You may have received a version of an email with a list of companies that have recently filed for bankruptcy, intended to be a warning against purchasing gift cards that will be worthless by January 1st. Depending on the specific flavor of your email, it’s probably partly true.
The following companies have filed for Chapter 11 per Snopes.com and its sources. While you may find some sweet deals in the next few weeks from these stores, don’t bother buying gift certificates for your liked ones.
— Hollywood Video
— Sharper Image*
— Linens ‘n Things
— Circuit City
*Which reminds me, I’ve probably got a few Sharper Images gift certificates buried in in the sofa cushions that I need to dig up and use before I get stuck with them forever.