I really love gift cards.
They’re an easy way to gift friends and family, but they also provide the insurance that you can give a thoughtful and reliable gift to people you don’t know really well but want to gift.
A few months ago DH visited a series of restaurants to purchase a gift card for one of his employees. We were surprised to learn that at restaurant after restaurant gift cards don’t exist here.
People asked, “Let me get this straight. You want to give us money and leave. Then, you want your friend to come back here and eat without you? What if their meal cost more than your “gift”? Then what will you do?”
The entire concept was revolutionary.
In the end, the restaurant wrote a letter for us to give to the recipient, stating that we had “given” the restaurant money and that the recipient was responsible for any overages.
My friend and I revisited this same exercise last week as we attempted to purchase a gift card for our children’s teacher. Once again, we received a letter not a card to give to the recipient.
To date, I’ve only seen gift cards (we’re not counting Best Buy and their faulty Sony Play Station cards) at a few places: Woolworth’s, Starbucks and the fancy grocery store, City Market.
I went to Woolworth’s and bought gift cards for the bus driver and bus nanny.
I went to Starbucks and bought a few teachers and office staff gift cards.
And, I’m happy to know that City Market has gift cards.
At Starbucks, you can go in and pick up blank gift cards. Each time I went to Starbucks to purchase another gift card the cashier (without fail) asked me, “You mean you want to put some money on this card? You want to activate it for someone else? Ok.”
I’ll have to be careful who I give gift cards to because they haven’t exactly been invented yet –at least not in the same way that they exist in the US.