Gift Cards: The Funny Hidden Messages Behind Giving and Receiving Gift Cards

by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach on December 19, 2011

in Family Finances


In the final days before Christmas, a lot of people will be buying gift cards for relatives, friends and co-workers.

In fact, Americans will plunk down $28 billion for gifts cards over the holidays, with the average shopper spending $155 on gift cards, according to the National Retail Federation.

Since gift cards are the single-most popular holiday gift, I asked my husband, Earl, what he thought I should write about gifts cards.

In classic Earl fashion, my funny and wonderful husband came up the following:

7 Things You Are Really Saying When You Give A Gift Card

1. I have no idea what you want or like – so here, take this gift card and go get it yourself.

2. I am way too busy to find a gift for you online or in a store, so here.

3. I know you really need the money, but giving money is tacky, so here.

4. I was buying food in the supermarket and thought I would knock out a quick somethin’, somethin’ for you, so here.

5. Now I don’t feel guilty about not giving you anything, so here.

6. $25 bucks is more than enough to spend on your (fill in the blank) behind, so here.

7. This gift card really has no value, but by the time you find out I will have broken off our relationship, so there!

What do you think? Is Earl right? And what other funny or “hidden” messages do you think someone is conveying when they give a gift card? Sound off on this topic.

By the way, even if you don’t see the humor in this subject, you have to at least acknowledge that many retailers are probably laughing all the way to the bank when it comes to gift cards.

After all, recipients of gift cards simply don’t use them as much as you’d think.

Last year alone, there was $8 billion just sitting on gift cards that went unused, according to Consumer Reports. And Plastic Jungle, which buys and sells gift cards, estimates that there’s a total of $30 billion sitting on unredeemed gift cards.

From the consumer’s perspective, all that wasted money is nothing to chuckle about.

 

 

This Article Answered The Following Money Questions:

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  • what to say on a gift card
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  • what to say when giving a gift card
  • Something clever to say when giving money as a gift
  • what to say when giving a gift

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