Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Christmas Spirit: Now Accepting Giftcards

I thought I'd spend a moment discussing something near and dear to my heart, especially during the holidays, my loathing of gift cards! The little pieces of plastic that seem to omit the need to actually KNOW what a person likes. Simply get them a gift card to an all-in-one store like Walmart, Target, or Bestbuy and your all set!

I will state right now, I don't dislike gift cards because I believe they are some sort of cruel marketing technique used to break up the social structure, no, I think the overuse of these is due to the consumer, not the producer. I hate giftcards because I think they are lazy, pure and simple. They allow a person to get away with not spending time to get to know a person and their preferences: likes and dislikes. Isn't that part of being a friend, knowing what a person likes?

What happens if I haven't known the person long enough or know a person well enough to get a good gift? Ask them! Whatever happened to going up to a person and asking "What sort of things do you like?". It is almost impossible NOT to be able to get ahold of someone long enough to learn about their personal tastes. Instant messengers, voice chat, email, phones, and those ancient things called letters work too! What if I don't have any of those? Well obviously this person isn't -that- important to you and you shouldn't worry about getting them a gift. Well I don't want to be a dick. Take them out to eat! I have yet to meet a person who would turn down a free meal at Sizzler or some locale restaurant.

What gift cards represent is the impersonal nature that is becoming more and more obvious during the recent years. The holidays are never meant to be a general ordeal, a routine. We have these traditions to help us realize how thankful we should be for all the good qualities in our life, one of them being family and friends. Now I understand there are certain households that leave much to be desired, but even there you can find something to focus on to bring a little light to your holidays. If you absolutely cannot find something, then search for a friend, a place, something that you feel thankful for having, it exists.

So whether your doing some last second holiday shopping, finding a birthday gift, or giving someone a present just because, try to avoid these little pieces of plastic and head farther into the depths of the store of your choice (trust me, you won't get lost).

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