Gift vs. Gift Card, by Will Saunders
With Christmas approaching, the gift card will end up being the go-to option for many. It used to be for me too, but after my birthday this year, not so much anymore. A friend gave me a remote controlled, wireless power strip. It came with five little mini strips, and I use them exclusively for lamps around my home: two in my bedroom, three in the front room. It was the perfect gift, and I am certain he has no idea just how much I genuinely appreciate it.
This gift is far better than a gift card would have been, because each time I reach for the remote to turn on or off the lamps, I think fondly of my friend Rashad who gave it to me. If I had been given a gift card, I might not associate anything I bought with him. But I do understand the ease and simplicity of the gift card, though. You don’t need to remember what size the person wears; you don’t need to guess what you think the person might need or want; you don’t need to consider if your taste might be viewed as gauche and wretched; and you don’t have to worry if the person might truly hate the gift altogether, which could strain the friendship.
Case in point: for you I Love Lucy fans, do you remember the episode titled, “Ethel’s Birthday” (Season 4, Episode 8) when Fred commissioned Lucy to go buy something on his behalf for Ethel’s birthday? Lucy bought a pair of party pants that Ethel hated, and was quite miffed at Lucy for having such bad taste. Lucy was mad at Ethel. Ethel was mad at Lucy and Fred. It was a big ole crazy, funny mess. Go look it up if you never saw it. . . of if you have seen it but want a good laugh again. A gift card (or gift certificate was the in-thing yesteryear) would have solved the problem for Fred. But the gift card removes the personal touch.
If you really want to make a special, lasting impression on the gift recipient, skip the gift card. Go for the gusto and give a well-thought out gift. Incidentally, you should get yourself a wireless, remote outlet switch. This is what Rashad gave me. It really is an amazing gadget. You can get it either from the ETEKCITY Zap 5LX Remote Outlet Switch or go to Amazon.com. There’s a picture of it. It truly is fabulous. If you don’t get it for yourself, gift it to someone.