+ Gift Guide

12 Days of Christmas Stocking Stuffers: Gift Cards

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It’s 3:00PM on the day before Christmas Eve, this is when the panic really gets going.  Maybe your friend bought you a gift and you didn’t get her anything.  Maybe you unexpectedly need a gift for a distant relative.  Maybe your brother announced that he’s bringing his girlfriend with him and you don’t want her to feel left out of the gift-giving come Christmas Morning.  Whatever the reason, this is why The Retail Powers That Be invented gift cards.

But not all gift cards are created equal.

You can’t give your 15-year-old cousin a Sears gift card, any more than you can give your 80-year-old great aunt a Hot Topic gift card.  In my opinion, the safest gift cards are Nordstrom, Amazon and iTunes.  You can pick them up from a kiosk at the CVS or grocery store, or print off an e-certificate and put it in a nice card with a handwritten note.  And to compensate for the impersonal nature of a gift card, try to say something personal in the note.

Is this anyone’s preferred gift to give?  No.  But sometimes, it’s just how the Christmas cookie crumbles.

P.S. Another gift card to consider is Home Depot or Lowe’s.  They’re a good choice for men who like tools, new homeowners or someone planning a remodel.