I imagine like most families, the Christmas tree was not as full as in previous years. Fortunately, it wasn't because we were laid off or any other hardships. The womenfolk met unofficially on the phone and decided it would be easier to give gift cards. I was told of the decision about couple weeks ago, my first reaction was that it was too impersonal but the decision had already been made. The shopping malls, Sam's Wholesale, Wal-Mart and the main drag (Navarro Street) were as busy as I have ever seen it. Of course they will always be an actual present exchange, but I think gift cards will eventually be the norm.
We bought about three gift cards for that unexpected guest, but it was from stores that we usually frequent, just in case they don't show up. We have two gift cards left, one from Hastings and another from Best Buy. Speaking of Hastings, I swear they used to have stores in Corpus Christi, Houston and Austin. I have about $75.00 in gift cards that will have to be spent in Victoria, unless we go to San Marcos or Seguin.
I have to admit that I warmed to the idea pretty fast especially since all I have to do is log onto the ITunes and Amazon websites, input the redemption codes, and I don't have to worry about losing the cards or carrying them in my wallet. I don't have to keep up with a receipt or remember how much value remains on the card; it sure beats that extra tie, socks, and coffee mugs. Since we lost that “it's a thought not the gift” mentality; gift cards should ease the pain unless you give grandpa a gift card from a video game store. Then again, my wife and I still like cold hard cash…....
I'm sure young parents and grandparents still get that warm and fuzzy feeling for the gift that our children put in long hours to make, just to say how much they care. Then there is the overtime , scrimping and saving to buy our loved ones that special gift.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and look forward to even a better New Year.