A holiday C-Note: How I'm gonna spend my hundred-dollar gift card

100front_lLast evening, I came home to a nice surprise: Enclosed in a nice Christmas card from an especially generous friend was a $100 Visa gift card. (Speaking as a recipient of his seasonal largesse, I firmly believe said friend absolutely deserved that large holiday bonus.) Anyway, it occurred to me this morning that I had no idea how to spend that hundred dollars.

I’ve done all my holiday shopping. Don’t need any new clothes at the moment.  Music I get through my eMusic account (which I’ve had for 13 months now, seven months longer than I had originally planned). I really shouldn’t buy anymore books until I’ve made a dent in the stack of volumes that taunts me from my nightstand (just finished the incredible World War Z, starting Manhunt). I don’t have to spend much on videogames as I am the humble recipient of lotsa cool review copies (yeah, hate me).  DVDs? Well, I have four season of The Wire that I’ve been saving for a rainy month. 

Right now — and this is very much subject to change — this is how I think I’ll spend the money:

What is the What, by David Eggers (a stocking stuffer for my sister)  …  $16
Tonto+, Battles (not on eMusic, and not DRM-free on iTunes) …  $15
The Day-to-Day Life of Albert Hastings (saw this photo memoir in a bookstore last summer and regretted not buying it) … $14 (at Amazon)
• Which leaves me with about $50, which, I suppose, should go to a charitable organization I’ll decide on later.

All in all, not a bad use of a nice (and unexpected) gift.

What about you members of Team PopWatch — how would you spend a holiday C-Note?

Comments (25 total) Add your comment
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  • snarky

    BOOZE!!!! I can always spend money on food or drinks. In the alternative, a new cell phone is always fun.

  • Emilie

    The fact that there is an article saying I have $100 and I don’t know what to do with it is just kind of sad. I’m not trying to be all preachy about those in need, b/c at Christmas, your gifts are your gifts, but seriously. I don’t know, gas, groceries, going out to dinner and ordering that funny fru-fru drink on that menu that sits on the table…I think you could find a way. Life is rough…

  • joopiter

    I’m having the exact same issue. I have a $100 Amex gift card that I received for going above and beyond at work (yay me) and I have no idea how to spend it. My practical side says use it to get some of the computer equipment I need for freelancing. My not so practical side tells me to put a dent in my Amazon wishlist. But I am wracked with indecision because I don’t want to waste it on just anything…

  • Sean

    I just got a $300 gift card from work.
    I spent $200 on a camera for my mom.
    The remainder will be a little bit extra to spend when I go to Disney World next month!

  • Martin

    A new cell phone would be nice, but I think I can have T-Mobile send me one gratis if I renew my contract with them. And I would, too. I heart my service.
    I’d prolly pay it forward and either spend it on some meals for the homeless guy who sleeps on the ground a block from my gym – or more than likely, send it to my friends in NYC who already bought my Spice Girls ticket (and I’d still be $49 short).

  • Kirsten

    Bookshelves for the ever growing DVD and Book collection. And, if there is twenty dollars left, “Eastern Promises” on DVD. Viggo Mortensen naked. That’s the best Christmas gift ever.

  • Bruce in NC

    If my wife doesn’t get it for me, Freaks & Geeks on DVD, BSG: Razor DVD and perhaps a t-shirt from a local restaurant that I have been eyeing.

  • Em

    I agree with booze, and also buy a copy of What is the What for yourself too, because I’m 3/4 in and it’s a must-read.

  • EW sucks

    Emilie — word to your post… Is it that slow a news day that the only story to post is a whiny article about how to spend money you weren’t expecting. THIS IS SAD. EW used to be interesting and fun, but now it seems all their writers are trying way too hard to be hip and cool.

  • Sweet

    I’d treat myself to a nice dinner.

  • epsato

    I’d get the Flash Gordon DVD release, the long promised Blade Runner final cut (and will promptly scratch out all the chapters of that stupid “directors cut”), and Dead Rising for the Xbox 360. A few good hours of killing zombies at the mall will help prepare me for a trip to the mall on December 26th to witness real life zombies at play…

  • tia

    Unfortunately, I know exactly what I am doing with my gift card. It’s going to my car for gas for my trip home at Christmas. Sadly, It will still cost me at least 50 dollars more, and I am in a cost efficient little Nissan.

  • aramis

    Random ideas for your consideration:
    -The aramis foundation is always taking donations (especially since he’s military and about to head over to Iraq). I’ll give you a receipt for tax purposes.
    -But in any case, booze for New Year’s is a good idea (in fact, you could just buy a bottle and pour it down the toilet, skipping that whole inevitably painful “Middle Man” step).
    -Or you could by funky cheeses?
    -Expensive NUTS (cashews, etc.) and buy the BIG jar, go all out.
    -There’s a 5-pound bar of Hershey’s chocolate being sold at most Cracker Barrels if you’re a choco-fan, or just really dig impersonating Count Chocula (which, you’d so ROCK if you did, hehe).
    -LOTS AND LOTS of pixie sticks? You know, get that INSANE sugar high for the holidays and beat your head against desks and windows “I Am Legend”-mutant-style. Then just be comatose from the come-down for the remainder of the season?

  • 2 Cents

    Here is the south, we have a little thing called Super Wal-mart and Super Target. Better than the regular brands, these SUPERstores also featured a specialized sects of online items and SUPER doper clearance items that makes me weep with joy if I ever get a $100 gift card. Here are the items for consideration to buy ALL within the SUPER compound:
    1) Start slow and easy with comfy items like a vintage t-shir and fleece pants. Estimated price for both $11 bucks.
    2) To continue with your comfy theme…buy a pair of large festive socks and matching slippers
    3) Now that you have the perfect outfit, buy some candles,pillows and new wooby (blanket) to get ready for a major couch session. Estimated price $22 bucks
    4) Entertainment aisle is next, try RENO 911, Chris Rock, or Martin to get your laugh…a few feet over are books, magazines and bibles for your review
    5) I am hungry now, choose wisely items like cheese, cookies, cearal,chips n dip, pizza and tator tots

  • Jason

    All three (currently published) volumes of The Fourth World Omnibi by Jack Kirby ($50 each list, $32 each on Amazon). And $4 left over for a sixer of PBR (in cans!).

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