like a reasonable thing. Now it's just a rectangular coaster for a small cup.

    I like giving gifts, but I realize that many folks I care about are not geographically close anymore. I don't get to see the "need" to fill the empty space in that corner of the a financial gift can work if I cannot come up with a gift that truly fits a personal wish.

    My other positive for gifts is bargain shopping. If you are good at it, you can get a better gift for the money than the person would on the other end--as long as it is something they will use. Just get a gift receipt in case you goof.

    If you do the card, pay the extra to get it from on of the credit barons (Amex,MC, Visa) so the person can spend it almost anywhere. Or you could just send them cash.

  2. catladysd Says:

    I use gift cards for my grandkids who don't live nearby, and they love getting them and buying things they want. But i love shopping for that special gift for someone. I will walk around and around till i spot that special something that will make someone take a quick breath and smile when they open it.

    Much as i like getting gifts i really think i like giving them more.

  3. Katz Scratch Says:

    Never a gift card for my mom, although she was prone to return my gift and reshop buying 15 gifts from my one. That seemed to give her great pleasure and only ticked me A gift card would have ruined the fun for both of us. I have had gift cards that expired. Watch out for that. Personally, I don't dig em. I have a wallet full; forgot who gave them to me; forget to use them, etc. If you know me, you know what I like. Jump out there. Shop.

    Oh...on the long distance thing. I checked stores to see if I purchased something from them on the west coast my party could pick it up from them on the east coast. I found a number of stores that do that and those are the ones I used. That way I got to shop and they got to return it without ever leaving the store if they didn't like it. :-)

  4. LUVA Says:

    Gifts add a more personal heart felt touch than a gift card. Get your Mom that gift you know she'll get a kick out of. I only do gift cards when I know that's what a person prefers. And then it's a Master/Visa gift card. Keep up the good work Jewel!!!!!

  5. Lil Ejypt ~ Eden Says:

    I seldom give gift cards to people I know and love. I LOVE shopping for my loved ones. I enjoy looking for something special for someone special. I like wrapping the present up and putting a pretty ribbon on it. I search carefully for that greeting card that is just right to express my sentiments.

    Now, for my younger daughter who is nearly 16, gift cards are great. She prefers them. Jamila does not usually like clothing I select for her (though I'm getting better). Her big sister Jasmine, however, has always liked whatever I bought for her. But Jamila is rather eclectic style wise. She is thrilled with gift cards. It's what she wants from anyone who is gifting her.

    I will sometimes buy a Starbuck's gift card to send to a good customer with a request for referrals, or as a thank you for a customer and a few other associates. But I'm just not big on gift cards otherwise.

    (With the economy what it is, I may start giving grocery gift cards or gas cards, though,lol.)

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