Lots of ads on television these days hawking gift cards. I always felt that giving somebody a gift card is kind of like saying, “I wanted to give you money, but if I give you cash you’ll just blow it on crack and hookers, so here’s a gift card instead.”
Of course the merchants love gift cards, which would explain the rash of advertising for them–you give them money up front, which they can use for whatever money-making purposes they choose, and then when the recipient finally redeems the gift card, they’ve come out ahead. Brilliant. And forcing the poor sap of a recipient to spend their funny-money at that particular merchant isn’t a bad idea either.
Here’s my suggestion: If you don’t know what to give somebody, give them a stack of crisp, fresh dollar bills. Not worn and tattered bills, mind you, but the fresh-of-the-printer kind. Nothing like a fat stack of dollar bills to brighten somebody’s Christmas.
Of course, make sure they won’t blow it all on crack and hookers first.
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