Sunday, April 15, 2018

Appreciation Gifts


Yesterday in may frugal recap, I listed a wide variety of assorted gift cards we have. Many are the same ones I've recapped before, and we just never have used them yet. We may or may not use in April or June either, but periodically, important to see what  might be in the house.  DD2 needs to do this.  She has a drawer full from Target, Dairy Queen, I-tunes, Amazon etc., just to know what is there, though she currently needs or wants nothing.  The DQ would be good to keep in her wallet for a pick me up-when the weather turns nice. I'm frustrated with myself as I cannot find where I put two different Caribou cards, each worth $10.  These were actually gifts for someone else, not given because there ended up being a pooled gift. I kept in the gift area as they should come in handy as a last minute gift if needed.

My forgetfulness is not the point of this post though. Well, maybe it is. In thinking about all the gift cards we have, many were thank you's. DH helped a neighbor once with a hefty problem and they gave him some MCD's. I received coffee cards for volunteer work. Restaurant cards were for coaching and so on. Gift cards are  a nice token of appreciation, a treat to show the efforts given were appreciated. Still, in needing to periodically inventory, and with the missing two cards, I realized that unless used pretty quickly, it is to misplace and never use a gift card. Sure, they are convenient and if you know the person likes a place but is not often going to treat themselves, much appreciated. But I wonder if there are other things equally appreciated that won't result in being part of the $1 billion dollars in gift cards that go unused each year.

Candy and flowers aside, the first alternative that comes to mind is  taking the person out for coffee, a meal, or a movie. You could also for a friend or neighbor, drop off a meal or baked goods. We've had a heck of a winter, I know rambling again, but several times neighbors have  dropped over as me or DD2 are trying to clear the end of our driveway, the one where the plow seems to pile it three feet high and wide, but leaving the rest of the driveway ends clear. I intend to drop off a few loaves of banana bread the next marathon baking day I have. Of course for people like coaches or teachers, that might be a bit odd. What about tickets for a specific event? You'd have to connect with them to see if they were open and interested, but if so, you could be sure the gift would not go to waste. I wish I would have thought about this idea earlier in the week and could have seen if either of DD2's choir teachers wanted to go to the Jazz night, though the weather made everything be cancelled. There are future community events I will try to keep in mind.  

The little plate in the picture? My niece gave me and my sister-in-law one for throwing her a bridal shower. Do you have any ideas or go to thank you's to show appreciation for people that go out of their way to help you or your family? Are you a baker or gardener, sharing your bounty in appreciation? Of course there is always the tried and true heart felt personally penned thank you note. A person can't go wrong with that. 

18 comments:

  1. I do not like giving gift cards for presents even though that seems to be a HUGE trend. I service the gift cards at the store where I work, I honestly cannot believe how many sell during the holidays. I'm old fashioned and the idea of giving someone a well thought out wrapped gift seems to rank high in importance for me.

    However, we haven't the problem of inventorying or losing gifts cards in our house. We use them almost instantly when we get them. I think we usually receive them from close family members though and the gift cards are always to places that we highly enjoy so it's easy to use them up almost instantly.

    I do like the idea of gift cards as thank-you's though. I guess just because it isn't a normal occasion to give a gift but it's a nice thank-you. Your post has very diligently reminded me that we need to do something for our kind neighbor who always snow blows that horrid 3 foot tall heavy snow packed plow pile at the end of our driveway, all winter long. He's fantastic and a much deserved thank-you is in order. thanks for the reminder!

    Sorry I didn't actually join in the conversation. I can't think of good alternatives for thank-you gifts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We think, how lovely-that will be good for ... and then tuck the away. I too like th eidea of a meaningful and heart felt thank you.

      Delete
  2. I use gift cards ALL THE TIME....I figure this way they can get exactly what they want and not have to deal with returning anything...even though I put a LOT of thought into gifts and make a lOT of them.

