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How to Give a Gift That You Can’t Take Back

When you want to surprise someone with the best gift ever (e.g. puppy, car, phone), but can’t afford to be wrong, gift a gift card instead.

new happy holidays gift cards

Over on the GiftCards.com YouTube Channel, I’ve been talking to various experts on the subject of gifting things you can’t take back. For example, you might want to surprise your kids with a puppy, but a pet isn’t easily returned if it’s not the right one. Maybe you want to surprise your teenage son with a phone. But do you dare pick a phone without asking his opinion? Or what about a car or a kitten or house? These are all great gifts to give, but ones that perhaps warrant open communication more than a surprise.

Still, it’s much more fun to surprise someone.

So here’s my suggestion. Use a gift card to reveal the surprise, then have a discussion and make the final purchase decision together.

Below are several free printable gift card holders you can use to deliver a gift that can’t be returned.

1. Gift Card Holder for a New Puppy

gift card holders for a new puppy

Rather than pick out a puppy and keep it quiet in a box or hidden at someone’s house for a bit, I think the more humane surprise would be to tell the kids, or your mom or your friend, that you’re going to pick up a new dog together. This gives all of you time to get excited and scream for joy, while also having a talk about whether or not you’re ready to take care of a puppy.

I’m no expert here, but it seems to me you should talk about who does the cleaning, who pays for services and who will watch and train the job. You can learn more tips on the “How to Gift a Puppy” video on YouTube.

Here are some free printable gift card holders to help you surprise someone with a new puppy–without actually giving them the puppy.

Free Printable Gift Card Holders for a Puppy

Suggested “New Puppy” Gift Cards:

2. Gift Card Holder for a New Kitten

gift card holder for a new kitten

If you want to give someone a kitten, I think it would be fun to deliver a gift card and a few cat toys instead. This way you get the experience of going to the store or breeder together and welcoming the kitten to your home. As someone once told me, getting a pet should be more like welcoming a new member to your family rather than picking out a present.

So here is a gift card holder you can use to surprise someone with a new kitten–without actually buying the kitten.

Free Printable Gift Card Holder for a Cat

Gift card holder for a new kitten

Suggested “New Kitten” Gift Cards:

3. Gift Card Holder for a New Pet

gift card holders for a pet

What about bunny rabbits, lizards, hamsters, snakes, fish, guinea pigs aand parrots? If you want to give someone any type of pet, it seems to me you either need to be prepared to take the pet yourself (if things don’t work out) or you should have a discussion beforehand to make sure the recipient is ready for the responsibility. I love the idea of buying the cage or aquarium, a pet toy or a collar and using that to surprise the recipient. I realize it will be less of a “youtube-worthy moment,” but a living thing deserves to come into a well-prepared environment.

Here is a gift card holder you can use to surprise someone with a new pet of any kind.

Free Printable Gift Card Holder for a Pet

Gift card holder for any new pet

Suggested “New Pet” Gift Cards:

4. Gift Card Holder for a New Car

gift card holders for a new car

In full disclosure, I did surprise my little sisters with a new car many years ago. I am much older than they are and I saw the hardship they experienced every day trying to get to school and to volleyball practice without a car. My purpose in “gifting” the car was to ease the stress for the entire family. I set a budget, went to a car dealer I trusted, and selected a car that could safely get the girls back and forth each day. I’m sure the car I gave them wasn’t their first choice, but they were happy to have wheels.

So I do understand that it is fun to give someone a car. But, as I write this, I also recognize that I didn’t do anything to ensure the girls could pay for repairs or car insurance. I guess I gave that burden to the family along with the wheels. In hindsight, a planning conversation would have been better. A gift card for gas or car repairs would have been a fun way to “deliver” the present without rolling into the neighborhood unannounced.

Here are two gift card holders you can use to surprise someone with a new car.

Free Printable Gift Card Holders for a New Car

Suggested “New Car” Gift Cards:

5. Gift Card Holder for a New Phone

gift card holders for a phone

We surprised our daughter with her first phone–one step above a flip phone. Smart phones didn’t really exist back then, or at least they were far too cost-prohibitive. I don’t think she was expecting an iPhone, but I’m not sure she love-love-loved the no-name fun all that much. Still, she was happy to finally be like all the other teenagers.

Though my kids have all now had several smartphones, usually much nicer than any phone I have, we have picked these phones out together. I will admit that there is no “surprise” as we go to the store together, but I know there is anticipation and excitement afterwards. Having done this several times now, I fully subscribe to the idea that it’s better to give a gift card placeholder than to buy the wrong phone. It’s just too expensive to get wrong and, to my knowledge, you can’t take a phone back.

Here are two gift card holders you can use to surprise someone with a new phone.

Free Printable Gift Card Holders for a New Phone

Suggested “New Phone” Gift Cards:

5. Gift Card Holder for a New Home

gift card holder for a house

Boy, I don’t know if people buy houses for people, but I think it happens. And here, again, I would say that I’d sure like to be involved in discussions regarding where I am going to live. Maybe it’s just celebrities that buy new cribs for their loved ones, but if not – I’ve got a gift card for you too.

Here is a gift card holder you can use to surprise someone with just about anything–a new home, a horse, a trailer or more. Just add the gift card and fill in the blank.

Free Printable Gift Card Holder for Anything

Gift card holder for a new house

Suggested “New Phone” Gift Cards:

printable gift card holders for a pet

What other gifts do you want to give but worry that they can’t be returned? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on Twitter (@GCGirlfriend) or Instagram (@Gift.Card.Girlfriend) so I can check it out.

Happy Gift Carding!

~Shelley Hunter, Gift Card Girlfriend

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