I’ll admit it, I’m not a big fan of gift cards. I feel like they force you to spend your money in a store that you might not otherwise shop in, paying prices you might not otherwise pay. I’d personally rather have the cash to spend where and how I like – and I can always get alot more if given the money than the person could have bought or I could get at the chosen store. We were given a generous gift after our last baby was born, and I really wanted a new set of dishes. But the store we were given the card to had very expensive dishes, and not the kind I wanted. I ended up getting dishes, but not what I really wanted, and certainly not for the money spent.
But my post isn’t about telling you to give cash this holiday season – it’s to warn you to be careful about giving gift cards so that your recipients won’t lose out. A number of large retailers are set to close down very soon, most of them by January 2009. If you are given a gift card, spend it right away! And if you really want to give a gift card, give one from somewhere that isn’t as at risk – the kind of stores that come to mind are Walmart and Target, Home Depot (though they are planning to close fifteen stores, they’ll still be around).