Manic Motherhood at it's FINEST!!

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Monday, December 13, 2010

Touchy Topic Tuesday- Gift Cards For Christmas?

Touchy Topic Tuesday:
Gift Cards For Christmas?

Gift giving is the name of the season.

Many people love to scale the malls and the sales, searching for that perfect gift. A lot of people have something specific in mind when they think of a person.

In my family, we draw names each year. If I choose my mom, my sister, or my oldest brother, then I know exactly what to get them. If you asked me to make a list of things they might like, it'd take me just a second to jot down a page full of ideas for each of them. The HARD part is picking ONE.

If I pick out my dad's or my youngest brother's name...well, I'm at a loss. I know my dad is very practical. He'd prefer shoes. Or tools (if you can find one he doesn't already own) or a bill paid. It's very hard to be creative there. And it's also difficult to get him to tell you what, exactly, he needs. My brother is a great big dork- in the most entertaining and wonderful way possible. But he already has every single movie known to man downloaded to his computer. He already has just about every xbox game there is. Heaven knows what to get him.

Recently, I read a list of the 10 worst Christmas gifts you can get someone. On the very top of that list was a little piece of plastic, it can be as valuable as the buyer prefers, but only to precise stores, and, it's called a gift card.

Gift cards, according to MSN Today, were named as the absolute worst gift one can give. And cold hard cash actually came in further down the line. Apparently, a gift only is actually a gift if it took a lot of thought and knowledge of the person receiving the gift and their inner most desires.
So....basically, if you don't know a person well enough to buy them something specific, and be sure that it's exactly what was the main characters in their very own personal visions of sugar plums, then you'd probably better not get them anything at all.

All or nothin'.

Honestly, I just have to say that I disagree with this. Now, it's not something that I am very seriously passionate about, as I have been about some of my Touchy Topic Tuesdays, but I do still have an opinion, and as it seems to be something that people have viciously varying opinions about, it's up for debate.
I am not a hard person to buy gifts for. I'm sure that if any of the people I mentioned were easy for me buy for drew my name, they'd have a very simple time picking something out for me that would just make my heart flutter. Particularly my mom. And my oldest brother has a knack for getting me into fits of giggles.
But there are people who just don't know me that well. And when it comes down to it, if someone were to ask me what I wanted or needed this Christmas, i would tell them that I really need some clothes for after the baby is born. You know, like things I can wear that aren't maternity clothes? I need new jeans as I wore my old ones to threads. I need nursing shirts. I need things that are going to help me feel pretty and cute and stylish instead of frumpy mommyish. But if i were to tell someone that, I would probably be pretty terrified of what I might receive and have to wear in order to NOT make them feel bad. Not to mention, I have absolutely NO clue what size I'll be right after i have this baby. I'm HOPING that I'll do what I did with my last 3, and go back to being my old size 4 pretty quick. But there's no guarantee. And I want things in MY SIZE.
How to get around that?
A gift card sounds lovely.
Not only that, but I am a very very crafty person. I am always creating. If I am not making something, my life feels a bit empty. It's just a habit and obsession of mine. Would it be acceptable and even appreciated for someone to go out to a craft or fabric store and buy me supplies? Probably, because I'm really good at taking stuff that I had no previous affiliation for and throwing it into something awesome. (Yes. I have a big head about this.) BUT, it would, admittedly, be much more satisfying for me to be able to buy the things that I already had in mind for my ongoing projects.
Once again, a gift card would be delightful.
So, really, if you're one of those people who is just an amazing gift giver, and you seem to just always be able to foresee what someone would be thrilled to get, then DO THAT! Because it really IS always awesome to get something and think "WOW!!!! You really know me so well!" - and it's also such an excellent feeling to GIVE that kind of gift. When you can see on a person's face that you did so incredibly well that it left them speechless. BUT, if you don't have any clue, then don't shrink away from the gift card. It has much more meaning than just "I don't know you very well."
Okay, everyone!!!! Let us all know how you feel about gift cards for Christmas, both giving and getting!!!


I'm Not a Trophy Wife said...

Gift cards are great. It's also fun on packaging the gift card. I did a jar of coffee beans (smells soo good) with a gift card in the center. For your dad.. I have given subscriptions to national papers (if you're not sure he will like it, just do a 3 month subscription). Netflix is another, inexpensive one! I'm a follower.. will you follow me?
laura over at

Hockey Wife said...

