Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gifts vs Gift Cards

Now the holidays have ended I thought it be time to think about the gift giving vs. the gift cards.

I'm an old fashion girl - I want to shake the box, have it wrapped with pretty paper and of course with ribbons and bows. There is still a 'little kid' in me that is excited when then box is there with my name on it. In my family - the gift with the "special paper from grandpa" - was generally a really good one. It doesn't matter the holiday, or birthday, or the just because gift, it's really fun to get a gift all wrapped up just for me. If you wonder how come ...... well this guy loved a good present and we all could count of him to wear the bow!

I guess the use of gift cards could be due to being a bit more ecological, or is it that there isn't enough time to think of that special gift, it seems that the citizenery has fallen to giving a 'gift card'. It's easy, takes only the time to stand in line, and voila, gift is done. Heck you can order them oline and have them shipped to the receipent.

I do believe gift cards have their place in the gift world - such as assisting the receipent to purchase a big ticket item; then there is the on-line comodities like music or cell/text minutes, and limiting the receipent to where they can shop. All in all, the card issuers really win!

Some interesting statistics - some 50 million adults purchased gift cards last year; the receipent (61% of them) spent more than the original amount of the card; Americans use 83% of the cards issued worldwide; receipents, more than 54% of them, need to make at least two trips to the store to use up the card's value; and the drum roll please...... 33% of the total value of a card is never used or redeemed. In 2004, there was an etimated $17.34 BILLION in gift card sales! You do the math!

This year I recieved some gift cards that I'll add to my other cards that still have a balance, some really nice home made gifts like the bread made by my cousin/godchild, and a really cool gift in a box with fancy paper and a bow (thanks mom & dad)! I'm thankful for all, just wished for more boxes with pretty paper and a bow!

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