    I also keep $5 Starbucks gift cards in my wallet all the time if there is someone who gives exceptional service, is having a bad day, whatever, I'll just pull out one of the gift cards and it automatically makes someone's day better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your Starbucks idea is quite nice. A pick me up on a bad day would be really apprecaited, though not expected, which makes it even nicer.

      Delete
  3. I usually give a jar of homemade jam (blackberry) or liquor. As liquor is expensive in Canada that is generally reserved for a bigger thank you as you can't really buy anything cheaply. I have given movie gift cards to the neighbor kid who shoveled our driveway of snow when we were away. My best friends x husband (they are still good friends) helped us install a ceiling fan at Mom's after hubby and I failed to be able to finish it after several hours. He was a navy electrician and only wanted cabernet sauvingnon so that is what he got :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should really make extra jam for that reason. I have given wine-often for hostess/host thank you's. Noive cards for pet sitters/walkers.sow shovelers are a good thank you.

      Delete
  4. I think your last idea is one of the rarest and most appreciated. A hand penned thank-you note is one of the things I really appreciate. I know that any people write very few letters and I appreciate the thought and effort which goes into those few lines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someday I might decide to get crafty as I love the hoemade caards. They truly refelct that the giver is appreciative.

      Delete
  5. I am more like Cheapchick, I generally give a bottle of wine with a hand penned note of appreciation as a thank you. If I know they like something specifically though I will give that as a thank you. One friend loves my peanut butter fudge so that is my go to thank you gift for her, and another loves homemade yeast breads so that is what she always gets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hoemade candy is much more thoughtful than picking up a generic box-great idea. Wine, no need to say more.

      Delete
  6. When I help somebody out, I never expect anything more than a spoken thank you. I wasn't hired. I offered, or agreed to help I have a friend who sews, and has done a lot of alteration for us, particularly eldest DS. She refuses to accept payment, because then she says it's become a job. We always send a handwritten, handmade card of thanks. The last time she completed a project for him, DS came to the supermarket with me, and, knowing she likes to experiment in the kitchen, put several interesting ingredients in the cart, and made up a gift basket for her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree-most help comes fomr just a place of good, no expectations at all. Still, when aboe and beyond nice neighborhlyness, making sure the giver knows it was appreciated makes me feel good. I love the gift for your altratiosn friend. No doubt her generous nature had her sharing the bounty with others.

      Delete
  7. I too like food and company as the best reward for saying thank you.
    Hand written thank you notes are never going to go out of style.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Food and company is a nice place to really show appreciation.

      Delete
  8. When my son was in middle school, he wanted me to make pumpkin bread for his teachers. Now, he had six teachers, one student teacher and three coaches.

    I was not going to buy anything for them. I really hated NOT giving them all hot pumpkin bread. So, I got up two hours early and mixed up the ingredients I had measured out the night before and made three loaves. Before we had to leave for school, I made another three. I had to wait in the car while he delivered hot bread and came back for the rest.

    I rushed home and baked two more batches before noon and got another four loaves to school, taking another for the secretary. People sought me out, exclaiming over the hot pumpkin bread.

    The teachers were talking about it for a year. I could not have given them a gift card or gift that would have been more appreciated.

    That night, my daughter in elementary school decided she wanted the same thing for her teachers after she heard from brother how much the teachers thanked him all day long. Thankfully, she only had two teachers.

    I don't think baked goods or canned jelly or jam is ever going out of style.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow-that was an awesome show of appreciation. I received two sets , three and four for a total of 7 mini loaf pans, and while not the same as a big loaf, more practical for multiple gifts.

      Delete
  9. We keep all of our gift cards in a magnetic basket on the fridge. Right now we could go out several times but I am too busy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We didn't go out at all last weekend due to the snow. Maybe we'll use one of the gift cards Firday night for a pizza. I did use $3.23 on a good cup of coffee this morning. It was a nice treat.

      Delete

Join the conversation. Your respectful comments are welcome. Spam and advertising products or services without permission will be deleted, as will anything deemed hurtful to others. A change, I moderate comments older than three days to be sure I read them all and stay ahead of the spam. If you're a blogger, feel free to include your blog URL.