On the cards

Today 3 May I am wrapping a gift card. Now Mum….before you say that gift cards really are a lazy impersonal option whose giving sends the strong message you have invested little time, thought or manners on the recipient… let me say that gift cards have come of age. Yes, you do know exactly how much has been spent, but at least you get to decide how to spend it. Gift cards are a totally acceptable gifting option, provided they are presented with some thought.

Gift cards bridge the divide between giving money (a shade too tacky) and giving a gift, especially if the card is from a store that is a favourite of the recipient. And they are popular too. A recent study in the US found gift cards were the most requested gift item at Christmas last year for the 9th year in a row. The survey went on to reveal that a majority of consumers would like to receive  gift cards instead of physical gifts but many feel guilty admitting they want to receive them. Guilty because they don’t like asking for things, it feels awfully like asking for money and it doesn’t feel personal enough.

But shelve that guilt, because the same survey shows that gift givers like gift cards because it makes shopping easier and they feel assured it will go towards a desired purchase. Gift givers are also drawn to the fact they can set a budget with gift cards and stick to it.

Mum you will be pleased to know that clever retailers are offering cards with photos, videos and special messages which go a long way towards changing the perception of gift cards as impersonal gifts. And of course the personalisation can come through in the wrapping too.

My favourite way to wrap a gift card is using a handmade envelope made from fabulous paper (a great way to use paper remnants by the way). Cut to a rectangle that’s length is about three times its width. With the pattern side face down, bring the top two corners to the centre so it looks a bit like a house. Fold the piece of paper below the triangular roof  in half to create an envelope shape and affix sides with double sided tape. Bingo….the perfect package for a gift card that you can then embellish as much as your heart desires.  PS Mum…can I have a gift card for my birthday?

Gift card back view

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