I learned in the 10th grade that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Holiday shopping is no different. Sometimes you just can’t think of the perfect gift. Sometimes people are really hard to shop for. And let’s be honest, sometimes you just plain run out of time.
Enter, the gift card.
Now, we all know gift cards have gotten a bad rap, but that’s probably mostly because people assume there’s not as much thought in picking out a gift card as there would be with a gift. But as I was rounding up my great gift cards ideas, I realized there are plenty of options out there that still show you know the recipient well while also incorporating an element of surprise.
So without further ado, these are my top picks if you’re looking at getting into the gift card game this holiday season:
1. Poppin—My coworkers know me so well, and gave me a gift card here for my birthday. It’s no secret I love office supplies and journals, and this site really speaks to my OCD personality as everything is organized by color. (I went for the gold + white combo!) As an added bonus, everything is super affordable so you can really stretch your dollar.
2. Inkspot Workshop—One of most thoughtful gifts I received for my birthday was custom “A Touch of Teal” foil print from my friend Emma. She ordered it through Inkspot Workshop, which does custom design pieces and has an array of ready-to-order cards, calendars, matchbooks (!), and more.
3. Go Ape!—I recently discovered Go Ape!, and their treetop zip line course would be perfect for the outdoor lover on your list. These forest adventures are the penultimate experience for any special day, whether it be a memorable day out with your best friends (I’m going with my sisters soon!) or a team building event at work. They also would make a great stocking stuffer!
4. Birchbox—What better than the gift that keeps on giving? Each month, they’ll receive a box of sample sizes of beauty and lifestyle products (For my review, click here). Even if you just want to give them one or two months, simply sign up and then cancel it when you’re ready.
5. Local Cupcake Shop—What better way to spoil someone than to give them a gift card to their favorite local cupcake shop? You’ll help them perk up a random Tuesday when they need a little treat. (For those in the DC area, my recommendation is Cupcakes Actually in Fairfax Corner.)
6. Cooking Class—For your foodie friend, a cooking class would be the perfect gift card allowing them to take a class at their convenience on you. Bonus points if you find one where wine is involved.
7. Dogeared—Dogeared makes some of my necklaces, and they make great gift. Not to mention, each of their pieces comes with a card explaining their meaning allowing you to tailor your gift even more to your recipient.
8. Favorite Lunch Place—My lunch vice is $10 salads from sweetgreen, and I love when I get gift cards there or other favorite lunch spots. Pick up lunch (or a few!) for your friend or family member, and you’ll be sure to make their day.