I used to think that giving a gift card was a cop-out. For that matter, I used to think using the gift bag instead of the beautifully wrapped gift was a cop-out. But NO MORE!
I have been migrating to the gift bag for a few years. I had not noticed how far until I went for the Christmas wrap only to discover that I had NONE. Absolutely none. Not even a scrap. There are bags of bows, piles of tissue paper in every hue and miscellaneous gift bags in random sizes but not the tiniest square of holiday wrapping paper anywhere. I scrounged around in the library closet, where I keep all the wrap. I riffled through the gift closet thinking I may have stashed it there. I even went downstairs to the hall closet where I keep the paper shopping bags. Nada.
I wandered around the house perplexed. Why was there no wrap? As I passed through the kitchen, the phone rang. It was my sister. “Mom bought David a gift card to Walmart. It looks like everyone is getting a gift card this year, so we need to think about good stocking stuffers.”
Ah, the gift card. Every store, restaurant, gas station, and supermarket has one. There is even a display rack of cards at the local A&P. It is convenient, less nerve-wracking and better than giving cash (the ultimate in cop-outs.) I have finally embraced the gift card. Let them buy what they want. Let them spend their own money on gas. Let me buy what I want. For that matter buy me a gift card for gas. And don’t bother wrapping it, just put it in a gift bag with a little tissue so I will be surprised.