How many times have you received a Christmas present from somebody and been entirely unimpressed? Or worse still, received a Christmas present and then wrapped it up the following year to give to somebody else? I suspect that the vast majority of us have experienced that feeling of disappointment, swiftly followed by a serious effort to appear delighted with your gifts and subsequently a feeling of guilt. This year that person may be the recipient of one of your gifts; the truth is that we buy presents in the belief that any recipient will like them because we do. You buy a vase for your auntie because you think that it is a nice vase, and if you do then surely they must? There is always a good chance that, deep down, they hate that vase. If they are very nice people they may use it for a year or two, keeping it on display for your benefit, Christmas has in fact brought them a punishment. That may all seem a little extreme, but it is also very true to life.
Buying Gift Cards As A Christmas Gift
There was once a stigma attached to gift cards, but they are now actually really popular with recipients, read more here!
So how do you avoid buying somebody their rubbish present of the year? They are, after all, inevitable. The answer is simple, you let them buy their own present. Some people criticise gift cards as being impersonal and thoughtless, and that is true to a certain degree. Buying your wife a gift card is entirely inappropriate, not only because you should know enough about her to appreciate her tastes but also because she would have undoubtedly dropped enough subtle hints in the run up to the festive period. If you have kids, well they are certainly not shy in telling your precisely what they want Santa to bring them. But what about Aunties? Uncles? Cousins? Nephews? Friends that you haven't seen for a while? How are you going to know what they want for Christmas? Generally, you are not. And gift cards are the perfect solution, it allows them the freedom of choice. We all like receiving gift cards of cash at Christmas time, don't we? Deep down? Of course we do. Here are my picks for some of the best gift cards for this Christmas....
Amazon.com Gift Card ($10 to $100)
Amazon.com is perhaps the best bet, solely due to the extensive range of goods that it stocks. Whether your recipient chooses chocolates, the latest Xbox game, some new perfume or aftershave, a new shirt or even gourmet food, Amazon.com will stock it. A surefire way of ensuring that the lucky friend or family member is truly happy with their Christmas gift. Amazon.com is now, also, the largest online retailer in not only the United States but also the world!
SUBWAY Gift Card ($25)
Is your friend a fan of Subway? The beauty of a Subway gift card is that it can be used in literally every city or medium sized town in the United States and beyond, and it doesn't have to be spent all at once either. The recipient can keep the card in a purse or wallet until they find themselves hungry and in an unfamiliar place, perfect for those who spend a lot of time on the road for business.
Kohl's Gift Cards ($25 to $100)
Kohl's is another retailer with a fantastically diverse product range, and stores throughout the United States. Almost all of their products are also available online via their website, leaving it entirely up to the recipient as to what you buy them for Christmas! If they need something for the home they can get it, or if they would prefer to buy something to treat themselves then they can get that too. Available in $25, $50 or $100 denominations.
Regal Entertainment Group Gift Card ($25, $50)
Does your recipient like going to the movies? Then pay for their next few trips! Regal Entertainment is by far the largest movie theater chain in the United States with 6,775 screens in 548 locations across 39 states, although you may wish to make sure that your recipient lives in one of those 39 states before purchasing! These gift cards are available in $25 or $50 denominations and can be used online or offline.
The Cheesecake Factory Gift Card ($25, $50)
Another fantastic gesture is to buy your friend or relative a meal out, and there is no better way to do so then to gift them a voucher for a popular national chain of restaurants such as The Cheescake Factory. No need to worry about offending vegetarians, The Cheescake Factory has an excellent vegetarian menu! These vouchers are available in either $25 or $50 denominations, with the former perhaps paying for the meal of the lucky recipient only and the latter enabling them to also pay for their spouse or a friend. A thoughtful gift for those who you would perhaps love to treat to dinner, but are prevented by doing so due to distance.
Xbox 360 Live Subscription (3 Months or 12 Months)
Know anybody who is hooked on their Xbox 360? Then buy them this Xbox 360 Live Subscription, they will love you for it. Guaranteed. Not sure what this subscription is? It allows the gamer to play his favourite games against other players worldwide via an Internet connection, as well as providing HD Movies and TV shows and access to a number of highly popular sites including Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and Last.FM on their TV!
Marriott Gift Card ($50, $100)
Perhaps go one step further than a meal and purchase them the plethora of leisure possibilities that a Marriott TravelCard Gift Card will provide. Available in $50 or $100 denominations, these gift cards can be used against any purchase at any Marriott resort (over 2900 worldwide!). They can use the cash towards a hotel stay, a spa day, a golf day, or perhaps a meal if they prefer. No business is too far away from a Marriott. When purchasing from Amazon you may mail the gift in a personalized 5" x 7" greeting card chosen from a wide range of designs, or alternatively you can simply buy the gift cards alone to be mailed to your home and present them however you please.