Holiday gift cards can be a sweet deal for retailers since, in some states, after the sale, recipients leave hundreds of redeemable dollars unclaimed and in the retailers' coffers.
Other states however, don't let retailers get off so easily.
In any case, use your gift cards! The money's been spent already. So, you may as well take advantage of it.
Check out the following, from today's Harvard Business Review Daily Stat:
UPDATE: Just had a brainwave. If you have unused gift cards, instead of letting them lapse, as they might do with some merchants or in some states, why not donate them to a local charity, like a food bank, homeless shelter, battered women's shelter, or a Boys and Girls Club? You won't miss the money and you could provide agencies with tight-budgets and big missions with the ability to purchase needed items!