If there is a universal truth when it comes to gift giving it's that there is a lot of people that feel uncomfortable giving gift vouchers as presents. On the surface it makes sense to think of them as impersonal, the easy option you could say.
As someone who loves the whole process of giving gifts: the initial ideas, the endless searching, the coffee shop stops on the high street and the mad scramble to find discount codes online, giving a gift voucher can rob the giver of that entire experience. But gifts aren't about how we feel, they are about giving a token of appreciation and a portal of joy to someone we care about. In the modern world where everyday essentials and luxury items are so easily accessible, our collective spending habits (even in these hard times) have more personal purchases than say sixty years ago, when the average person bought items when they were necessary only.
That's why it can seem near impossible to buy people gifts that they will not only use but that they also genuinely want - as most of the time they have already bought those things for themselves. Cue the gift of cash, the gift with a true lack of imagination and only acceptable in teenage birthday cards, wedding envelopes and generally the occasions you don't hand it over directly. Now, no one is suggesting you give the gift of cash, instead welcome the power of gift cards, which trumps cash anyway.
For instance take a twenty pound note compared to a twenty pound gift voucher at one of your favourite stores - we all know which one comes on top. That is the beauty of gift vouchers, it forces the gift receiver to spend on themselves (instead of another bill), picking exactly what they want to indulge in or enjoy. For the busy person who never gets a chance to shop, a gift voucher enables them to enjoy the shopping experience and perhaps have one of those high street coffee breaks I am such a fan of.
So for all the people afraid to give gift vouchers cast your fear away. For those still afraid of it seeming in personable, what could prove to them receiver more when you pick one of their favourite stores, Its a direct way of showing just how well you know them and how accurately you listen.
So perhaps giving a gift voucher may rob you of the gift buying experience, but for the right person and especially the busy person, a gift voucher forces them to slow down and have some me time whilst also getting a present, now what could be more perfect in this busy world than that, the gift of 'me time'.