What Should I Spend A $200 Gift Card On?

I love gift cards because they represent so much potential. What would you buy?

Jul 17, 2013 at 6:00pm | Leave a comment

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I usually manage to look like someone who can make a simple decision, right?

Gift cards -- while they have this rep for being an impersonal choice when it's time to choose presents, I love the shit out of them. Mostly because they represent so much potential -- and, OK, also because I don't have to be afraid that someone is going to try to gift me with exercise equipment or clothes that are too small. (I know Lesley has written about this gift phenomenon before but hell if I can find it.)

I like to save the gift cards that I am lucky enough to receive -- in truth, I hoard them like Smaug on his big old pile of gold. And, much as Smaug who knew when Bilbo burgled him (I'd say that sounds dirty but there's already fanfic about that), I keep obsessive track of my little stash. 

It's stress relief in some ways. It's knowing that if I am ever totally broke and I need or want something, I still have the ability to access it. It's totally a stress reaction and I will cop to it all day long -- but I also hold on to gift cards because, while I love the endless possibility the symbolize, I can never just pick a damn thing and buy it.

Visa gift cards (and other credit card logo cards) charge a monthly fee that will eat away at your balance after a year, but most store gift cards will just hold an indefinite balance. 

Maybe that's a little like saving your best dress for special occasions and then never having anywhere to wear it. Which always seems a shame when you love something so much.

All of which leads me to: I have this $200 gift card to Amazon.com right now. It was a super thoughtful gift, for which I am massively appreciative. But I literally have no idea what to buy -- there are so many options!

I tell you what, fantasy shopping is a lot easier when I don't have to make an actual decision about what to purchase!

Claire has suggested this ridiculous mad scientist coffee making thingie. It looks like sculpture.

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There's probably magic involved in this machine.

I don't even DRINK coffee, unfortunately.

Alison is on Team Shoes. I have zero surprise about this.

So, in the best xoTradition, I am crowdsourcing this a little bit. What would YOU buy? 

In fact, are you the type to spend your gift cards immediately or do you curl up around them and pet them in the night, whispering about how precious they are? 

Not that I would do that. Cough. Ahem.

Or, you know, tell me how your day is going and how capitalism is the root of all unhappiness (it probably is). It's your open thread!