Would You Want a Gift Card for Christmas?

by TTMK on October 22, 2012 · 12 comments

During the holiday season, what would you want to receive?

Actually, the bigger question is what would you want to give. After all, giving is in the spirit of the season, right? But we can look at this question from both sides.

When I think of the holiday season, I conjure up images of people celebrating (Christmas and other holidays) and exchanging gifts.  Something along the lines of winter weather outside, hot cocoa inside, and opening a gift-wrapped box. I don’t know why, but the image of a sweater seems to come to mind, for some reason. Wholesome, but perhaps not as exciting as many other possible gifts!

Speaking of which, what do you think about the idea of gift cards as holiday gifts? Personally, I have been hesitant to give them, but would totally like receiving them.  Not that I am big on getting gifts as I truly spend far more time on giving during the holidays as I’ve gotten older.  But I would be cool with a gift card as a gift.

See the difference in how we might see giving something versus receiving it?

A recent article on Yahoo! Finance shared some thoughts that others may have. Apparently, among wealthier households, less than 20% of men are likely to give gift cards. However, 2/3 of women want them.  Now, it doesn’t say that this all they want, but it does show that men aren’t likely to give them.  So, men aren’t able to figure out what women want 🙂

Of course, the article also leads us to the knowledge that nearly 50% of women are likely (some even extremely likely) to buy presents for themselves, so maybe they’re taking things into their own hands!

But back to the question – why are we so reluctant to give gift cards, when many of us would like to receive them? Any gift is good, really if someone wants to figure out how to reduce inventory there are plenty ways to offer items for sale that people might buy.  Even as gifts.

For me, the reluctance to give has been around the notion that it doesn’t show as much thought. Or, that’s what I think she will believe:)  Maybe just giving it shows enough thought, and the flexibility to get what she wants eventually is what matters?  Same concept goes in reverse as well, with female gift givers and male recipients.

My Questions for You:

Do you like to give gift cards? Do you like to receive them?

Is there a difference in your thoughts about each, when you compare giving vs. receiving them?

Why do you think there is somewhat of a taboo of sorts, in some households and relationships, surrounding giving gift cards instead of actual “traditional” gifts?

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle October 22, 2012 at 7:31 am

I love getting gift cards. It cuts down on waste as I can get what I really want.

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TTMK October 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Michelle – it sure helps avoid awkward situations of getting totally odd gifts that you’ll never use.

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Emily @ evolvingPF October 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I don’t give gift cards – I either am going to put in the effort to buy something in particular for the recipient or make it. I used to like to receive gift cards to my favorite stores but now that I’ve cut my spending so much I would prefer universal gift cards (Visa/Mastercard) or cash. We try to funnel all our extra money into our Travel account and it’s much tricker to convert a gift card to a clothing store into cash that will pad that account. Honestly I would rather receive nothing than a gift card because then I don’t have to feel guilty about not spending it or take the time and trouble to resell it.

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TTMK October 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Emily – wow, preferring nothing to a gift card is quite a strong statement against them!

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Savvy Scot October 23, 2012 at 2:49 am

I enjoy getting gift cards. It stops me saving the money or using it to pay off bills – instead it forces you to get something nice (the original intention). I am often a little hesistant about giving them though.

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TTMK October 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Savvy Scot – I understand what you mean. It is nice to use them on things that are fun and not just practical.

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Edward Antrobus October 23, 2012 at 6:53 am

I don’t really like giving gift cards, because they seem so impersonal. If I know they have their eye on something, or it’s a store they do a lot of shopping in that brings them personal enjoyment, then I don’t have a problem. But giving my cousin a Best Buy giftcard? I’d rather not.

That said, I LOVE receiving gift cards, because, anymore, everything I want is more expensive than anyone person is going to give me.

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TTMK October 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Edward – great example you’re sharing, of how many of us like gift cards but have difficulty giving them sometimes.

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Veronica @ Pelican on Money October 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I’ve never enjoyed getting or giving gift cards. I’ve always felt like it showed lack of imagination on a persons’ behalf. Personally, I’d like to gift my bf a job he deserves for Christmas.

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TTMK October 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Veronica – well, that’s the way some others feel too. Though it does give the recipient the ability to use imagination in terms of what she or he can buy 🙂

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Paul @ The Frugal Toad October 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Gift cards are so impersonal that I don’t give them as gifts. I want to give a gift that shows that I thought about the person.

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TTMK October 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Paul – they’re defintely not for everyone it seems! At least in terms of giving them.

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