This holiday season I’ve decided that I am going to try and entirely avoid gift cards. I want to give people gifts which are a little more thought out. While I acknowledge that gift cards allow the recipient to have their own choices in what specific gift they want, I don’t really feel that gift cards fulfill the true intention of what a gift should be. Sure there’s some cases where giving a gift card is really the only way to ensure that the person gets what they truly need, but in that case I’d rather just let them get that item on their own. Many gift cards expire after a certain amount of time passing with out use. Some states have laws which prevent this practice, but even in those cases there is a service fee charged for the time passed where the card is not used. On top of everything else, it’s important to take the recent change in our economy into consideration and look at a companies future. No one wants a gift card to a store who has gone out of business. Recently I had an email passed onto me from a friend which really opened my eyes to this.
Here’s a heads up in case you intend to give gift cards around the holidays. Be careful that the cards will be honored after the holidays. Stores that are planning to close after Christmas are still selling the cards through the holidays even though the cards will be worthless January 1. There is no law preventing them from doing this. On the contrary, it is referred to as ‘Bankruptcy Planning). So take a look at this partial list of stores that you should be cautious about.