Gift Card Bliss

My new bridle!

I love gift certificates.  It’s like getting a gift three times (assuming you shop online.  If you shop in person it’s like getting a gift two times, which is still awesome). 

1. When you initially get the gift card – “wooo, now I get to pick out something I actually want!”

2. When you shop for the item. – ”wooo, I am getting something I want and I don’t have to pay for it!”

3. When it comes in the mail (assuming you shopped online).  – “Wooo, my new such and such just arrived, thanks grandma!”

At all three parts of this gifting experience I am thankful to my gift giver, and I get that adrenaline rush of shopping and there’s none of that spending money gilt. 

It sucks to get a gift card to a place that you either do not shop at or do not live anywhere near.  A few years ago I was given a really amazing gift card, but it was to a place nowhere near where I lived.  In the end it expired before I could use it, and I still feel guilty about it.  So instead of being gifted with an awesome item of my choice, I was gifted with a guilt trip.

This mistake in gift card shopping is often a result of the, I like this place so that means everyone will, line of thought.  Let’s be honest, just because you like books and think $50 to Barnes and Nobel is the shiz-nit, does not mean your metal head brother does too.  And just because there is a Pottery Barn in your town and it has fabulous stuff doesn’t mean your mother has one in her town or likes their stuff.   Think of the person you are shopping for. 

Another downfall of gift card shopping is the, buy everyone the same thing, theory.  My grandma fell into this category pre gift card.  One year my sister wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid for the holidays so they gave me one too.  You know, so it would be fair and all.  But I wanted another toy pony, not some dumb doll.  Again, think of the person you are shopping for. 

My favorite gift cards are for Amazon.  I am a book addict, but if I needed something else, Amazon sells everything.  So really, an Amazon gift card works for just about anyone.  Need a new pair of shoes, a power tool and a new video game, you can get it all from Amazon. 

You also can’t go wrong with a gift card to Target.  Just like with Amazon, the person can pick from a large variety of things.  They can get something for their home, like some new dishes and in the same visit they can get a board game, a yoga mat, some air freshener and gallon of milk. 

My mom, though a bit new to this type of giving, has already mastered being an amazing gift card shopper.  She has given me gift cards to my favorite online clothing store, Title Nine http://www.titlenine.com/ and several to Amazon to help feed my book addiction.    

This holiday she gave me a gift card to one of my favorite online horse stores, the Distance Depot http://www.thedistancedepot.com/.  Which I cashed in on this week.  Hence why I am ranting on about how great gift cards are. 

I was really excited when I received the gift card.  I window shopped for about a month with a big grin on my face.  “Should I get this bridle, or should I get that hackamore?”.  Then, when my new bridle arrived in the mail, I danced around the house, loudly Woo whoo-ing! 

One of my other favorite gift cards was from our friend, Katie who lives all the way on the other side of the country.  She knows my husband and I like to frequent a little local restaurant, The Little Grill Collective http://littlegrillcollective.com/, so she gave us a card to the Little Grill so we could go out and spend some time together.  So thoughtful.  And each time we went we thought of her too.

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