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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Never Look a Gift Card in the Mouth

What's the smallest gift you can possibly spend $18.5 billion on?

A frickin gift card.

Okay, so nobody's spending that amount on ONE, solitary card. But that's how much revenue will be generated by these suckers during the 2005 holiday season alone -- $18.5 BILLION, people. That's a hell of a lot of duckets to dunk on one, piddly piece of plastic.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not downing these little gems in the least. They're a life saver to those of us who either have no clue what gift to get somebody or no desire to lose hours of their lives shopping for it. What gets me isn't the existence of gift cards. It's which retailers have taken it upon themselves to SELL them.

I'm not sure who was first on the scene: the Gap, Victoria's Secret, who knows? What I do know is that gift cards became popular because there was a DEMAND for them. People get giddy when they open a colorful, cardstock envelope and discover $25 to spend at Pottery Barn. People do NOT get so giddy when someone hands them $15 bucks to burn at Furniture Medic.

Sure, a Sunoco card is definitely of practical value. But come on, does that really constitute an EXCITING Christmas gift? Are you honestly gonna get all teary-eyed over a $50 endowment from Terminix??

And the REALLY sucky part is, after awhile, a gift card ain't worth jack. Sure your $30 Macy's card might look all sparkly in the wrapper. But after 18 months of burning a hole in your wallet, it's dwindled down to maybe somewhere around...$19?

So next Christmas, when you're roaming the malls, at wit's end over what constitutes an acceptable gift? Think of all the unnecessary drama that a gift card may rain down upon the heads of your loved ones and ask yourself: would they prefer it in red or blue?


Advanced beyond all that you can possibly comprehend with 100% of your brain.

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