Gift cards seem like a great way to make your dad happy on Father’s Day, but the $44 billion in unused cards indicates this isn’t always the best present. It can also send an inadvertent message that you couldn’t be bothered to go out and get a real gift. This doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea altogether, though. In my experience, a little extra thought is all it takes to make a gift card into both a practical and considerate gift.
The Bonus Perk
Some dads are never going to appreciate a gift card as their whole present. But when you’ve got one great gift idea that still doesn’t seem quite enough on its own, a gift card is a great bonus. So before he unwraps that awesome cordless drill, he discovers the perk of an Amazon or Starbucks gift card tucked into his Father’s Day card.
Consider a card from a place he frequents regularly, even if it’s just for the basics. Not having to pay for gas or coffee for a week isn’t flashy, but he’ll think fondly of you when he doesn’t have to dig for cash or add these expenses to his credit card again. The Street has some ideas for cards that are practical and don’t have fees or complications.
Every dad has something he would love to buy but can’t bring himself to spend the money. This can be small stuff like over-priced bakery pastries all the way to bigger stuff like accessories for his vintage muscle car. The way to put some thought into your gift card is to choose a place you know he’d love to spend money–if only it wasn’t his money. Always make sure it’s specific to his tastes. Don’t waste money on a pricey winery gift card if he’s really a microbrewery kind of guy.
In this case, you can make this card the whole gift, because the larger the chunk of money he gets to contribute to his favorite hobby, the happier he’ll be. Be sure to choose something within your own budget, too, however. Giving a $25 card to a store where the smallest item is $1000 won’t be helpful at all.
Complete the presentation with the store’s latest brochure or catalog. This way he can spend time at his Father’s Day barbecue excitedly looking through his options, and showing everyone the cool stuff he’s going to buy.
What’s more impressive than a gift card? Two or more gift cards that go together, of course. Buy your father gift cards for a round of golf, dinner at his favorite nearby steakhouse, and for an evening movie. This provides the perfect motivation to use the cards–it’s a whole day of entertainment without him having to spend any money.
For added thoughtfulness, add yourself to that special day. Dad loves fishing? Invite him to spend the day at one of the huge Bass Pro Shops. Give him a gift card and help him choose what to spend it on, then buy him dinner at the in-store restaurant. Combining a gift card with your company is the perfect Father’s Day present; it’s a fun shopping spree as well as a time to bond with you.
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How to Handle Family Drama During the Holidays
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