Thursday, November 30, 2006
Are gift cards all that bad?
Ok- let's talk.
How many of you buy gift cards in lieu of an actual holiday gift?
I used to be one of those people that thought that I would go to hell for giving such a "thoughtless" gift. I've since gotten over myself. Not only are gift cards convenient for the giver, but the receiver can't secretly gripe what bad taste you have in gifts.
I used to be a hard core Christmas shopper. I chose each gift on my list with thought and care. I wanted my gift to send a message that "I care so much about you I searched for this gift for so long it became a second job"
When I couldn't come up with an appropriate gift, I made it. Yep, the crafty person I am (was) would whip up something bound to receive oohs and aaahs. One year when I first got married (12 years ago) I made my Mom and MIL hand painted bird houses. I took a tole painting class to perfect my technique. My Mom and MIL still display those birdhouses to this day, and I think it's not out of guilt, but they REALLY liked them (or so I hope to believe).
For my first nephew's Christmas (4 years ago), I bought an unfinished children's rocker and hand-painted that. It was a couple week project. Not that a 4 month old could sit in a rocker (I was pregnant at the time with my son so I had no idea about babies). Anyway, I got oohs and aaahs on that too.
Nope, I never bought gift cards. I was sure the person would consider me some lech on society, thoughtless, and uncaring.
After I had David, I tried that first Christmas to be ingenious, crafty. I ended up stressing myself out so much buying for my list of 16 people I didn't enjoy it. ME not ENJOYING SHOPPING. Shudder the thought. Anyway, I ended up getting the most vicious two-week long flu that Christmas, which I think altered my brain forevermore.
Gift cards are now my friend. Sure, I still put a lot of thought into my very immediate family (S., David and the parents), but I refuse to stress myself out anymore in the gift-giving department.
My husband mentioned the other night that Christmas is really all about David now, and he is so right. I get more joy watching David give and receive than all the gifts I broke my back for searching/buying for others in the past.
And, because I lifted this self-imposed weight off of my shoulders... I am starting to enjoy the holidays again.
Did I mention I am 85% done shopping for this year? Thank goodness for the internet and coupon codes.
And for those friends, family, teachers, caregivers to which I am giving gift cards to this year, I love and appreciate you.
Rest assured, I put a lot of thought in deciding what gift card to buy you.
And if you are buying for me, I love gift cards.... especially from Target, Sephora, and Coach!