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Here’s why gift cards are going to save the holidays

Instant gift cards are the cure to 2020 holiday chaos.

Dec 3, 2020, 9:04 am*

The Daily Dot Bazaar

 

Marisa Losciale

It goes without saying that the holidays are going to be a bit different this year. Extended family gatherings and ugly sweater parties might not be on the schedule, and that’s tough, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the season merry.

While it’s important to remain grateful for our health, stability, and warm homes, it’s also important to spread some holiday cheer—and only cheer—without putting ourselves and others at risk. As if canceling Christmas and Hanukkah isn’t tumultuous enough, we’re now grappling with figuring out ways to safely exchange gifts. It’s finding the balance between spirit and caution that has us prematurely greying.
That said, the solution spans across generations, genders, and hobbies. While digital gifting has been around for quite some time, this year, it might be just what we need.

In defense of digital gifts: The perfect 2020 present

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Not everyone can afford to risk it and run to the store for groceries, let alone gifts. And there’s a lot to be considered this year—more so than usual. What happens if they don’t like the gift or if it doesn’t fit? Will they be able to return it? Plus, USPS has been inundated with packages and postage. If you’re mailing a physical gift, you have to secure it in a box, wait in line at the post office, and mail it well ahead of time. Not ideal for last-minute shoppers, unless you want to pay more for shipping than the actual cost of the gift! All of this makes for a very messy holiday season. 

Instead of worrying about finding the perfect gift and figuring out a way to ship it safely, consider a gift you can send digitally that’s a guaranteed success: gift cards

Yep. You read that right. You can actually purchase gift cards online and send them to whoever you want without the fear of missing the mark. I don’t know what may surprise you more: the fact that people actually want gift cards or that you can email them to your loved ones. Either way, people love gift cards and here’s why you should love gifting them. 

Gift cards: The most overlooked and underrated gift 

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Gift cards aren’t the present that’s saving the holidays just because we’re in a pandemic and they offer contactless gifting. No, gift cards have been pulling their weight for quite some time without as much as a pat on the back. The truth is, people LOVE getting gift cards. It translates to being able to buy whatever it is that they want. And it might just get someone suffering silently the things they actually need, which is definitely not another itchy sweater.

Gift cards promote joy the moment they’re received and then reprise that same emotion when it comes time to spend it. Why wouldn’t you want to give a gift that evokes nothing but pure delight?! 

Where to buy eGift cards that’ll revive your holiday spirit 

Major retailers sell digital gift cards through their respective websites. The only problem is that the recipient can only use those gift cards at one specific retailer. GiftCards.com is one of the only places where you can digitally send Visa, Mastercard, and all other types of gift cards. The site takes the stress out of holiday shopping by offering you a multitude of eGift options. It’s a gift card paradise, truly! 

Take the Giving Good gift card, for example. Unlike regular gift cards that only give money to the recipient, Giving Good gift cards also donate a percentage of the purchase price to a select non-profit (and the percent donated doesn’t come out of the recipient’s card). Normally, it’s a 3% bonus calculated off of the amount loaded onto the card, however for Giving Tuesday, GiftCards.com is donating 6%. Double the gifts, double the funds to charity.

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Currently, GiftCards.com offers multi-line gift certificates that benefit one of the five charities supported by the campaign. The selected non-profits include Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the Wounded Warrior Project. These gift cards can only be redeemed at the stores or restaurants listed on the card, so unless you want the proceeds to be donated to a specific organization, it’s worth checking out all your options before you buy. 

These gift cards never expire and there are no fees associated with using them. Additionally, before the gift card can be redeemed in-store, it must be activated online. So if your recipient isn’t computer-savvy, you may want to prepare yourself or someone else to set it up for them. (It only takes a minute!)

To make things even more personal, Giftcards.com lets you customize your digital card. You can choose to upload your own image or pick from many merry holiday themes and add a personal message. So forgo the additional gift tags or Christmas cards, because sending an eGift card fills two needs with one deed.

Our only tip for you is if you plan to purchase a physical gift card, don’t wait until the week before you need it. As 2020 continues to disrupt shipping and delivery estimates, it’s for your benefit that you place your order ASAP. That said, unless this gift is for someone without a computer or is a part of your quarantine pod, we recommend the eCard. It’s convenient, available up to the last minute, and keeps you free from any contact with people outside of your household. Remember the point of the holiday season is to spread love and blessings, not coronavirus. 

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*First Published: Dec 1, 2020, 6:00 am