I love receiving gift cards! It takes me FOREVER to actually buy something with them because I always want to buy something meaningful and special with them. I don't mind giving them, especially to people who I know are picky. Generally speaking though, I'd prefer to buy a gift - selfishly, I love wrapping them and seeing the receiver's reaction!

Anna said...

I actually enjoy receiving gift cards. It's fun to go pick something out for myself since as a mom I don't do it very often. I am always picking up the practical stuff or what my kids want/need/would look cute in. I also am pregnant entering my third trimester next month. So far I've gotten away with not buying much and wearing what I have in my wardrobe but I know I'll need a few items from the maternity store before hte end of this as well as some nursing bras/tops and for that I already told my mom I would love a gift card to motherhood. LOL! I also love bath and body works gift cards. I also like giving...I try to make sure the person actually likes to shop or eat with the gift card I give them.

brookeb said...

I think part of the idea with gift cards not being as good for gifts, if that if everyone is giving a gift card, why don't we all just save our own money and call it a draw? I suppose if you're picking one to a specific place because they love that place or have a plan for it, that's a little different, but it does seem more impersonal.

Mom Daughter Style said...

Those are pretty cute gift cards. I saw that TV commercial. I did not really put too much thoughts on it though. I saw your blog from bloggymoms get numbers up. I followed your blog and I hope you will also like my blog and visit/follow. Thanks

Brynn said...

i love giving AND getting them! i have never thought that the person who gave me one took the easy way out; sometimes it's just easier to go look and get what you want.

and i've never gotten the impression that the person i gave one to didn't appreciate it or feel slighted.

go get what you want; it's on me...that's my motto. with that said, i don't do gift cards often or for everyone. i got my cousin an itunes giftcard. she has an "eclectic" taste in music. better she choose the songs than me.


Sara said...

This is such a hot topic in our house. No one can really understand my issue with gift cards. And are always trying to explain to me why I am wrong about gift cards. That I should just give in to their way of thinking.

I think they are the worst possible gift to give or get. Gift cards and the whole gift card industry has ruined the gift giving abilities of perfectly capable people. The shopping is the most fun part of the whole thing. What fun is it to give a gift if you didn't go out and shop for the perfect gift. You can just go to the stand at any store and grab a card - Oh and then the gift recipient knows exactly what you spent on them.

It is even more of a slap in the face when I am asked to give a gift card as a gift. You might as well say to me. "You are the worst gift giver in the world so don't you dare buy me anything, I will do it better myself."

My husband tries to "help me understand" why his family likes gift cards so much. Because they like to make the 20 dollars go further by finding the sales themselves or catch the "after Christmas sales." Tell me what you want or things you would be interested in and I will find what you are looking for!

It just amazes me that when my mother-in-law was cleaning off the entertainment center they were donating the gift card my husband gave his father was still sitting there - untouched. We gave it to him so long ago the store is no longer in business. Thank you for wasting our money. Or the gift card that was given to my brother in law was used 12 months later to purchase a gift from his wife to him.

I hate gift cards. Cash is just as bad. I will never give a gift card even to someone I don't know that well.

Sorry to rant. Merry Christmas!

SuperMOM said...

Couldn't have put it better myself!

We love to MAKE Christmas gifts for each person because i am a crafty person. but some people are harder to MAKE for than others!!

I nominated you for the stylish blogger award :)

East9thStreet said...

I hate giving but love receiving gift cards. How is that for being a hypocrit? Even with the most difficult person I can usually find something for them. Take for example my in-laws. They have everything they want and need or could buy it without the bat of an eyelash. Yes, they love receiving pictures of my daughter but the same gift every year for Christmas shows a lack of creativy on my part. So this year we bought them vinyl from Uppercase Living that stated "Family is believing in one another." Totally cheapo gift on our part (under $40) but meant the world to them because of the sentiment. All it took was a little thought about what is important to them.

Following you through MBC and glad I am as I love to hear all points of view! Appreciate of the follow back at and tell me what you think of my post:

parenting ad absurdum said...

Honestly - I love gift cards. It's so hard for someone to get just the right thing, no matter how hard they try...and gift cards never make me feel less than loved. Seriously, I love shopping, so anything that enables that works for me :). following you from mbc. Gorgeous and comfy blog, missy!!

Wicked Wicker - Customized Gift Baskets said...

New follower from MBC :)

differentbreed said...

Following you from Bloggy Moms!

I love gift cards. I get to spend it on what I want! And when the kiddos get them, I am assured there will be no duplicate toys I have to worry about returning.

By the way, I named my second daughter Braeleigh and we call her Brae. Is your name short for anything? Just curious :)

Ry @

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