Since the radio airwaves are now inundated with holiday music, and you’ll be sick of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” even though, at least here in the Northeast today, it’s really cold outside, here’s an ode to help you be mindful of “the perfect gift,” as so many companies market them today.

Oh, the Season of Shop is now underway,
With merchants and vendors who invite us to pay
For a card made of plastic in place of a gift
To give Auntie Jane’s or Gram’s spirit a lift.

These cards from purveyors of items galore
Are displayed on kiosks at the grocery store.
Fuel perks too, and if we buy them with scrip,
Our schools indeed benefit from our gift shopping trip!

Too good to be true? Oh, there have to be catches.
Since this is a deal that has no other matches!
But as we have learned with our techno advances,
If you buy a card you are taking your chances.

Some Scrooges will pick up a card for some widgets
And make note of the card’s identification digits.
Returning the card to the place where they got it,
They’ll wait a few weeks, hoping somebody bought it.

They will contact the vendor and say they forgot
How much money was left on the card that they bought.
They’ll make note of the total, these thieves without spine,
Then use that gift card to go shopping online!

Before you start thinking they can be detected,
Just remember gift cards are not password protected.
So be cautious this season near the gift card rack –
Beware of the person who puts a gift card right back.

Visit  You’ll see this is a legit scam tactic.

If you’d like to be really innovative, consider preparing and offering gift cards/certificates for your school’s!  Relatives or other school supporters could buy them, and then give them to families with students enrolled in your school.  It’s a bit of work on the accounting side for your school, but if Aunt Jane or Gram bring a check to the school for their relative’s tuition, giving them a certificate could be used as a gift recognition.  Doing so can foster an attitude of gratitude in today’s young parents.

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2006-2021 (Original Publication Date: 20061127)