It finally happened last night as I was walking home from seeing Let the Right One In: it freakin' snowed. And then this morning, the cement contractors who were supposed to fix my building's front walkway called to cancel because of today's horribly cold weather and on-and-off precipitation. This swift and extreme drop in temperatures can only mean one thing -- the holidays are right around the corner.
Although Michigan Avenue has seemed slightly less crowded than it typically is at this time of the year, bad economy or no bad economy, people will still get their gift-giving on! If you're one of the many who has friends, relatives, co-workers or others (dog-walker? mailman? hair stylist?) left to shop for, keep reading...
I was recently burned when I bought a few gift cards for family members and then the stores from which the cards came proceeded to go bankrupt (yeah, I'm talkin' 'bout you, Sharper Image). With more and more businesses going under (on my walk home last night I was also shocked and dismayed to see that Linens 'n Things is outta here), you may want to consider pre-loaded debit cards that can be used anywhere instead of gift cards tied to a specific place. Because let's face it, times are tough all around right now, so why restrict where your giftee can shop? Maybe they don't WANT any more clothes from J. Crew! Maybe they secretly despise TGI Friday's! Maybe they're just too embarrassed to put "cases upon cases of Magic Shell" on their Christmas list!
It just so happens that someone I used to work for The Man with, MF, is now at GiftCardLab.com, and he (along with fellow 'According to e' and 'Long Live Locke' devotee JS) are offering the other mega-cool peeps who read my sites $2 off customized photo gift card orders. All you have to do is enter in the code ErikaO when you check out.
Yes, MF and JS are still "remembering the little people" even though their products have received what is perhaps one of the greatest honors known to man: inclusion on Oprah's Holiday "O List" (See bottom-left of the page below.)
If you are interested in making a photo gift card (or if you just do whatever Oprah tells you to do), go to GiftCardLab.com and follow the easy instructions. Just like that, you'll have a Visa debit card in whatever amount you'd like to give away to whomever you deem worthy. You can put one of your own pictures on the card... or choose one of the pre-designed cards by, say, Sawyer on Lost! Yep, a bunch of celebs got in on the action and created cards to help benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
So once again, the code to use is ErikaO for a $2 discount up until December 18th of this year. Remember how that freaky kid Johnny said over and over again in Better Off Dead, "I want my two dollars!!!"? Well, you can have it with the discount code ErikaO. You're welcome!