Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Give a Gift Card or Money as a present?

As part of our company holiday party, we were to have a White Elephant Gift Exchange (Wikipedia).  This is where everyone brings a gift up to a certain value, wrapped, and we all take turns opening a gift or stealing from someone else.  One of the rules for the game was that no one could use a Gift Card as a gift.

The day before the party, one person offhandedly mentioned they would bring money as a gift.  They were joking, but it made me think about the 'value' of gifts.

We are all used to having gifts to open on christmas morning.  Usually it is something you have expressed an interest in, or it is something that someone knows you would like.  If I don't know what someone would like, then I consider getting a gift card for them, since I usually know at least what type of gift they would like, such as clothing, or comic books, or dishes, or computer-related.  With a gift card, they can get just what they want.  But when I get the gift card, I usually get an amount over what I would have spent on a gift.  In other words, if something I would have purchased for them is $30, I might get a gift card for $40 or even $50.  I think this plays into the 'feeling guilty' that I didn't get a 'real gift' for them.

If I give money, instead, as my co-worker mentioned, I would probably go for at least the gift card amount or even more.  I feel even more guilty, because, now I haven't even given them something in a category, such as electronics at Best Buy or books at Barnes and Noble.  So money in the envelope might be $50 or $60.  There is no thought to giving money.  Sure, they can spend it anywhere, but there is nothing 'special' tied to the giving.

Lastly, I can make a gift for them, which I do on occasion.  I know what the person would like and I make it from craft store materials, usually.  And the cost?  Not normally as much as the gift card.  Maybe $15 in materials, depending on the gift.  But that isn't the point with making a gift, is it?  The point, in case it isn't obvious, is that the gift comes from the heart.  I have given my time to create something special for them.

So, the point?  If you are even moderately creative and know something the person would like, consider making a gift for them.

Not creative enough or can't think of something to make?  The normal 'gift giving' of something the person would like is perfectly acceptable.

Can't think of what to give the person?  A gift card, while not as good as a 'normal gift' is okay, especially if it is someone not as close as a spouse or close friend.

And if all else fails?  Forget the money.  No matter how you dress it up.  Decide on which gift card to give them.

Homemade Christmas Gift (SaverQueen)

No comments:

Post a Comment