Christmas Gift Cards: Are they a Good Idea or a Cop-Out Gift?

By Ashley Chapmen

In Christmas Gifts
Nov 25th, 2015

Gift cards essentially allow you to give a gift of freedom to the recipient receiving the card. You go into any store, purchase the gift card for a specific amount, stick it in a little envelope and write the person’s name on it. Then, after Christmas the person has the freedom to take the gift card and choose whatever they want. Are gift cards a good idea or a cop-out for finding the right gift for the person?

You will find many people have a different opinion about gift cards and whether or not they are considered a personal gift for the holiday season. Some people look at gift cards as a cop-out gift or a ‘easy’ gift rather than searching and finding a personal, from the heart gift. Even though it is fairly simple to walk into a store and purchase a gift card, if you know the reason why gift cards are so personal you may reconsider getting some this Holiday Season.

Fact # 1 Giving the Person Freedom

Gift cards give the person freedom of choice to decide what they want for their Christmas gift. Perhaps the person has been saving up for something special and that gift card just helped them pay for it. This is a great gift idea to allow your family, friends, co-worker, etc., to have the freedom to chose whatever gift they want.

Fact # 2 I don’t know what I want for a Christmas Present

When you ask a family member what they would like to have for Christmas and the person replies with “I have no idea”, what do you do? Obviously, you could go out and choose a gift for them hoping it is something they are going to love. Chances are you have a fifty percent shot at purchasing something that will not be returned after Christmas. A gift card on the other hand eliminates the chance of return after the Holidays. If you substitute the “I have no idea what I want for a Christmas Present” for a gift card the person does not have to rush to come up with a list of things they may or may not want. You personalized the gift by giving the person extra time to choose what they want.

Fact # 3 Something for Everyone

Gift cards are a great gift for everyone no matter the age. Take for example a Wal-Mart gift card. Most Wal-Marts now have a Gas Station that accepts their gift cards in which case if the person has a vehicle you just helped put gas in their car. Maybe grandma was wanting that oh so adorable sweater that is so soft, but did not want to ask anyone for it. Now, grandma can go in and purchase it herself. Perhaps your cousin was saving up for that PlayStation 4 and is a little short, your gift card just helped your cousin pay it off.

Fact # 4 Personalize to stop nonsense buying

So, you have a teenager that is all about spending money on things they most certainly do not need? Well, instead of worrying about where the money goes personalize the gift card to stop nonsense buying. You could for example, buy a gift card for Barnes and Noble or JC Penny and know that the teen has to purchase things they like from those stores instead of spending it on games and other frivolous things.


I suppose some could argue that gift cards are just not the way to go, but really more gift cards are purchased each year than ever before. I know I would rather have a gift card from my aunt or grandma than have them try to find something I may like or could wear. After all it is very hard to gage the correct size for clothes a gift card you do not have to worry about that. Another aspect to consider is that for example a Wal-Mart gift card is versatile, meaning the person could choose to use it on clothes, food, household items, electronics, and other things they may actually need. In essence, gift cards are probably one of the most personal gifts you could give besides a family heirloom.

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