Gift Cards: Yea or Nay?

As the holidays approach I’ve been thinking a lot about one subject. Gift cards.

We all know that gift cards are wonderful presents for teachers or clients or nieces and nephews that we rarely see, but how do you feel about gift cards as stocking stuffers?

As in “How did Santa know that you love Game Stop and your sister is obsessed with Justice?”

I have mixed feelings. Now, my kids know about Santa, so I have more leeway than some of you, but I will also be held accountable for what shows up in the stocking.

Like the one time I got a Mickey Mouse pen in my stocking that I know for a fact my mom got out of my car when I tried to throw it away because they gave it to all the meeting planners at an event I attended when they first opened the Atlantic Dance Hall. Yes, I was 25 and I still got stuff in my stocking on Christmas morning, and yes, I am still a little bit offended that my mom tried to pass off trash from my car as a gift. I would rather get a half full stocking or even no stocking at all in lieu of my own garbage back.

That reminds me of the time I had a Biohazard CD that I hated and so I gave it to this cute boy, but then I married that boy and now I still own that damned Biohazard CD and it pisses me off every time I see it.

The moral of that story is only give CDs you hate to people you don’t like and also don’t let your mom help you clean out your car. Or something.

But I digress. This is about gift cards.

I love gift cards. All of them. I don’t care if it is from Amazon or Walgreens or Starbucks or the liquor store. I like it when I get to pick my own gifts. You can use a Visa gift card for pretty much anything. You can buy groceries with it or those knee high Doc Martens that you’ve been eyeing.

That being said, is it cool to give them to your kids? I mean, I’m supposed to know what they want, right? And I mostly do, but I also know that if I buy the wrong Skylander Giant the boy will cry. I also know that I would have never paid for the Top Girl app, but if I give my daughter a $10 iTunes gift certificate she can buy 5 apps about sparkly things and 5 about bunnies and then we are both happy.

So what do you say, yea or nay?

About Goon Squad Sarah

Goon Squad Sarah rocks the mic like a vandal.

Sarah can also be found at Sarah and the Goon Squad, Draft Day Suit, That's Right. You Heard Me.,on twitter @goonsquadsarah or yelling at her TV.


  1. Megan says:

    I adore gift cards for me because unless I tell them exactly what to get, most people give me things I do not like.

    My son would be over the moon for an iTunes gift card or another one. But he’s 14. Little kids? They like to open stuff, I think.

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  2. Average Jane says:

    I’m not a huge fan of receiving gift cards (unless it’s Amazon credit or an iTunes gift card), and I stopped giving them after I discovered that every gift card and gift certificate my dad had ever received in his life were stuffed in various drawers around his house.

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  3. Andrea says:

    Yes, yes, YES gift cards all the way. The only gift better than a gift card?


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  4. IzzyMom says:

    On one hand, I regard gift cards as kind of impersonal when I’m giving them but on the other hand, I love them and I’d much rather get a gift card than another scarf, shawl or set of placemats. (If you read my blog, you’ll get that reference. And if you don’t, you should rectify that immediately :)

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  5. Mike says:

    I say if you can’t give something that has meaning for the receiver, give cash. It’s the universal gift card that doesn’t lose value if it’s not redeemed.

  6. MamaKaren says:

    I love gift cards. I don’t think it’s impersonal to get a card for someone from a store at which they would shop- I’m a voracious knitter, so a card from Michael’s or JoAnn’s or the local yarn store would be waaaay better than a generic piece of clothing that may or may not be the right color.

    My kids have gotten gift cards as gifts for years- a GameStop gift card means that they can get the awesome game that comes out in February, for example.

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