Gift Cards – Impersonal or Practical?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m a huge fan of gift cards.  Yep I said it, Gift Cards.

For years now the jury has been out on whether they are impersonal or practical gifts to give.  Some people don’t have a problem giving them for birthday gifts but won’t consider them an option for the Special Occasions or Holidays because they don’t think they are appropriate.  I disagree with that.

As Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching you may already be done with your shopping and have found the perfect gift to give.  If not, you are probably stuck in the same spot you were this time last year.  Trying to decide on that perfect gift, the one you said you’d get a head start on this year so you wouldn’t have to stress out again but just didn’t have the time, right?

Well, all I know is that 23 years ago when I became a Single Mom, there wasn’t the variety of gift cards available that there are today and had there been I would have Loved to have received any number of them for my birthday, Christmas, and especially on Mother’s Day.

So many times people don’t know exactly what to get so they settle for something that seems ok, and they always end up spending more money than they had anticipated just to get it over with, and most times the gift isn’t really appreciated by the recipient.  That is awful.  But with gift cards the possibilities are endless!

 

If you ask me a $25.00 gift certificate to a Salon in my neighborhood  is a way better idea than that $50.00 last minute item that pressure and stress made someone buy, as it usually turns out to be something I either don’t need or don’t know how to use.  Yes, I know it is the thought that counts, but really?

Think about the Single Mom in your life.  Does she ever get to go to a movie that doesn’t have animated creatures in it that are made of sponge who live under the sea?  I know there are affordable gift certificates for local movie theaters that she would welcome so she could sneak off and see a movie with real people in it, and drink all of the soda and popcorn she wants without being under the scrutiny of her kids.  Maybe you can offer to watch her kids while she does so one afternoon if she doesn’t share parenting duties and/or have the luxury of kid free weekends every once in a while.  I’m sure she would appreciate it very much.

Even the local “build your own” stores have a variety of gift cards that they sell.  I was just in the Lowes store in Santee and was caught off guard by the large display that seemed to hang from the ceiling which contained gift certificates for everything: from on- line entities, restaurants, coffee houses, book stores, clothing stores to spas ranging in prices from $15.00 and up.  See, guys, you can find that perfect gift while picking up tools and stuff in your favorite home improvement store; they are right there for the grabbing!!  Chances are you know what Mom’s passions and hobbies are and be able to select a gift card that will seem tailor made for her.  Very personal if you ask me.

If you want to fancy it up, since some people think that a small plastic card doesn’t seem like a “real gift”, then get one of those decorated bags or boxes and wrap it up or tie it to a bottle of wine, or box of chocolates, be creative.  You know that special Mom pretty good and you know what she would like.  Trust me she will appreciate the thoughtfulness of your gift because it will be specifically for her.  Not something she has to share with her kids, but just for her to enjoy.

Though I usually speak to the Single Mom element, this category suits ANY and ALL Mothers because by nature they tend to always put their families first and don’t think about what they would enjoy just for a day.  A specific gift card gives Mom permission to indulge in an activity that she might not otherwise feel comfortable spending her “family” money for her use.  So it’s a win, win situation.

Those are my thoughts on the Gift Card subject.  Very Practical and Personal, and if packaged with creativity and love, it becomes a work of art that Mom will enjoy and Thank you for.

Think about it as on option if you find yourself stuck trying to find a special gift.  I bet she will be so surprised and will Love it.

As for me, this will be my 5th Mother’s Day without my Mama, it doesn’t seem like I will ever get used to being without her.  But as we’ve done over those last 5 years, my sister and I will pick up her favorite flowers, colorful Carnations and Tulips,  and bundle them beautifully and lay them in front of her headstone at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.  She has a magnificent view of Coronado and it always seems to be so peaceful and beautiful there.  Not the Mother’s Day celebration that my sister and I prefer, but just our way of spending time with her.  We try to remember all of the years we were blessed to have her and the fun we always had.  Though she isn’t here with us anymore, we know she is still mothering us from Heaven and that is comforting.

As any of you who have lost Mother’s know, each year on this day of Celebration, the heart misses Mama so much.

Enjoy your day with your Mom no matter what you do.  They are God’s way of making sure we know how to love and live.  They are truly Special people.  And to all you Moms out there, let your family spoil you and resist the urge to take care of them just for that one day, because you deserve the attention!!!  (and your regular routine will begin again the next day – so enjoy your day off….)   LOL

Blessing to you all.  Be good to one another EVERYDAY….

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