Make Your Gift of a Gift Card Special

You might think a gift card is a lazy solution to a difficult question, “What do you give a person who has everything, or who is difficult to buy for?”  With planning, it could be the best, most satisfying gift you give. 

Observe which stores she regularly shops?  Or does she love, love, love handbags, or scarves, or even kitchen utensils?  Find the best store that sells what she loves.   Take a trip to that store.  Look around and identify things she might like.  Jot down the prices with the tax to be sure your gift certificate covers an item she might like.  Take pictures of several things you think are possible gifts.  Print them and include with the gift card with a note, “I thought you might like one of these.”  It shows you really did think about what she would enjoy. Often store will have brochures with illustrated items that you could ask to be wrapped with the package.  

Usually, a gift card will come with a blank card where you can include what you want to say.  Be sure to personalize it with your own handwriting.   This is especially important for employers.  Let them know you really care.  I also think it is thoughtful to add a small “token” gift with the gift card.  One of my favorites is the e-cloth eyeglass or electronic cloth cleaner ($3.99), or a holiday ornament on the outside of the wrapped gift card. Yes, I did say wrapped.  It gives the recipient a package to open and if it is in a box, she doesn’t really know what it is until she opens it.  

Be sure to determine the conditions of the card.  Does it have an expiration date?  Can it be used on all items? Can it be used online or at other store locations?   Show that you have really given thought to the gift card and it will truly be appreciated as a special gift.  

Nancy Pride owns Morgan Fitzgerald’s and Merle Norman, located at 3800 S. Texas Avenue, one mile north of University Drive.