Christmas Eve is upon us and the time remaining for those late, LATE holiday shoppers is dwindling fast.
So let me take this opportunity to salute a much maligned, but nevertheless vital feature of my holiday shopping – the gift card.
Yes, I know – many people believe that giving a gift card is really an admission of one of two things: 1. you didn't take the time to make a thoughtful gift purchase, and/or, 2. you are a terrible procrastinator.
Guilty on both counts, kinda.
After all, I love getting gift cards as presents, and this year I have chosen to give the gift of clothing (store gift card), food (restaurant gift card) and how thoughtful and healthful is this one -- the gift of recreation (gift card to local par-3 golf course).
Like most people, I have particular clothing, food and gift tastes. So to me, the gift card represents the ultimate recognition that I respect your individuality – your individual tastes. In other words, I CARE.
Heaven forbid that I spend time making what I think is a thoughtful and caring gift selection and the recipient hates it and then is forced to take time out of their already overburdened personal schedule to return it. Or worse, the unwanted gift is tucked away in a closet or on a basement shelf only to show up years later when your adult children and close family friends are cleaning out the house after your funeral. And what if one of them gave you the gift in the first place?
That's not to say that I do not respect and admire those who take the time and really do find really meaningful and thoughtful gifts. I do. Your ranks are numerous and I salute all of you. For instance, my adult children were really thoughtful last year when they bought my wife and I a super-nice 32" HD TV – that was better than a gift card!
Most of us have thoughtful, creative people in our lives. I have several workplace acquaintances who every year I marvel at their individual creativity and thoughtfulness at Christmas. This year, one gift for that adorable Red Sox fan who we all know and love was a framed collage of Fenway Park, comprised of teeny, tiny pictures of nearly every Red Sox player in its history – and one could spend hours looking for "little Yaz," or the adorable "Manny" in dreadlocks.
Another thoughtful gift to a financial advisor was an original "certificate of incorporation" for a famous American corporation that the intended recipient was a huge fan of.
I know, I know. I ended that last sentence with a preposition. However, I just counted up all my gift cards and I am still one card short. So, if I spend any more time correcting that grammatical faux pas, then I might miss my chance to run out to Outback and purchase one more gift card.
So, dear readers, gotta run before they close today. Merry Christmas to all!