Gift alert! If you're expecting a gift from me this year and want to be surprised stop reading now. It appears that in the gift giving department I'm quickly turning into my mother-in-law. For years now she has been issuing cheques for presents. I'm a bit guilty of this myself (especially for some recent weddings) and I've come to realize that it's not a good feeling when you resort to this but hey, nobody minds getting money!
'Gift cards' have been around for awhile (and their predecessor the certificate) and it's making the whole gift thing a lot easier. You still feel that you're putting some thought into (however minimal) and not just giving random money that could otherwise drift into the economic ether.
We've all been given gifts which we inwardly wonder what we did to deserve. We've all given gifts where the recipient tries hard to make us feel that they really appreciate the gift. Gift cards remove about 50% of all this nonsense. You still feel that you've made an effort to find a gift card that fits the person's interests yet you don't actually have to commit to making the choice. They can even choose not to spend it if they wish.
One big down side to gift cards is their lack of pizzazz re: presents under the tree. Putting it in a big box to trick Ross only works the first few times.
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