gutscheinI love giving books for Christmas and birthdays, but for some people this is not feasible, as they don’t like reading or don’t like movies, or I just don’t know enough about their tastes to choose just the right gift for them. This leaves me with edibles (excellent gifts! as long as you’re sure about people’s tastes, and in this case, food allergies …), pretty pieces for decorations (excellent for those who like to decorate their houses – otherwise, not), vouchers and … cash.

I dislike giving cash as a gift. It’s old-fashioned of me, I know, but I only do it in very special cases.

I quite like giving vouchers. The problem here, of course, is that you must be absolutely certain that the shop you get the voucher from is one where the person you want to give it to really likes to shop. Some friends gave me a voucher from a bookstore last year, a very sweet idea, but they chose the one store in town that has lousy service and where I buy only when I can avoid it.

When my mother-in-law asked what to give me for Christmas this year, my husband (whom I’d primed, anticipating the question) told her I’d be really pleased by a voucher for a very smart store in Munich, which she also likes. I’ll see whether she likes the suggestion or not!

I have also given and received vouchers for online stores, but in this case I was particularly careful to ensure this was where my friend actually shopped.

I shy away from giving vouchers from perfumeries, as I know a number of people who prefer to buy their toiletries at the pharmacy.

Do you give vouchers, and do you like receiving them? For what sorts of shops you think vouchers the perfect gift?

– Rike Horstmann