Friday, December 18, 2009

A Gift Card? Oh, you really shouldn't have...

Um seriously? You really shouldn't have.

I have a hate / hate relationship with giftcards and it goes something like this: I hate getting them. I hate giving them.

Sure, I have exceptions to this rule. For example, weddings and anniversaries. Maybe. Especially if you know the couple but don't know the couple.

High school graduations, if the child is not related to you.

Nieces impossible to buy for (yes, you know who you are).

Gift cards for personal services, i.e. babysitting or a home cooked meal.

But when did we become a society that gives what equates to money that can only be spent in a store of our choosing instead of one that gives gifts that are chosen with thought and care specifically with that individual in mind?

I know, I know.

It's easy.

It's convenient.

You're only thinking of them, this way they can pick out what they'd like.

Ok, sure it's easy. But if you really want easy, just don't bother. What's easier than that?

It's convenient? For who??? Not for the person receiving it. Now they have to take that "gift" and go out and dedicate time and effort to purchasing a "gift" that they really want.

Which brings me to my next point - you're thinking of them. Really?

If you know the person well enough to exchange gifts with them, well then, don't you know them well enough to know what to get them? Do you listen when they talk? Or do you talk when they talk?

Been to their house for dinner? Ever notice they make a one-dish casserole every time because they actually only one one dish? Hey, here's an idea - buy them another one!

Know what the best part of a gift is? The surprise!

When I was a single mom purchasing my first home Trixie could have given me a Home Depot gift card as a housewarming gift. She knew I spent every extra nickel and every spare moment at that store.

Instead she bought me a toilet.

She dropped off the toilet and decorated my front yard with a ridiculous number of pink flamingoes when I was at work.

Nothing says "I know you and I love you" like a toilet. Or pink flamingoes for that matter. To this day it was one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received.

Last Christmas TK framed the scrap of paper he had written his wedding vows on. The scrap of paper he had brought back from Nevis and hung on to for over a year.

Ever get teary-eyed when you get a gift card from Applebee's? Yeah, didn't think so.

So this Christmas as you're standing in line at Barnes and Noble with a gift card you picked out just for me here's something to think about - if you don't know me well enough to figure out what would be a memorable and thoughtful gift, then we shouldn't be exchanging presents.

And if you get a gift card from me, well... that's just not going to happen.


Doreen said...

So....does this mean you want me to return the gift card I got you to the Marriot Hotel for an all inclusive weekend getaway for two?

Carolyn said...

Ha Ha Doreen!
We all know it would have to be a Hilton to be acceptable.

TK said...

If you got me a gift card from the Harley store and it was just enought to cover a...ummmm Fat Boy I'd be ok with that. I might even cry if it makes you feel better about the gift.

Anonymous said...

i might get teary eyed if the gift card was from chilis but definitely not applebees.

Anonymous said...

Herredon said... Ya, the Road to Heaven is paid with good intentions but the Road to Hell is crumbled with cookie bits! It's a row worth ho-ho-hoeing! :)