Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last Minute Shopping

It's now five days until Christmas, and I still have shopping to do. Not a lot, but enough. I actually really enjoy Christmas shopping online or at my leisure, but not so much when it comes down to the wire and the pressure is on. And some people are so difficult to shop for! I'm sure you have people like this in your life, who seem to have everything and/or are just not cooperative when it comes to giving you gift ideas. Or maybe people you don't see very often, so you don't really know what they already have.

Sometimes I think the best gift is a gift card. Remember when stores used to have gift certificates? Some smaller stores still do, but I love the convenience of the gift card. The balance is kept track of for you, you can just slip it in your wallet with your credit cards, they're small and easy to use. One of the greatest things about gift cards is that they are small and can be mailed inexpensively. My grocery store sells all kinds of gift cards, which I really appreciate as a busy mom. Shoppers accumulate fuel points, which equal cents off per gallon at the affiliated gas stations, and the grocery store often has special bonuses for gift card purchases (such as triple points). Since gas is so darn expensive, every little bit helps!

I love getting gift cards because I think of it as an excuse to shop for myself, something that I don't really get to do very much. I'm always so excited when I open a card and see a gift card. Somehow it's more exciting than getting cash, which generally gets whittled away on stuff for the kids or into the bank to pay bills. I usually get one or two gift cards for Christmas, and I look forward to finding an afternoon to shop for myself and use it. Target is one of my favorite shopping destinations, so I do enjoy receiving a Target gift card. However, there are so many practical things to buy there, like laundry detergent, and of course tons of things for my kids, that I sometimes find it difficult to actually use the gift card on myself. Another favorite store of mine is Macy's, and when I receive a Macy's gift card I do tend to use most of it on myself. I like to get as much as possible out of my gift cards, so I look for bargains and do my best to stretch it and make it last. One time when I hosted a preschool board meeting at my house, one of my guests gave me a Starbucks gift card, which was fantastic! Starbucks is an occasional indulgence for me, and I choke at the price (almost $5 for a latte!? but so worth it!) every time, but receiving a gift card allows me to splurge a little without the guilt. My favorite gift card purchase ever might be my Magic Bullet, which I'll admit is pretty practical and the whole family uses it, but I love that thing! I bought it with a Kohl's gift card I received for my birthday one year, and it get used daily around here.

Once in awhile we use gift cards as stocking stuffers, and I can personally attest that it's always fun to find one in my stocking. Other people have put them in the Christmas tree for the kids to find. And receiving a gift card in the mail is always a pleasant surprise. I've noticed that some stores offer e-gift cards now, which is even better if you're like me and like to do a great deal of your shopping from the comfort of your own homeI think a lot of people feel like they're being lazy or not putting enough thought into the gift when they give a gift card. However, just think about how much you love receiving a gift card, and I'm pretty sure you'll feel better about giving them!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Gift Cards Rock blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

1 comment:

Scott Thiemann said...

Hey Alysia,

Couldn't agree more. Gift cards are a great gift no matter what age. I know I prefer them out of convenience over actual gifts most times. Even for the younger kids, it gives them money that THEY can spend and gives them a sense of authority because they can pick out what they would like to buy. I always thought that was cool growing up!

For example, I got my brother in law and sister a gift card over $50 dollars at Champs the other day, and they gave me $15 back. Got to love the little things that come with purchasing them.

And thank you,thank you, thank you for helping us with the MOBIBO "Download to Donate" campaign! We appreciate you updating the banner to include the Michigan Humane Society's logo! Happy holidays to you and your family!