‘I want to give you something you can use!’
It’s a popular refrain at Christmas. And I get it. I really do. I could certainly use a new bin to put beside the loo. A new outdoor broom would be handy and I could certainly use a summer’s supply of mozzie coils. But do I want them as a gift? Not really. I like surprises and because of that I do get things I may not want and will never use. To me, that’s Christmas – the agony and the ecstasy.
This is why I’m not a fan of the gift card.
I’d rather get something useless, but chosen with thought, even the wrong thought. I refuse to see anything someone buys me as a wasted opportunity. Gift cards (unless extremely specific) mean a trip to the shops and possibly a new outdoor broom but there’s not much magic to them is there?
That might just be me. Many people I know and love see a gift that misses the mark as a missed opportunity … ‘If you’re going to spend $25 on me it might as well be on something I need, not what you think I’d like.’
But soon I worry that Christmas gift giving will become like the stock exchange, all business and no emotion. Brightly wrapped gifts under the tree will become a somber little stack of envelopes. Christmas shopping – which is meant to end on the December 24 continues into January as parents are nagged into taking kids to spend their gift cards.
Because of my stance, I do receive my fair share of useless gifts. I think my family is now making a point of seeking them out. There have been some doozies, but none matches the gift my friend Kym receives from her mother in law every year – a flat sheet for a single bed. Not a cheap sheet, it has a high thread count and is stylishly and simply white. Kym’s mother in law says, ‘You can never have too many flat white sheets.’ Actually, thinks Kym, yes, you can.
In Kym’s case I can see why she is dreaming not of a white sheet, but of a brightly coloured gift card.
To celebrate the holidays, Ibis Hotels are giving away a “’Breville Kitchen Bonanza Pack’ consisting of one BES860 Fresca Espresso Machine, one BJE820 Professional 800 Collection Dual Disc Juice Processor, one BEM800 Scraper Mixer Pro, one BTA840 Professional 800 Collection 4 slice toaster and one BTM800 Tea Maker. The Total Breville Kitchen Bonanza Pack is valued at $2,445. You don’t even have to stay with Ibis to enter! Just visit www.ibisdollardeals.com.au , register your details and if your name is drawn, you’ll only need to cough up $1 to claim your prize. How good is that?
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How do you feel about the gift card? Is useful important to you? What’s the most useful gift you’ve been given?