I Do What I Want #27: Gift Cards

Posted December 19th, 2016 in I Do What I Want, My Features / 26 comments

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Sometimes I just want to talk about random crap. No theme, no rules, just…whatever. That’s where I Do What I Want posts come in. This is where I…well, do whatever the hell I want. Enjoy…and be very afraid.

Okay, so we do the whole Secret Santa thing at work. This one guy is very adamant that whoever picks him should not get him a gift card. He hates gift cards. Not sure why. This got us all into a discussion about gift cards as presents. A whole Yay or Nay thing. Us girls love gift cards. Sure, it’s nice to unwrap a present, but gift cards let us buy whatever we want, and, obviously, who knows better about what we want than ourselves? Now, that doesn’t mean a thoughtful gift isn’t appreciated. It’s awesome to know someone was actually listening to you when you mentioned the things you want/like/need and then bam, they surprise you with it. But that’s also a lot of pressure to put on someone, especially if you don’t know them that well, which can be the case with the Secret Santa thing. And even if they pick something you don’t really want, you can always find a use for it, so I am not against guessing on gifts either. I love getting any gifts because it’s the thought that counts. But if a co-worker doesn’t know me that well, by all means, get me a gift card.

Gift cards are a nice gift that I think everyone should appreciate, especially if it’s to a store you frequent. I sometimes put too much thought into the gifts I buy until I drive myself insane. I wish I felt more comfortable getting gift cards for a few people who are hard to shop for, but I feel like there is a stigma against them or something. It’s stupid.

I had this one friend who I always put a lot of though into my gifts to her. She use to talk about this amazing alarm clock she had that died and how she loved that it played ocean sounds and stuff like that. I got her a pimped out alarm clock that I was even jealous of for Christmas, and I saw it in her closet a year later, still in the package. Then next year she complained about how she never had time to dry her hair before work so I bought her this awesome/specialty hair towel (among other things) that really rings out the wetness if you don’t have time to blow-dry. I have on myself and I can attest that it works. She never opened that package either. Last year I bought her a gift card to Torrid and she was thrilled. She used it right away. Yeah, she will be getting gift cards for now on.

So what do you think? Are gift cards appropriate gifts? Do you like receiving gift cards? Do you give out gift cards? Please share your wisdom on the gift card dilemma.


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26 Responses to “I Do What I Want #27: Gift Cards”

  1. chucklesthescot

    Anyone who gets me a gift card especially for Amazon is doing the right thing! I like taking a gift card into shops that sell books and dvds and that keeps me happy. I’m not into perfume, beauty products, hair products, scarves and all that stuff so I love gift cards. I wonder why that guy hates them? Strange…

  2. Ashley

    I’m a big fan of gift cards, cash, or heck.. even nothing.

    The big problem I have is that I often don’t really want anything. So my mom asks me what I want for Christmas, and I don’t really want anything, so then she just buys me whatever (she’s anti gift card) and while it’s all nice, it’s not stuff I particularly need. I guess it just feels wasteful.

    My husband and I stopped giving each other gifts all together, which I really appreciate lol. We both just buy whatever we want whenever we can afford it, and neither of us really want much. I hate the pressure of Christmas and trying to come up with gifts for people who may not actually want anything specific anyway. -.-

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      It is so much pressure. I buy what I want when I want it so I never really need or want anything either when people ask.

  3. Melliane

    I don’t see why gift cards wouldn’t be appropriated, it’s always nice. If I can I prefer to buy something but it doesn’t bother me to do that otherwise plus I love hving them too. It’s easier too when you want to participate for something the person wants to have too

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      If you know what they wants, cool, but gift cards are a nice fallback.

  4. Stephanie

    I prefer giving gift cards as gifts, it allows the recipient to get what they want, when they want. But there is a stigma wth them, I have several family members I can’t buy them for because it upsets them. They also refuse to buy them, even for my kids who are older now, so we usually end up with unopened gifts in the closet, lol.

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      I just don’t understand how it can upset someone to receive a gift card. So silly.

  5. JenniferK

    I think gift cards are totally appropriate if that is what the person most wants. i love gift cards and am thrilled to get them.

  6. JenM

    I definitely prefer gift cards to actual gifts. I’m very difficult to buy for. For example, I don’t like candles, I’m allergic to most lotions, and I don’t take baths. I can’t tell you how many candles, lotions, and bath accessories I’ve received over the years! Every one of them has either been regifted, or gone into the trash. I appreciate the thought behind the gifts, but since I don’t like most of the things people give me, I just end up feeling guilty when I toss them.

  7. Shomeret

    If I get a gift card for an online business or a physical store I normally use, that’s fine. Unfortunately, I’ve gotten gift cards for physical stores that I don’t normally frequent because it takes me two hours to get there. I have had those gift cards for years and never used them.

  8. Melissa (Books and Things)

    You could always offer to take the gifts back since she didn’t value them. I think you did great with the gifts! I also think that anyone who gets that guy should just give him straight up cash. Who would complain about that…. and I’m sure someone would… LOL *shrugs* Some people are never satisfied. Btw, I’m a fan of any gift card that I don’t have to visit the store to get… but can use it online. 🙂

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      Online gift cards is a must now I think. I just don’t want to travel far. But I agree, I would take some cash!

  9. Melissa

    I used to hate gift cards…because it wasn’t as much “fun” to open and I thought it indicated a lack of effort. Then I grew up. I am by no means wealthy but I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my fridge. I am a pretty simple person and buy myself what I need/want most of the time. Most of my family and friends are also comfortable and don’t really “need” anything…plus I think as people get older they get pickier.

    Gift cards are much better than stressing over a gift that will sit in the closet (sorry about that). I try to do movie tickets or restaurants I know a person frequents or a store I know they like. Its just better for everyone unless you know exactly what someone wants/needs.

    I wish my husband and his family did gift cards…we have to all email each other links to products we want…now that really is no fun!

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      I love getting movie gift cards. So useful. As a kid I can see gift cards being boring but as an adult I love them.

  10. Nathan

    I am OK with gift card for some store or coffee shop that I use, but I also like physical gifts too. Some of my family are easy to shop for and others, not so much. I don’t know too many gift cards that would work for them, however. But if any of them hint at one, I won’t have a problem getting one for them.

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      Yeah, when you don’t even know what store they like that is a pickle.

  11. Braine

    I’m so like you, I get analysis paralysis when it comes to gifts so I end up getting a last-minute usually lame one. So now I either give cash or GC’s. Your friend sucks btw lol

    Happy holidays to you and yours!

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      LOL. I swear I drive myself crazy over gift giving. Others usually don’t so I usually get something crappy, but that doesn’t affect what I give them. I just like people who put some thought into it, even if it’s a gift card to my fav store.

  12. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    I love gift cards! I’m one of those people that do really like to get something unique for other people, but I’m not OPPOSED to gift cards as a gift depending on the person. However, for me, I’d be totally cool with gift cards since people don’t seem to know what to get me anyway. haha

    That’s crazy about your friend though! I guess she just wants gift cards…well, now you know!


  13. anna @ herding cats & burning soup

    Oh man on your friend. I’d want to shake her a bit. lol

    I’m neutral on gift cards. I’d be happy to get one to a favorite store or a regular gift. they are nice if you don’t know a person really well, that’s true. 😀

    Hope you have a great Christmas!

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