Gift cards are *not* thoughtless
I sometimes have a hard time knowing what to buy someone. Mostly because, I think, some people are really, really hard to buy for, not because I'm thoughtless or incapable of coming up with ideas for gifts, or anything.
Take my mom, for instance. She has hated almost every single gift I've ever given her. Jewelry? Nope. We have different taste and apparently - I don't know hers. Pajamas? Nope. How unoriginal when I've already exhausted that route. Books? Nah. I've tried to give her a Kindle, but she didn't really like the idea, so she made me return it.
So, I've taken to giving her gift certificates/cards. And, some people say that gift cards are a cop-out and thoughtless, but I say NO THEY ARE NOT. They are golden, especially when the person giving you a gift card knows what you like. For me? Starbucks, Sephora, day spas, Marshalls...YES. Know someone who's doing home improvements? Home Depot GC it up.
Who doesn't love free money?
Speaking of gift cards, I was looking at Gilt.com last night, and saw that for "just" $450, you can get a rose gold-plated Starbucks Rewards gift card pre-loaded with $400, and of course also the standard Starbucks rewards (free item after 12 drinks purchased and a birthday item, etc).
Imagine? That's like, a little more than 40 trips to Starbucks, and each time you hand that pretty card over to the barista, they probably bow down to you or something. And then make fun of you behind your back when you leave. Too bad you can't get it, though. IT HAS SOLD OUT.
Sorry, Charlie - no golden ticket for you.
But seriously, don't listen to people who say gift cards aren't good gifts. That ugly sweater you bought for a gift can be returned...sometimes for a gift card you should have gotten in the first place.