Consider buying gift cards all year round, not because you specifically need them for someone/something, but to have on hand. Gift cards are easy to add into your existing shopping trip, which makes budgeting for gift giving a little easier. There are sometimes promotions and specials around buying gift cards too, so take advantage of them. I do this, so I always have gift cards on hand to give as a gift when the need arises. If I get to the end of the year or the holiday season, I can use them like cash for items I need too.