Real gifts shouldn’t be replaced by gift cards Real gifts shouldn’t be replaced by gift cards
BY ALEXANDRA SANSONE With the holiday season fast approaching and the list of people buying gifts ever growing, it is tempting to simplify things... Real gifts shouldn’t be replaced by gift cards

BY ALEXANDRA SANSONE

With the holiday season fast approaching and the list of people buying gifts ever growing, it is tempting to simplify things and just purchase mass amounts of giftcards to end all the stress. It can be nearly impossible to find the perfect gift for each person, especially on a budget. However, it is extremely important to greet companions with something the giver took part in.

Providing loved ones with real gifts that have been chosen with affection, shows the recipient that the gift means something. Even if on a budget, it doesn’t take much to create a gift with the things lying around the house.

Chances are that it will be more appreciated if the givers were invested in the gift giving process. When one purchases or devises a gift of their own, it adds to the moment. “Being able to see the tangible evidence of hard work and genuine thought in your gift just to make you happy and make you feel special is really worthwhile” sophomore Carla Luna said “ You get to relive a happy memory you share with someone special.”

Purchasing an actual gift for someone allows them to open it. This may seem insignificant and silly, yet many people enjoy actually getting to open up the gift they are receiving. “Opening an actual gift has a feeling of excitement and happiness.” Sophomore Julia Safrin said. “It’s pure bliss ripping through gift wrapping or tissue paper.”

Take Christmas, for example: part of the fun is watching the presents under the tree grow in number, not knowing what is hidden beneath the wrapping paper. The anticipation is surely one of the best parts of the holiday. “Opening actual gifts, like in the movies, is just the cherry on top of the Christmas experience” Safrin said.

Not to mention that giving real gifts allows for the recipient to do one of three things: keep it, sell it or regift it. It can be used multiple ways, the recipient can use the actual gift, use the money spent on that gift by selling or returning it, or use it when they themselves run out of gift ideas.

Giving a gift card restricts where one can shop- depending on the card given – lots of times people don’t have the credit with them when they want to use it for a purchase. This leads to the card being used to purchase something that is often never used and eventually thrown out.

Additionally, the cards that aren’t tethered to a single store generally come with fees at time of purchase and need to be registered online to be used. Some major name brand cards must be used entirely at once, or one runs the risk of having to spend the exact balance on the card in order to access the funds. This can be extremely annoying, since it is difficult to spend an amount, say $18.13, to the penny on any transaction. This can leave certain card owners with multiple cards with varying balances sitting in their wallets.

Giving gifts can be pleasant if thought out carefully. Just remember that givers should put in the amount of effort they would want someone else putting into giving something to them. So get ready to hit up Pinterest pages for ideas, because the list of gifts to buy just got longer.

Featured image by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images