Can I ask you a question? Are you a fan of gift cards?

Old way of thinking

When my daughter was growing up, I was not a fan of the gift card. Didn’t it defeat the purpose of it being a gift? Where was the element of surprise? Where was the delight of unwrapping a box and wondering what’s inside?

To me, asking for a gift card felt like you were saying, “I don’t trust you to get me something I like”. And, on the giving end, it felt impersonal like you didn’t care enough to put the effort into buying a thoughtful gift. Not to mention the fact that the dollar amount was blatantly obvious. It was like leaving the price tag on.

Then my daughter hit the pre-teen years. Was it better to purchase and receive a gift that would never be worn or used and would eventually end up in a giveaway pile? So, I relented.

New way of thinking

Over the years, I have come to view the gift card in a different light. It’s not easy to buy something for someone else. We tend to buy gifts we’d buy for ourselves. As the giver, I like to know the recipient is getting something they truly want and will put to good use. As the receiver, having purged and downsized in my life, I only want to bring things into my home that I love, use, and have space for.

I like to imagine when the recipient uses the gift card, they fondly think of the person who bestowed it upon them and say a little thank you. I know for me, it brings me joy to walk into a store (ok, online now) and pick out something I truly love and not have to fork over the cash. And, if I don’t see anything I love, I know I can use it another time. That’s a gift.

COKANNA gift cards

For my own business, I have toyed with the idea of offering gift cards online for some time now.  But, the truth is I didn’t like the thought of a gift card being purchased and emailed to someone’s inbox. That feels so impersonal.

So, here’s what I’m doing. Very soon, you’ll be able purchase COKANNA gift cards in $25 increments starting from $50 up to $200. They’ll be set up as products in my online store. They won’t automatically be emailed. You’ll actually get a physical gift card. It’ll be tucked into a lovely handmade card and then wrapped in a matching gift box to put under the tree or in a stocking. Both the gift card and box will be lovingly created by Brenda Wilson of Creative Treats Club.

Gift cards and boxes made by Brenda Wilson of Creative Treats Club

Gift cards and boxes made by Brenda Wilson of Creative Treats Club


Giving to the community

The bonus, your purchase will result in a donation to the Debra Dynes Family House, a member agency of the Ottawa Food Bank. The Debra Dynes Family House is committed to improving the quality of life for multi-culturally diverse families, children and youth who are low income and working poor. They provide  a range of services and programs that are community driven and meet families’ needs.

A gift card is still a gift card. But, this one will be wrapped up in a pretty little box under the tree, and it pays a little something forward in our community.

Now, that’s a gift.

Until next time,

~ Colleen

Colleen Kanna, Photo by Anna Epp Photography

I’m a recovering Chartered Accountant and Breast Cancer Champion turned Fashion Designer. My COKANNA Canadian-made bamboo clothing is all about comfort and style. Giving back to the community is important to me so I support Rethink Breast Cancer‘s metastatic breast cancer education, support, and advocacy work.