I received some gift cards from some non-Jews near the non-Jewish holiday season, and I asked everyone to give me birthday presents instead. some of the gift cards i received to big box stores/chains have non-Jewish holiday themes printed on them. may i use the value on the gift cards to purchase online? what should i do with them? Thank you so much Rabbi!
I understand your concern, and you feel it to be distasteful to use a card with symbols of a different religion, but halachically you may use the gift card. The reason is because it is not an object of idolatry, but it is a gift card that has a symbol on it. The poskim discuss using stamps that have a cross on them, and they say that halachically it is permitted, because the cross is merely a symbol of beauty, and it isn’t meant as an object of worship.
Igros Moshe Y:D 1-69.