If you read no other article about consumer pitfalls this year, read this piece from Bob Sullivan about gift cards. Bottom line: these cards are increasingly attracting hackers, and your protections as a consumer are not guaranteed.
This is why I prefer to give Amazon certificates to folks, either via print-at-home or e-gift. Recipients can add the funds to their accounts right away, and then if by some miracle the thing they want/need isn’t available on Amazon itself, they can buy a gift card there (and then it’s their problem to deal with…) for use elsewhere. Easy-peasy.