Gift Dilemmas…

Before the holiday shopping rush, I’m doing a little research. How do you really feel when you receive a gift card? How disappointed are you in receiving a gift card and losing the chance to wonder what’s in the box?

Friends who know me well have likely been on the other end of a conversation that went something like this: I had no clue what to get you. You know I’m not good at choosing gifts. I need to pay better attention… and on the story goes.

I love birthdays, but I get a certain amount of anxiety at the idea of choosing the right gifts. At parties I used to put my gift near the front to lessen the potential it would get mixed in with one of the really great gifts.

Maybe you’re like me. If so, you end up waiting until the last minute to start shopping because of gift choice anxiety. By the time you overcome it, nothing seems to fit who they are to you. Or, you come up with something great, but can’t get it in time.

Enter the gift card.

On the receiving end, I have no issue with gift cards seeming/being impersonal. My problem? The pressure. For example, I can’t go on a diet until I spend my restaurant gift cards. Because it would be ungodly to spend that dollar amount and not fully enjoy my meal! And I love book store gift cards, but how do I narrow down my book list? Again, the pressure!

When I’m the giver, I run into a different issue. What if you don’t like Kohl’s as much as I do? There’s nothing like having a gift card that you have to go out of your way to redeem. We never want a gift to be more burden than gift. If I give you a gift card that’s inconvenient or unwanted, it’ll sit unused. And I’ll know. And it’ll likely hurt my feelings. (Giggles)

So, why the research? Because I want to know how you feel when you get a gift card? Do you feel differently about gift cards for a birthday or a holiday? Does it matter if the giver is someone close? Meaning, do you expect more from some friends or family members?

I’m old enough to remember gift certificates. When I was younger with less access to stores and my own money, gift certificates were great. They used to require getting to the store and standing in line specifically. In return, I would circle the store over and over until I found just the right item within my certificate budget. It felt special. Now, we can get gift cards with our groceries or toilet paper or our crafts. Does that take away something for you?

This year, I’m starting early. Pulling on creativity in hopes I can come up with creative ways to let my people know I love them.

Please share your gift ideas in the comments!

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