I won't give a gift card

So I haven't gotten much knitting done lately as studies have kept me rather busy, but I am looking forward to the Christmas break to remedy that. However, a couple of weeks ago I drew a friar's name for our gift exchange, and all he wants is a what he asks for every year: a Barnes & Nobles gift card. I hate giving gift cards! It's far too impersonal.
Well, just before Thanksgiving break one of the student friars told me that Fr. Camillus already has a whole stack of the cards! All the more reason not to get him one. That friar suggested I knit him something. At first I said no because it takes me much too long to knit, but then I realized I still had some yarn left over from which I made a beanie cap (crude as it may have been)over the summer. That hat only took about four days to make sitting on my rump in front of the television, so I thought 'well maybe I can get it done by the 13th of December.' So wish me luck as I pursue this endeavor. But tell me, should I give him a gift card with it... as it's what he wants anyway, or what do you think?


Good luck. I am sure you will make it.

I vote for the gift card too.

KjoyPsorrow's picture

Yeah, you're right about the gift card. After all, it's what he wants anyway. I should probably keep my own soapbox against gift cards out of this.

YugiDean's picture

I would include the gift card with the hat. I don't find gift cards to be all that creative, so I'm not a huge fan of dolling them out. I'll admit I'm guilty of asking for them, though. I don't find it impersonal if the person has actually requested a gift card and given you the name(s) of store(s) they want the gift card from. If they just say, "Oh, just get me a gift card or some money," then I decline and try to come up with something else.

In my case, I've been saving up for a laptop and have asked for Apple gift cards for Christmas last year, my birthday and Christmas this year as well. I was probably more excited for those cards than I was for the random knick-knack or trinket that accompanied them because I knew it was one step closer to a goal I've been shooting for for quite some time.

Basically, if it's what the person is really really wanting, then I don't have a problem with it. If it's the default go-to (as it sounds like it is in this guy's case), then I feel a little uneasy with it. Nevertheless, if your hat is not to his taste (we've all been THERE before), or if he's not big on hats in general, then he'll have his traditional Borders card to go along with it.

And maybe your hat will snap him out of his routine. LOL

"Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread." --Richard Wright


Mnjack's picture

Giving a gift card depends on who the receiver is. My oldest daughter & husband need nor want anything. I always end up giving them a gift card to their favorite restaurant. They are too far away for me to take them out and they always seem to enjoy going. I do feel gift cards are not personal but some times they do work. Good luck with your choice.

scottly's picture

Being the consumate shopper I love getting gift cards, I don't find them impersonal especially the ones for Trader Joe's. lol

YarnGuy716's picture

Did you ever get one of those gifts that you wondered what the person was thinking about? That's what happens when someone decides that your requested gift list is too boring. So I am very big on giving people what they ask for, well as long as it is in reason.

As a knitter I also think a beanie is a great gift, as long as the recipient likes to wear hats. Anyone I have given one to either was someone who I know wears hats in cold weather, which is kind of a given here in Buffalo, or has commented on how much they like a hat that I've made.

As for his collection of gift cards... he could be saving up for a big purchase, possibly. So I would go with the gift card and if you feel the beanie would be well received include that as well.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

As much as I hate to give gift cards, I think the general wisdom is to go for it since it is something Fr. Camillus requested. The idea of adding a hat is very thoughtful, though, and I commend you for it. I have a group of friends who do White Elephant gift exchange every year. The first year I participated, not knowing any better, I put in a card saying the person could have a pair of made to measure mittens handknit by myself. Well, by the time everyone else saw those mittens (some several weeks later) they were all saying they hoped I'd do it again. Now, often times, I include a few handknit items in the gift anyhow. Usually dish cloths. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.