Tuesday, November 20, 2007

In Defense of Gift Cards

I came across a very annoying article today in which the "writer" took gift cards to task, declaring them "lame." She dumped a heavy dose of guilt on those of use who like them, accusing us of being lazy and thoughtless. I for one LOVE both giving and receiving such cards, mostly because of my history of both receiving and gifting bad, unwanted gifts. Well, I'm here to defend the almighty gift card. Click Read More to continue reading.

I have been the victim of many an unused and unloved gift. A Chia Pet, a velour track suit, a set of dreidels (as a joke from my sister), a pair of ridiculously baggy jeans with no return receipt, the requisite ugly sweater, a stinky scented candle: all gifts that could have been left at the store or dropped off at the Salvation Army for one last shot before being trashed entirely.

And I've been the giver of such bad gifts.

Case in point. Mexico, 2003. While walking along the beach looking for cool sea glass to take back home, Larry commented that he wanted a rock tumbler, so that we could make cool things and give them as gifts.

Fast forward one month later, and utter disappointment as Larry unwraps a rock tumbler and tells me: I was only kidding.

The article goes on to say that even giving a bad gift is a gift in and of itself because you get to learn more about people's specific tastes. Barf. Want to know more about me? Fine. I like Starbucks, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, iTunes and Barnes and Noble gift cards. That's all you need to know, okay? What's the sense in me telling you that I love David Sedaris, only to receive another copy of Me Talk Pretty One Day? Now I have to return it and you've ruined my new year already. Are you satisfied?

Screw you, Liz Pulliam Weston. Here is my rebuttal to your pompous little article.

They're good for the environment. While that silver-plated monogrammed computer mouse might end up as landfill after a few years collecting dust, a Starbucks card will definitely get redeemed the next day. And think of all the tons of wrapping paper that gets tossed each year. I don't see anyone carting that off to be recycled. No, it goes right in the regular trash with the carcass from the Christmas day turkey.

Regifting is a snap. Regifting those ugly jeans could get you busted, but a card from a store you hate or might never visit can be discreetly regifted via the US Postal Service. They're not personalized, so no one will ever know the true source, except for the woman behind the counter at Bath and Body Works.

They're easy to wrap. I hate gift wrapping, so throwing this thing in an envelope and calling it a day is refreshing when I'm doing all my shopping/wrapping on Christmas morning.

Get people jealous. If you must open your gifts in front of others, you can simply say, "Wow, a Macy's gift card!" without ever revealing the $15 price tag.

They're easy to take home. Don't you hate having to lug bulky bags of useless shit back home after a party? You can pretty much chuck the envelope and put these babies in your wallet. And look real cool when you make your exit.

If you're convinced I'm wrong, you can read her drivel article here. (And please let me know so I can send you your rock tumbler.)


nikoeternal.com said...


Gina Malone said...

You've pointed out the problem with making blanket accusations. Aren't you supposed to choose gifts based on the wants and needs of the recipient? If a friend appreciates gift cards, or even cash for that matter, then get them a gift card. As for myself, I perfer a mixture of gifts and gift cards. I also can't say that I have ever been disppointed to open up and card and find a check!