In this age of scannable credit cards, driver’s licenses and club cards, the gift card has taken over as the most popular holiday present. It gets rid of the risk of buying something our loved ones may not want or may already have. We no longer need to know exactly what they want. We just need to know who they are and where they like to shop. Let them handle the actual purchase in their own time and as need warrants.
So, in the interest of full disclosure, here are three examples of people whom I am close to and where I would buy them a gift card. By the way, just in case they’re reading this right now…this is NOT necessarily your Christmas present! But if it were…
I remember my grandmother’s house for many things, including waking up to Saturday morning cartoons and bite-sized candy bars, but what is most relevant now is her flourishing garden. Tucked into suburban south New Jersey, her garden is always very vibrant and rather large for the neighborhood she lives in. So a gift card for grandma would have to come from a home store with all the backyard fixings. Based on where she lives, I suppose it would be Home Depot for my grandmother. There are several close to her home with expansive garden centers. It’s a place I’m sure she could find whatever frills for the garden she may not otherwise buy.
My girlfriend has quite the creative aptitude. She’s into art of all types. She excels at painting, photography, interior decorating, and any activity in which she can use her artistic flare. With such varying interests, it is hard to choose just one home store. But in the interest of art and variety, let’s go with Michaels, where she can get art supplies, fabric, craft supplies, housewares, etc. I’m sure she could spend any amount of cash there.
My close friend Mary is the eternal remodeler. Where most homeowners would be frustrated with a home always in a sort of remodeling purgatory, she is right at home…literally. Her mind is constantly aflame with new ideas and imaginings and her spare time is always spent hands on. Being such an avid DIYer, Mary has developed a certain affinity with Lowe’s, making this an easy choice for a potential gift card. She lives on 13 acres in western Michigan and every inch of that land fits into her vision somehow. For such big dreams, I suppose, she’ll need every square inch of the all-encompassing Lowe’s Home Improvement.
For the Locals
These have been some broad examples of home stores. I’ve remained rather general, by choosing large franchises or chain stores, because my loved ones are spread across the nation and so are you. Yet I would still recommend choosing a local outlet for your holiday gifting needs if a sufficient one is available because it is the greener way to shop. And keeping your money in your local community is ever more important in these difficult economic times.