Holiday gift giving just isnt what it used to be. Mostly because they have our cash hijacked once we spend it… Even if it is a gift!

itunes gift card

itunes gift card (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)


I was having a conversation tonight with a couple of friends about gifts and gift cards as well as exchanges and returns.  After about 5 minutes of discussing the gift card industry and things associated with it (Specifically a gift card i received for christmas early this year.  This was a gift card that came with a gift receipt.)   We started to realize that there was Zero, 0, Zilch. Non, Nada reason for one to be included with the card.

Then we started to realize that with the implementation of Gift Receipts, even if paid for with cash, one can ever only get store credit or an exchange.  With the gift receipt we can never prove that cash was spent on the item because they so graciously leave off form of payment so they can force you to contain the money within their company or store.

Once a gift card is purchased, the money has to go to the store.  You can not change your mind and get any kind of refund anymore.  People used to pay with checks and if you wanted to return something, and you paid by check, they would return to you cash.  Since checks are practically antiquated, the only way to get your money back is to have the original receipt and within that first 7 days, you can free your money in what ever form that you chose to pay with.

Then we started to think about how many BILLION$ and BILLION$ of dollar$ that are floating out there in our wallets, our pockets, the dumpster, the sidewalk, the cushions of the couch etc.  with a small remainder of credit on that very gift card that will NEVER be used.  Just think about the amount of money that is generated on that odd remainder!  That is technically our money still.  But it is already with the company so they really are making a double double double profit.  Profit from the initial gift card purchase and then the mark ups when spent on the items and then the unspent remainder.  All benefiting the company and the company alone.

I remember years back when we didnt like something that we got, we could go back with the tags in place within the seven days and we could get some money.  Nordstrom did this for MANY MANY years to many returners (and scammers) appreciation.

Now i think about how much money is going one way never to be able to come back if it is something we dont want these days.

Now I  can definitely see the benefit of these gift card trading (buy and sell) sites as well as places like ebay and amazon to be able to resell your brand new perfectly unused unwanted item to retrieve some cash said item.

All in all, they are fleecing us dry by the looks of it in a lot of ways, that are less obvious than higher interest rates and inflation.  There are the fees and the 1 way money flow… out of our pockets & into theirs.  It is pretty scandalous and we dont even see it or realize it happening or at least the bigger impact of what these policies truly mean for them stealing our money.

So on this year of gift giving… Do your loved ones a favor… Just give them CASH for godsake!  It is a different time than it used to be.  It is no longer seen as lazy or tacky to give cash.  It is only what we work our whole lives for!  Cash=freedom so you are actually giving them the feeling of freedom when cash is given!

People are not judged by how much they spend, but on what they spend. Give your loved one the right to chose where that hard earned money should be spent.  That way, A. the change stays with them and B. they will have a receipt showing that they paid cash incase they change their mind when they get home.  The bottom line is you are at least giving the windfall to the one you are giving to and not some financial corporation for them to take over the free world with!

Plus.. Cash is pretty!


Gift Wrapping: package #1

One of the things i have ALWAYS always gone out of my way to do, because i have always been drawn to it… is gift wrapping.  My gift may not always be the most expensive or the most exciting, but i promise that i always take a second to wrap it with style.  Sometimes this means making due with what you have, sometimes you chose to do something you have a vision of… but mostly it is making due with what is accessible, left over, or can get creative enough to make work.  But even when i worked in retail, i ALWAYS ended up wrapping everyone’s gifts.  It was fun.  It still is.

For this package, i wanted it to look pretty and kinda cool.  it is for my niece.  I had some boxes that i had received from MAC cosmetics so i used one of those, some tissue paper that i got for free from a local gift shop that i had asked for when i had bought something else earlier. (it is always a great idea to ask for a little bit of free tissue paper if you buy something in a gift store.  Tell them you plan on wrapping it at home and just want the tissue to wrap it in. You will love how you receive a very different variety of papers which can come in handy as it did here tonight!)

  • All you need is…
  • scissors
  • glue or glue stick
  • a piece of holiday paper to cover shipping label on box
  • transparent tape
  • decorative tissue paper
  • ribbons
  • bell

Lets begin ok?

Okay… first step…

the supplies you will need.

step 2... cover mailing label on box.

Step 3... Wrap box in beautiful paper or tissue paper like here.

Step 4... ribbon... where do i start!

…Just a little note about ribbon.  I highly recommend that you go to a fabric or craft store to get your ribbon.  Fabric ribbon really makes a package feel elegant and it is reusable.  You can get little spools of ribbon for (sometimes less) as much as you would pay for a yard of the displayed bolts.  There are always remainders or these like the spools above which are made to be sold in the spool for really cheap.  Some of those i paid a dollar for others $1.50.  They last for a long time and can be used for other applications as needed.   Well worth a $10 investment!  By the way, i have had these for at least 5 years and i am finally using the last of them up… they are fantastic to have on hand period.  With fancy ribbon, you can use packing paper, news paper or butcher paper and they will look fantastic!

Step 5... Attach bell

Finished package #1

And that is it, aside from a tag but i will probably make a card for her instead… i will post it when i have it finished.

Happy Giving!!

Now you can say that you know where TO GO to get your faux mustaches!

Hello there San Francisco!  More specifically Bernalwood!  I have to show you the most incredible fake mustache collection i have ever found in the city.  You can find the wall of stash at our lovely neighborhood gift store Heartfelt.  Stop in and be wow’d by the extent of faux stashes!  Maybe it will move you to have a Mustache Themed party!!

mustaches cont.