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7 ways to up your gift-giving game

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(BPT) - Have you ever received a bad gift? Maybe Aunt Debbie gave you a bag of expired candy or your sibling gifted you a restaurant coupon. Perhaps your co-worker baked you peanut butter cookies and forgot you’re allergic to peanuts or your boss gave you a lovely scotch, but you don’t drink alcohol.

If you’ve ever had this happen to you, you might be a bit nervous about committing the same gift giving faux pas. Luckily, you don’t have to run the risk of gifting your loved ones something they won’t use or that will make them break out in hives. Gift cards are a great way to celebrate friends and family without the risks of getting it wrong.

Gift cards offer availability, flexibility and convenience all in one because they’re almost always in stock, can be purchased online, and recipients get to decide what to buy with the gift cards. They’re also a more thoughtful alternative to gifting cash because you can choose from a variety of options tailored to the recipient.

For example, Giftcards.com’s Choice Gift Cards can be used to purchase items from up to seven stores or restaurants pictured on the card. For the fashionista in your life, the Retail Therapy card gives them the chance to pick out the perfect outfit or cosmetics from one of their favorite brands. For the avid gamer, the Game and Grub card keeps them fueled with food and credits while playing their latest gaming purchase. And for the person who’s always hardest to shop for, the Happy Holidays card offers a variety of options from retail, dining and entertainment — there’s something for everyone.

Make gift-giving fun

Once you pick a gift card, take your gift-giving game up a notch with the ideas below to make your gift extra-special.

  1. Get a cookbook, turn to a recipe you know they’ll love and bookmark it with the gift card that complements it — like a gift card to an Italian restaurant with a recipe for breadsticks. They’ll think of you every time they prepare that special dish!
  2. Buy a board game and strategically place a gaming gift card among the game pieces for a gift that will earn you bonus points.
  3. Feeling crafty? Create a gift card holder personalized for your recipient! If you need a little inspiration, there are hundreds of free printable gift card holders available online.
  4. Need something clever for a white elephant gift? Find an old video game, DVD or CD case and place a media-themed gift card inside. Wouldn’t it be fun to find a streaming gift card inside of that old DVD case?
  5. Hang mini stockings on the tree and hide gift cards and other small items in each stocking to be discovered on Christmas — simple and festive!
  6. Gift holiday pajamas with a chest pocket and slip a breakfast-themed gift card inside for a Christmas morning surprise.
  7. Can’t be there to present your gift in person this year? Send your gift card digitally! Sites like GiftCards.com allow you to add a photo or video greeting and a personal message to be delivered with your egift purchase. Include a sentimental photo of you and the recipient from holidays past, or record yourself wishing them Happy Holidays to give your gift a personal touch.

Eliminate the worry of gifts gone wrong and elevate your gift giving this holiday season with gift cards like the Choice Gift Cards, available online or at retailers nationwide from up to seven stores or restaurants featured on the card. The cards never expire and there are no fees to worry about either. Enjoy a more personal gift of choice.

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