2013-12-13 / Columnists

Slice Of Life

It’s The Card That Counts
By Beth Hanning

As I said last week, Christmas is not my favorite holiday. I find Christmas very stressful: shopping, planning, and decorating. My husband and I have a rather large family and we exchange with EVERYONE. I am the kind of person who wants the children to enjoy their present and actually use it past Christmas vacation. I never wanted to be the gift giver who sees a child open the box and throw it to the side without even looking at the present. I never want to be the aunt from A Christmas Story that sends poor Alfie a pink rabbit costume. I want children to think of me as a “cool” gift giver, not a crazy one. (PS I know this is not what Christmas is about, but let’s be honest, it has evolved into something far more than Baby Jesus’ Birthday. I love Little Christmas.)

Each year it gets harder with the children getting older and more difficult and expensive to purchase items. When the children are younger, they do not care about brands or want very expensive video games. Since I have two girls, I never know what is “cool” for boys and different ages enjoy various trendy items.

I think many of the children are going to receive gift cards this year. I have debated about gift cards with people for many years. Since I enjoy shopping for myself when there is no pressure, I would love a gift card to be able to treat myself to something I may not have purchased without the assistance of a gift card. Besides department stores where I can purchase clothes, my two favorite gift cards are for restaurants and manipedis. Who does not enjoy eating out? Additionally, if the person is detective enough to purchase a gift certificate to a restaurant you frequent, that is technically not “impersonal.” So to answer my friend, Jennifer Walters, if you research the present and purchase the gift card to the nail salon your friend chooses or their favorite restaurant, then that is definitely not impersonal!

If you purchase the American Express gift card while on line at Waldbaum’s or Stop and Shop while you are on your way to the gift exchange then it is not personal and some people may be offended, but not me. I accept all gifts without judgment.

Do you like to receive gift cards? Let me know!

So to be safe you have to be a detective and ask around if your challenging receiver thinks of gift cards as an impersonal present.

Happy Birthday Mother-in-Law (yes that is what I call her and she is okay with it!) For all of you superstitious people, Happy Friday the 13th.

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