I am late writing my blog this week for my A&I BSG challenge team. I had a couple options and thought I'd write a little about my thoughts on gift cards. January 18th was National Use Your Gift Card Day. National Use Your Gift Card Day reminds Americans to use the $1 billion in gift cards left unused each year. What do you think about gift cards? Did you give or receive any this year? If you received them, what will you buy with them?
I used to think that giving gift cards was a bit impersonal and an easy way out of taking the time to buy someone a gift. But I have changed my mind over the years for a couple reasons. First of all, I have learned to enjoy receiving gift cards myself. It started to become popular maybe the last five years of my teaching career, and I found it was so fun to get a gift card to a book store or restaurant or spa from my students, along with a wonderful thank you card, that was even more meaningful. After all there were only so many teacher mugs and lotions you can use over the years! LOL
Now I also like getting gift cards from time to time. Our friends and our son gave Dave and me a gift card to a nice restaurant for Christmas this year. Last year for my 60th birthday, a bunch of friends all got me a gift card to a nice spa in our area. This was a very nice gesture, since I don't do something like that for myself. It's also fun to pick something out at a favorite store.
I like to buy a personal gift for someone if I know what they like. But after so many years, it's difficult to come up with an idea for different gifts (especially for a man, IMO!)
Gift cards are also perfect when you live far away from someone, and can send one in a card. I have done this for my nephews quite a bit, now that they are older, and I don't see them that much to know what they like. Amazon is my favorite choice, as well as one for a movie theater.
We got a Kohls card for our son as one of his Christmas gifts, so he can pick out his own clothes that he likes. He also likes to get Wawa cards, since he goes there frequently to buy his gas and sandwiches. I also got a Michaels gift card for my good friend to use to buy her choice of watercolor painting supplies. She loved it, and we went together to find the things she liked.
The only problem I see with gift cards is the reason for this day - people forget about them or misplace them. That has happened to me a number of times. Last year I found a restaurant gift card in a Christmas gift card tin, when I was getting out the holiday gift wrap supplies! Now Dave keeps his gift cards in the top drawer of his bureau, and I keep mine in my wallet. I think I still have some money left on a Barnes and Noble card from my last year of teaching six years ago!