Are gift certificates a good Christmas Gift idea? Some people think gift certificates are the lazy way out, an impersonal gift that required little thought. Other people love them as they allow the recipient to purchase exactly what they would like. In this article, we’ll explore the idea of Christmas Gift certificates and determine to whom, if anybody, they should be given.
I have two friends who share identical stories with different outcomes. Their names are John and William.
John and his wife have been married for 12 years. John wanted to get his wife Kelly a special Christmas gift last year and he spent a few weekends shopping with her. She delighted in the fact that he was taking an active part in discovering what she wanted for that special Christmas gift. She proffered many gift hints that John semi-noticed. Realizing that she had not overtly decided on one gift, John decided to get her a gift certificate so that she could make up her own mind and get whatever she wanted.
In spite of the monetary value (he gave her a $2000 gift certificate), Kelly hated the gift and brought up how thoughtless he was at our New Year’s party.
William was in a similar situation with his wife Jeanine. He offered to go shopping with Jeanine and she said, “No, I’d rather go on my own.” When she returned, Jeanine mentioned that she had found several items that she liked at specific stores. For Christmas, William got her certificates to these specific stores and she loved the gift.
What are we to make of this? Kelly hated gift certificates as a Christmas gift and Jeanine loved them.
Gift certificates make a wonderful Christmas gift for the right people and in the right context. They are impersonal, but at the same time they allow the person to get whatever they want.
In the case of Kelly, she wanted John to put in the effort and really discover what she wanted. A gift certificate didn’t satisfy her needs. Jeanine, on the other hand, realized that William would probably choose the wrong thing and treasured the idea of getting exactly what she wanted.
So, when are certificates appropriate as a gift? They certainly make a great Christmas Gift for a co-worker, whose personal tastes you may not exactly know. Gift certificates also make amazing stocking stuffers for everybody. For example, most kids love to receive any of the Top Ten Songs today for Christmas. Since most kids listen to music on one of the best MP3 players, gift certificates from Amazon or iTunes make terrific stocking stuffers. The kids can then digitally download any of the songs that they want using the gift.
The bottom is this: When it comes to gift certificates, you need to know your audience. While certificates always make good stocking stuffers, you should buy gift certificates as a main gift only if you know that the person prefers to choose their own Christmas gift.