Gift Cards - Personal or Impersonal?

The constant debate around gift cards…  are they personal (allowing the recipient to choose the perfect gift for themselves) or impersonal (an envelope with a piece of plastic is so easily forgotten)?!

A few thoughts around how you can make gift cards a bit more personal this holiday season:

– Attach a creative card that lists a few suggestions of what you’d like to see them buy with the gift card. Even consider adding some photos or magazine clippings!  Help them move beyond the plastic and easily visualize the actual item you’re essentially buying for them.  So if you are giving $ toward J.Crew, write on the card “For some cableknit gloves or a cashmere sweater!” …the power of suggestion!

– Wrap the gift card in a box, and make the outer wrappings unique to that individual.  If the person is outdoorsy, use natural materials for the wrapping.  If they are southern preppy, use pink and green polka dot ribbon, etc.  Make the wrapping specific to the personality, leaving a halo effect on the gift itself.

– Add a homemade little something extra to the gift card.  If the gift card is for gas or car wash for example, add a homemade CD compilation that’s great for driving/road trips.  If the gift card is for a department store, add a nicely decorated envelope (think sequins, buttons, other fun add-ons) to store receipts in throughout the year so they’re kept safe in case needed for returns!

– Help them understand why you selected that particular store for a gift card.  Detail out adjectives that are unique to that store and their personality.  Relay an anecdote or memory that made you know they enjoy that store, etc.  (“I remember last year when you wore a white angora sweater that I adored, and you told me you bought it from Saks.  Well, use this in the best of health to buy something else special that you’ll look fabulous in!”)