My secret obsession

beth cornelison     I have a secret obsession. I love gift cards. To me, a gift card is permission to shop, eat out, or treat myself to something yummy. I mean, the money is already spent so I NEED to use the gift card. Right? It’s my backhanded way of feeling less guilty about shopping and indulging in fun stuff every now and then.

Even better, I’ve found places where I can buy gift cards and help charitable causes! Bidding For Good is an online auction website where groups from wildlife advocates in Kentucky to elementary schools in Spokane can raise money for their cause by selling whatever their local donors put in the sale. Occasionally this means gift cards to Amazon, or Outback, or Dairy Queen, or…
Well, you get the picture. Sometimes I even get a bargain. A $25 gift card to Newk’s Deli for $22? Yippee! And I feel oh-so-smug that my purchase also benefited the Empty Stocking Fund in Atlanta.
I know what you are thinking…you can really get yourself in trouble going spending crazy with that mind set. And you’d be right. Did I need that gift card to Dairy Queen? No. Does my husband look at me askance when I produce endless gift cards to random places? Well, yes. And he will give me the evil eye now and then. The we-have-a-son-in-college-and-have-to-save-for- retirement look. This is generally when I remind him I don’t spend nearly the money on shoes and make up and jewelry that other women do. And I haven’t redecorated the bathrooms and kitchen like I’ve been wanting to. Yet. And he rolls his eyes and shakes his head knowing he won’t change me and loves me anyway. (At least that’s how I choose to interpret his sighs during this sort of conversation.)
My niece’s elementary school used to have a gift card sale as a fund raiser each fall that I used to do my Christmas shopping for the family. Ease of purchase and benefit a school! Win, win! But woe, she is in junior high now and I’ve lost that outlet for my mania.

So…how about you? Do you have a crazy secret obsession you’re willing to share? Or do you know a new place I can haunt and buy gift cards to benefit charity?