Monday, December 15, 2014

Gift Cards! Good Idea?

You can now get Watercolor Devo gift cards! But wait, isn't everyone pushing gift cards? I hear ya. I'm a shopper, too--your average consumer on a budget--trying to milk the best of the season without letting myself get carried away by the materialistic glitz

So let's put these token gift ideas on trial from a few different point of views. 

From a practical and unabashedly frugal point of view...

  • Gift card shopping is a great option when you're thinking of a quick gift. I don't know about you, but I don't want to spend my last TEN DAYS before Christmas drumming up ideas. They also ship quickly or instantly via email!
  • It's simple. You're pretty sure they'd like something, you give them a chance to get it. Done.
  • Let them navigate sales to get the best bang for their gift card buck.
  • Skip paying for shipping. Gift cards ship for free (at least mine do)!

From a thoughtful point of view...

  • Some consider gift cards as thoughtless. But get this--we often give gifts with ourselves in mind more than the recipient. Who doesn't want to hear, "you're such a good gift-giver! How did you ever think of that?! Wow. You're the best." We want to be thought of as thoughtful gift-givers, but sometimes the most thoughtful thing we can do is give loved ones their own chance to shop and choose. 
  • You know when you stumble upon a shop that's "SO so-and-so"? It's exhilarating, especially when it's around a gift-giving season like Christmas or a birthday for good 'ole so-and-so. But then you're left with what feels like a million decisions as you narrow down exactly what to give them. Gift cards are a great way to say, "I know you'd love this, but I don't know exactly what you'd like best."

Gift card drawbacks, resolved...
  • It ain't a big box. Gift card presentation is a hurdle if you're presenting your gift in person. Here are some suggestions:
    • Place a gift card in a book about the same subject. An art book, a workout book, a handyman book--used or new, it's a double whammy.
    • Present a gift card in a  box. It'll be light, and it'll be kinda funny, but who doesn't have fun sifting through a little tissue paper?
    • Place a gift card within a less expensive gift. A mug, a potted plant or flower, even an oven mitt are fun "gift boxes." 
    • Add a cookie with a little pretty string to your gift card.
    • Really snaz it up by placing a gift card in a photo frame.
    • A quirky, fun idea: place the gift card in a puzzle box with a note saying, "I was puzzled as to what to get you."
    • Keep your recipient from losing their card by giving them a magnetic clip to keep it handy on the refrigerator. 
  • What if they do lose it? No problem. Each card has a code connected to it. All you need is the code, not the card per ce. Lost the code? Just refer to the giver's name and I can look up their order easily.
  • Some gift cards expire or lose value. Watercolor Devo cards don't.
  • What if they don't like it? Ah, this is a risk we all take, right? Well, in this worst case scenario, the recipient can give a gift forward to someone else and you still saved them money... money they can use to buy themselves something nice. 
And as if you needed an added perk for purchasing, you get a little $20 gift card for yourself for every $100 worth of cards you give! {limited time offer}

I write all of this this because I've become more comfortable with giving gift cards as well. I use to believe that they're the half-baked gift... but then again, I sure liked receiving them! Shopping money, whoopee!

As the Christmas season gets more and more fun, let's worry less and less about those few, charged minutes of gift un-wrapping. Let's think less about presents and instead be present in the only Christmas season of 2014. 

Do whatever you need to do to make these days special, peaceful, or fun! 

Merry Christmas!