Is it okay to give a gift card or gift certificate instead of a specific gift?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,847
    Etiquette expert Nancy Mitchell discusses if it is okay to give a gift card or a gift certificate.

    Nancy Mitchell

    Nancy R. Mitchell is an established protocol and etiquette consultant and advisor with more than 30 years of experience in the field. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University, where she developed and teaches protocol courses to Event Management Certificate Program students in the School of Business and Public Management, and at Stratford University, Falls Church, VA. She serves also as protocol and special events consultant to the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library and cultural center. For 23 years, Mitchell was Director of Special Events and Public Programs at the Library of Congress where she and her staff were responsible for planning and managing over 400 events each year. She coordinated the institution’s major special events, visits of heads of state and other foreign dignitaries, fundraising galas, conferences and meetings. As the Library’s chief protocol advisor, she served as liaison to the White House, U.S Department of State, the Congress, the Supreme Court and other government agencies, foreign embassies, academia and corporations. Mitchell owns The Etiquette Advocate, Inc., a firm providing etiquette and protocol training to corporations, universities, embassies, government agencies, non-profit organizations and individuals. She is the etiquette consultant to Engaged! magazine, has been featured on Good Morning America, Fox 5 News, WTOP Radio and National Public Radio, and is quoted on matters of etiquette and protocol by the New York Times, Washington Business Journal, and the Washington Post. She is a co-owner of the firm, Protocol Partners-Washington Center for Protocol, Inc., and is a member of the Protocol and Diplomacy International Protocol Officers Association and the Women Business Owners of Montgomery Country (MD).

    Host: Is it okay to give a gift card or a gift certificate?

    Nancy Mitchell: Absolutely, in some cases you do not know a person well enough to know what their interests are, you also maybe on a limited budget, gift card is wonderful especially for young people. People love to be able to select the gift that they really want. Here is how you personalize it, you write a note. In the note you say how much you appreciate their friendship, how much you appreciate whatever they have done for you, how much you appreciate having them in the neighborhood, whatever the relationship is, you personalize it with a note. But then it might say here is a card that I hope that you will spend in some way that makes you happy. Buy something that you really would like to have and think of me.