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To Gift Card, or Not?

Hi Laura,

With the holiday season upon us, I'm not in a state of mind where I feel comfortable shopping in stores. My grandkids are old enough that they don't play with many toys. One is in college. Is it ok to give them mostly gift cards? I can order them online and wrap them up, which makes me feel safer.

Playing it Safe Granny



I appreciate you asking this question because it shows you're considering both what you're comfortable doing as a consumer in a pandemic, and what your grandkids may need and appreciate at this point in their lives.

Here's the thing about gift cards: they're thoughtful and at the same time, they're limiting. While giving gift cards from small businesses, especially, is a great way to support them, consider that your loved ones might be saving money to purchase an item or two that they really want or need. Maybe they'll have to purcbuyhase something they don't actually want or need to use the entire value of the money you put on the card for them.

My advice? Give them money. Don't overthink it.

Just because it's easy to do doesn't mean it isn't a kind gesture.

Write a check, put it in a card, and they can decide how to use it. The gift card idea is super considerate, but some cards expire or have terms & conditions that make them limiting. Give the gift of choice. They'll appreciate being able to spend the money (or save it) in the manner they choose.


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