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Author Topic: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!  (Read 22063 times)

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2013, 10:06:59 AM »
I love giving gift cards as gifts, but I know that there are limitations.

I've had nieces and nephews who love getting gift cards for Christmas. When they reach an age where the stuff they really want most is beyond the limit of any aunt or uncle, and we couldn't possibly pick out the right style for them anyway (eg: new snowboard, skis, etc.) all of the aunts and uncles give gift cards for the same equipment shop so the kids can have the fun of picking out the perfect item.

I also think it is great for a young adults or couples just starting out who just want the speding money.

I don't fall into those categories but I also like to get gift cards. I can afford everything I need and some of what I want, but I still think of some little things as an indulgence. My ideal gift would be GCs for some local lunch shops near my office. They can be for the unique one-location shops like the New Orleans style place run by the Korean couple in Minnesota (wrap your head around that one...  :)) or just a Subway. I'd love to buy my lunch every day but the cost really adds up, so GCs would be a special treat that I don't usually give myself.

Nobody seems receptive to that idea, though. I suppose it doesn't sound fancy enough or special enough. I tend to have a backup suggestion, like "I can always use a new pair of gloves or scarf; any color, any kind." It is true, and I hate shopping for them myself.

Of course, I don't give the cards to little kids who will want a toy they can use *right now*, grandparents who don't get out to shop much, or anyone who doesn't thing GCs are an appropriate gift. Most of my gifts are to kids, though, so GCs are the way to go!

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2013, 01:48:21 PM »
Be super careful when you buy gift cards that you get one for stores convenient for the recipient.

The only times I got gift cards as a kid, they were for chain stores with no store near me.  Not a very good gift.


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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #47 on: November 27, 2013, 11:40:36 AM »
I'm finding this a really interesting thread - I don't like giving or receiving gift cards - this thread has made me think about *why*, and I think think that it's partly because it's not much fun; you don't get to see the pLeased surprise on someone's face when they open the gift. I get round this by getting a small 'real' gift as well if I'm giving money (If I'm giving money at all, I'd rather give cash or a cheque, as then there is no worry about the card expiring, or the retailer going bust)
I think for me it is also partly that it feels as though it's a bit of a cop out - that the giver hasn't spent any time or effort on choosing something, which can feel as though they don't really care enough to think about what would be appreciated. Of course intellectually I know that the giver's thinking is likely to be totally different, but  think that feeling of "they haven't bothered to make much effort" is a big reason why I don't like getting gift cards from someone who I'm close to. And if I give one to someone, part of me feels that *i* haven't made an effort, so I'm uncomfortable with it.

The way I get round it is to include a small 'real' gift too, or to try to package the money gift with imagination , and if someone does that while giving me a voucher / cash I feel much happier about it, I think because it shows that they have given me the gift of their time and thought, rather than 'just' buying a gift card without thinking about it. (Again, I know intellectually that buying a gift card does not automatically = not thinking much about the recipient, but knowing that doesn't stop it *feeling* that way!)

 For instance, last year my brother was going to buy my a specific book, but it was not in stock at his local bookshop so he gave me a book token instead. In the card, he wrote a little story about his Quest for the Book, with some pictures illustrating what he thought the plot of the book might be about, based on it's title.  It was a great gift, as it meant I could have the specific thing that had been on my suggestions list, and the way he gave be the gift card demonstrated that it wasn't just labour saving, he'd also put some time and effort in.

My sister and BiL have said that what they'd really like this christmas is money, as they have some big, expensive things which they want/need for their boat. I'm giving them some money because that's what they want, they are also getting some little things (lip salve, and a small box of luxury chocolates) which I know they will like, and which gives them a physical gift as well as the thing they have asked for.

(giving someone a small real gift also blurs the edges of 'how much have you spent', which I think is another issue with giving / receiving cash or vouchers)


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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #48 on: November 27, 2013, 12:12:15 PM »
I prefer to get either cash, check, or gift cards for my birthday and/or Christmas, because then I can get what I want with them or use them towards something, like groceries. I know that not everyone likes getting them/receving them without an actual gift so I sometimes find a way to incorperate a gift from a favorite store with a gift card from that store. Or I ask for <insert DVD that I don't have yet> along with a gift card.

There's a lot of good ideas for wrapping up money and gift cards in here, I just may have to use them! Heck, I may not even use them for gift cards but maybe for small gifts as well. I have already made a up a few gifts already with tins and big cardboard boxes from work.

