Gift Card Bore
We had our holiday diatribe, but isn’t the funniest part of Christmas Vacation when Clark loses his shit? It wasn’t until afterwards that The Griswolds realized the true meaning of Christmas and sang the Star Spangled Banner while an enkindled Santa Clause set the night sky ablaze.
Despite our jolly demeanor, like our friend Liz Weston, we’re gift card curmudgeons. December 26th, not Black Friday, is often the biggest shopping day of the year. One reason is that gift user spend their gift cards, their own money and what they’re compensated for with returned gifts all in one day.
Holiday shoppers spent $31 billion last season on gift cards alone, says the National Retail Federation (NRF). The NRF also said that gift cards are no longer considered impersonal or simply a matter of convenience. We disagree.
Gift Cards Are
n’t Cash Is King
We’re not opposed to giving and receiving cash. Cash is king, right? With cash, you can spend or not spend your gift as you wish. With gift cards, a cash equivalent, you must spend your gift where the gift giver wishes.
Gift cards, in our opinion, lack the personal touch. Gift cards say, “Hey, go buy something on me.” They don’t say, “Here’s a gift that I chose especially for you.” While opening a gift card envelope may feel like a mini-Oscar presentation, it doesn’t beat the feeling of opening a specially wrapped present with a surprise inside.
Gift recipients should appreciate any gift they receive. Every gift includes some amount of love. It’s just that we don’t recall ever seeing gift cards on Oprah’s “Favorite Things” Show. If Oprah doesn’t love it, is it loved?
Gifts Under 25 Dollars
Giving gifts also doesn’t require blowing your budget. Therefore, we’ve put together this list of 25 gifts under 25 dollars that doesn’t include gift cards. Some are personal favorites. If they’re not for you, maybe they’ll inspire other gifts under 25 dollars that aren’t gift card.
- Bottle of wine or cardbordeaux, such as Black Box, Bota or House Wine, is very acceptable
- A high-end bottle of beer such as Brouwerij Huyghe Delirium Tremens, The Reverend by Avery Brewing Company or St. Bernardus Abt 12
- Basic car wash
- A bouquet of flowers
- Classic DVD such as To Kill a Mockingbird or The Godfather
- Classic CD (yes, people still like these) such as Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors or Nirvana’s Nevermind
- Homemade dinner for two
- Hardcover book such as The Invisible Man or The Sun Also Rises, or a bundle of paperback books
- Bag of your favorite ground or whole bean coffee
- Nice plant
- Cozy blanket
- Chair massage
- Framed picture of you and your friend, family member or loved one
- Gift basket of fruit, wine and chocolate, hot sauce variety, individual beer variety
- One to three month subscription to Netflix
- Magazine subscription – The gifts that keeps on giving
- A journal
- Board games, our favorites are Rummy Cube and Cards Against Humanity
- Charitable donation in your recipient’s name
- 3 – 6 quart slow cooker – these make life easier and make lots of food for less
- Professional team cap
- Phone case
- Personalized cookbook of your favorite recipes
- Pre-paid date night
With thought and creativity and, maybe even craftiness, you’re sure to come up with a slew of gifts under 25 dollars that don’t include gift cards for all the special people in your life. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas or Festivus, there’s no need to go into the poor- or bore-house to show others you care.
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