We received a truck load of gift cards for Christmas. It became comical as I sorted them out on the counter into piles. Two Starbucks, one Cruisin' Coffee, four Olive Garden, two Applebees.
Right after the holidays is probably a good time to have that many giftcards. However, we wanted to make sure we spent them with purpose, not just use them because we could.
Kevin used the Starbucks and I am still using the Cruisn' Coffee one. Even though we buy mochas every day, it is still a treat to have a free one. Kevin used his to have a hot drink on his way home when the weather was cold & wet. I think I might buy him one regularly, just for that purpose. I use mine when I'm having a crappy day or just need an extra boost.
Three of the Olive Garden cards we used to take out Kevin's parents, just the four of us. They were very pleased to go out on a double-date. We have figured out that if we both order the Tour of Italy, we bring the lasagne and extra breadsticks home and have a good dinner, days later.
When our friends from down south unexpectedly called & wanted to go out to dinner, we both suggested going to Applebees. Perfect! Our two cards nearly covered all of our meals. The pleasure of having dinner with our friends was increased by it being nearly free.
On Friday we went to Olive Garden because Kevin's mom was craving the Tour of Italy again. We still had one card left that paid for half the dinner. It was good timing as we're in the middle of January when money is tight after Christmas and Vegas.
I guess the point is that while I was super-grumbly about giving and getting the giftcards for Christmas, I have changed my mind. The gift wasn't the cards but how we chose to spend them. Because we had those cards, we made memories that we might not have otherwise.