What I did was get several big boxes before they went into the compactor (and after they were emptied of merchandise), wrapped up smaller boxes that I had gotten, and put them all in that big box and wrapped that up with a big bow.


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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #49 on: November 27, 2013, 03:01:42 PM »
We give gift cards to my niece and nephews, as they live far away and we only get to see them occasionally.  Seeing the look on their face isn't important, knowing that they now own something they wanted whether that is reading books/stuff for school/etc is more important.  Besides which, my sister would prefer gift cards, as then there's no more toys cluttering up the house!! 

When we were little getting gift cards to the local bookshop was great, because it meant we could spend the day looking round the bookshop and reading as many books as I could get my hands on before I had to choose one to take home!!  Now, getting a gift card means that I can buy something I want when I see it during the year, rather than trying to find something for someone to buy me at a specific time (Xmas/birthdays/whatever).
Children are natural mimics; they act like their parents in spite of every effort to teach them good manners.
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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #50 on: November 27, 2013, 03:42:31 PM »
My nephews are now young adults.  They are hard to buy for, for the most part.  I'm set for the older one this year - I'm making a him a sweater, at his request, in the pattern he picked out.

So I've given them money in creative ways.  One year, they got a peanut butter jar with $50 in twonies ($2 coins) frozen in layers.  I've given them 10 $5 bills, folded origami style into stars and bought little Christmas trees to hand them.  I've given them a pair of gloves with $5 bills rolled up in the fingers.  My neighbours used this idea for one of their younger relatives last Christmas.  He wasn't yet of age to drink; they got a beer case, which I'm sure got him all excited, filled it with soda cans for the right weight and replaced a couple of the cans with the gloves and $5 bills.  Apparently, he was thrilled.

Last year, I gave them a gift card for a couple of ski passes, with the proviso that I would go with them.  It didn't work out that well for the older one but the younger one ended up using both of them with a friend and skied for two days; I joined them for one.

My mom got creative with giving cash one year. That year my cousin was going to Japan as part of a school trip in January. My mom took the money she would have spent on a present and exchanged it for Japanese yen and then wrapped the yen in a gift box. It was still giving cash but my cousin was excited he could spend it on his trip.


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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #51 on: December 03, 2013, 11:24:12 AM »
One question - and this is genuine because I really don't understand - why don't some people want to give gift vouchers? Especially if it is what the recipient wanted?

I don't like gift vouchers, because a specific thing connects the giver and the recipient mentally every time it's used/looked at etc. If a gift card is given, it's easy to lose that connection. For me, on both sides of the equation, the connection made through the gift is the more important thing. BTW, I just spent my birthday gift card to Amazon on buying xmas presents for everyone else. I feel absolutely no connection to the giver.

Also, if everyone gives each other gift vouchers, it seems to become a bit pointless. Why not just cut out the middle man and spend your own money on things that you want? Also, when there's a direct connection to the monetary value, it leads to perhaps vulgar comparisons of gift value disparity. At least with goods/services given, there's some element of thoughtfulness (and that connection) involved.

This is part of the reason my wish list includes not only  specific items (model number/size/color/etc) but also generic items like "Games for two people" so that givers could have an idea of something I would find useful, but also have the chance to select something which reflects them as well.


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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #52 on: December 06, 2013, 08:39:50 AM »
Here's where I am this year:  I don't make much extra, I live in a 400sq ft apartment, and I have 3 pets.  There just isn't room for many more objects.   So I would prefer that people not buy them for me.

But I could use a check to put money towards things I want, but would not expect any one person to buy (a new bed or computer), or I would use it to take the time off work to see Shaman compete in one of his dog shows or go visit a friend out of state.  Those things would mean more to me then an object that takes up space I don't really have and I don't really need.

My mother, btw still frets that I won't have things to open onder the tree, even though I'm 28 and haven't believed in santa for a long time.


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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #53 on: December 06, 2013, 11:10:18 AM »
I think another reason I prefer gift cards is my birthday is 2 weeks before Christmas, and as a kid, while I got $$ for my birthdays, 9 times out of 10 i ended up using it to buy Christmas gifts for others with!

So a gc means I can spend it on something for me!


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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #54 on: December 07, 2013, 09:39:53 AM »
^ I can relate to this.  I like gift cards because my b-day is on the 29th.  Between the cash and the cards from the two days, I can pretty much afford almost any big-ticket item I've had my eye on.  ;D