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3 Easy Ways to Embrace the Gift Card

            Let’s be real. Holiday shopping is hard. Often times people shrug or shy away from the idea of giving a gift card as a present, as if it’s too easy or doesn’t count as a legitimate present. Gift cards may have this stigma, but in certain situations a gift card may be the perfect present, especially for college kids running low on money. Here are three ways to embrace the gift card (and easing the stress of Christmas shopping):

1. The Basic Gift Card – For some on your Christmas list, buying a gift card may be the best option. Items aren’t a necessity for every gift given, this is particularly true if the recipient is picky. Simply choose which store, restaurant or coffee shop would be the most appealing to each person and place it in a holiday card and envelope. Some places even have adorable little sleeves for the cards.

2. Dress it Up – If you’re looking put a little more effort into giving a gift card and making a personal gift, consider dressing up the gift card. Some options include: placing the gift card in a mason jar filled with candy or tissue paper and placing the gift card in a mug (particularly good for Starbucks!). Pinterest also has many other ideas for more crafty projects. Either way, this is a cute, personable and inexpensive way to play up the gift card.

3. Go Big! – If you have only a few ideas for presents, consider including gift cards to enhance the gift. or if one gift card doesn’t seem to cut it, consider purchasing gift cards from multiple places and combining them with one small extra present. For example, use the cards to fill the slots of a wallet (this works for male and female recipients!). The cards can also be placed in other items like the mason jar and mug mentioned above.

Although the holiday season is “the most wonderful time of the year,” it can be hard to not be overwhelmed by the stress of gift-giving. Gift cards may prove to be the solution you’ve been looking for. Remember that gift cards can also supplement other gifts, and can be given in various amounts. While you’re shopping, remember that there’s no need to fear giving a gift card!

Carolyn Schmitt is from Falls Church, Virginia.
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