Gift Cards and Certificates for Christmas

Friday, November 30th, 2018
gift cards for the holidays

Gift cards as gifts are a controversial topic. Some say they are the best gift because the receiver can buy exactly what they want with them. Others say they are impersonal and require no thought. After much reading on the topic and running our own polls, this is what we discovered.

Gift Cards MIGHT be the perfect gift.

The accumulation of data suggests that if you put thought into the gift cards you are buying and are sure they are to places that the end user will appreciate, then they absolutely are a well- received gift. On the other hand, if you buy a steakhouse restaurant gift certificate for a vegetarian or a spa gift card to a spa that’s not available in their area, that’s almost worse than no gift at all.

There are many people that gift cards/certificates could be appropriate for. Small children are not one of them. They want to unwrap boxes…the more, the merrier!


Teenagers love getting gift cards, but they need to be to places they like to shop, so you need to know what the kid is into. If they are into video games, then a gift card to Game Stop or Best Buy might be appropriate, or if they love shopping then a gift card to H&M, Hollister or American Eagle may be appreciated. But again, it’s best to know where they like to shop before you make that purchase, because sizes and accessibility may be a challenge.

Tight Wallet:

If you know someone is in a tight spot financially and don’t want to just give cash, consider gift cards for groceries, gas or pharmacies. You might just make someone’s Christmas when they can go to the store and buy the turkey with all the trimmings that they thought they would have to do without. A night out might also be a good option for someone in this situation, with gift certificates to dinner and a movie. You’ll need to make sure you are getting them to stores, restaurants and theaters in their area though, so make sure you do your homework.


If you know someone is working toward a goal, such as a vacation, or buying new appliances, gift cards to apply toward that goal would also be appreciated. If it’s a vacation, you’ll need to know more about their plans, but they could be for a hotel brand, airline or even a cruise ship. For appliances or someone that purchased a home, gift cards to Lowes and/or Home Depot go a long way!


If you don’t know someone very well, but you still want to show your appreciation, such as a coworker or your child’s teacher, a small gift card of $10 – $20 to a coffee or bagel shop that they can pop into on their way to work or on a relaxing weekend morning, would be a good solution.

Loved Ones:

Now, if it is someone that is important in your life, but is hard to buy for or has everything they need, this is another great person to buy gift cards for. You are really going to have to put your thinking cap on here though. Maybe you know your dad loves his whiskey and a good cigar, but you have no idea what brands to buy, a gift certificate to a high-end liquor store in his area might just do the trick. Or you know your mother-in-law loves to read, but you don’t know what titles to buy her, then a gift certificate to Barns and Noble or Amazon would be a good option. Or maybe it’s for someone that you want to spend some time with, gift certificates for travel or an activity that you can do together would be ideal.

Make it Special:

Now that you have the gift card, how do you present it? Just handing it to someone, really isn’t going to do the trick. Put it in a box and wrap it up. Include a note that explains why you chose the gift cards you did. At minimum, put it in a card with a note.

Benefits of Gift Cards:

Discounts don’t affect the value. There are no return worries. There is something for everyone. You CAN make it special. They are quick and easy to purchase, though you do need to make sure they are coming from a reliable source and from a financially sound company. There is nothing worse than receiving a gift card you can’t redeem. And if the receiver really wants something else, they can exchange it or redeem it for cash on sites like or

In Summary, Gift Cards/Certificates can be great gifts, but you need to put some thought into it. You need to understand your audience, know what they like and make it special. If you have someone on your list that likes pistachios, wine and/or sweet treats, a Heart of the Desert Gift Certificate would certainly be pleasing to receive.

Cheers to easy holiday shopping and minimal shipping costs!

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.