It can be very hard to buy gifts, because it's tough to know what people need or want without outright asking them. A popular method of gift giving these days is the gift card. A gift card can either be store-specific, such as a Wal-Mart gift card, or it can be a generic "use anywhere" card such as Visa or American Express. Though gift cards are useful, they are impersonal. It can be fun to make a gift card a little bit more than a gift card.
This is a classic way to switch expectations. Buy a series of boxes. Start with a very large box, the kind that might hold something the size of a microwave. Find a series of small boxes that will fit inside each other. Put the gift card in the smallest box, and wrap it. Put this box inside of the next biggest box and wrap it as well. Repeat this until the largest box is wrapped.
A fun variation on this is to have small gifts in each box. For example, make enough room in each box to place some candy, lip gloss and other such items. Make sure the small gifts are something that person would appreciate. Then, when the recipient opens the gift card, she may be happy to have received some personalized gifts along with the impersonal gift card.
This can be a fun and surprising way to receive a gift card. The day before the event you are celebrating (such as a birthday), plan a visit to the recipient. While together, offer to buy him his favorite food for delivery. Before going to his house, make plans with the food delivery service. Have the deliveryman put the gift card on the food in such a way that it's immediately noticeable and won't get dirty. For example, tape it to the top of a pizza box. When the food comes, your friend will see the gift card. This is a nice way to give a gift card and adds a bit of "personality."
This is a very popular method of giving a gift card. Make a small sleeve in which to place your card. Hang it on the Christmas tree in a noticeable area. Place a tag with the recipient's name on the sleeve, and invite the person over. Show off your Christmas decorations, including the Christmas tree with the ornament hung conspicuously. Try to get your friend or relative to notice it without coming out and saying it's there. The shock of recognizing it as a gift will be fun and will turn a potentially boring gift card into something magical.