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Gift Cards: Yes or No?

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TD Bank has rolled out the results of their holiday shopping survey and found out who is giving a gift card and who actually wants to get one. 

The survey says people plan on spending close to $700 on gifts this holiday season and two thirds of us say that gift cards are on the list. According to TD Bank there are two reasons why: More people are on a tight budget this year and gift cards help us control our spending and gift cards also prevent the giver from striking out on buying somebody something they don’t like.

It’s a good idea in theory, but, here’s the problem: Only half of us say we want to get a gift card as a present. One in three said that they would like a non-store specific gift card (Visa, Mastercard or American Express) to help them pay for day to day purchases like gas, groceries and the like.

I think that gift cards are perfect for the hard to buy for person on your gift list, but, there are some creative alternatives to buying a gift card.

If they’re into arts and crafts, cooking, dancing or have another hobby that they may want to try? Pay for sculpting, painting or drawing classes. Cooking classes and dance lessons are always an option, too. That way, they can explore if they really like that particular hobby and they’re not out the money.

If they like movies or TV, you can pay their cable or satellite bill for a month or pay for their Netflix subscription for six months or a year. If they’re into reading, preorder some of the hottest new releases for them from their favorite book store or order them a subscription to a magazine.

Have stressed out parents on your gift list? Make a reservation for a local hotel, send them out on a date and volunteer to watch their kids for the night.

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