It's something we all deal with every year. And most people have strong opinions on this topic.

Do you buy someone a physical gift, or go with a gift card.? And of course, that might depend on who you're thinking about.

If it's within the immediate family, then does a gift card show any kind of thought? Let's first eliminate the obvious.

If you have young kids, then gift cards most likely wouldn't make sense. So for the purpose of this argument, let's focus on anyone who's 18 or older.


One positive of a gift card is it allows the freedom of those who received it to get whatever they want. Whether it's a generic gift card (such as a Visa), or one to a specific place, whatever the recipient does with it is completely up to them.

stress by christmas gifts
Manuel Faba Ortega

Now the flipside. Does a gift card show you didn't put any thought into thinking about the person? I mean, any one of us can pick up a gift card for any amount and call it a day. Should that qualify as a gift?

This, of course, might also be dependent on who you're thinking of buying for. Close family, or not?

Let's start with close family. Now, this doesn't mean it has to be anyone that you live with. It's simply anyone that you're close to.

Freestocks via Unsplash
Freestocks via Unsplash

This can count as a blood relative or a close friend. With that said, is it considered thoughtless if you don't get them a physical gift?

The opposite can be said for a co-worker or just a casual acquaintance. In this situation, the card the gift card comes in probably matters more.

Gift card concept

So keeping this all in mind, let's see what we all think. And to make the voting fair, we'll break it down into two categories. One question for close friends and family, and the other for everyone else.

First, for those who are close.


Now for everyone else.

And just so we don't leave it out, where do you personally fall on this. Do you prefer to receive a gift card over a physical gift?

LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born

With the holiday spirit in the air, it’s the perfect time to dive into the history of iconic holiday gifts. Using national toy archives and data curated by The Strong from 1920 to today, Stacker searched for products that caught hold of the public zeitgeist through novelty, innovation, kitsch, quirk, or simply great timing, and then rocketed to success.

9 things New Jersey wants for Christmas


More From New Jersey 101.5 FM