So as it is wont every year, Christmastime is approaching and it is approaching fast. This of course means that we must go about getting gifts for all family members (okay, or at least the ones you have an agreement with to exchange gifts). Anyhow, I found the following two articles (written by the same person, none the less):
Gift Cards are Not Gifts
20 easy gifts that aren't gift cards
Now then, generally, I agree.
HOWEVER, I do like gift cards. I like to give them and I like to receive them. And it has nothing to do with items.
It has to do with consumables (which, you'll notice is an item on the "20 easy gifts" article)--How am I supposed to gift the gift of delicious melted cheese to my loved ones if I'm not allowed to give them a gift card to the Melting Pot? Oh I know, I could buy them a fondue pot and one of those fondue kits and mail it all to the person. But what if they're lazy and don't want to take the time to go and get (or make) bread or other dipping things? Or another thing, one of the articles asks if it would mean the same thing to give a person with a newborn baby a gift card instead of an actual item--I think it does, as long as the gift card you're giving has a good reason behind it such as "I got you this gift card because there will be a time when you turn to your spouse and say 'you know what? I don't want to cook tonight', and so now, you can still keep yourself fed without having to resort to the condiments in your fridge. Even better, this restaurant delivers!"
Also, I am fine with giving gift cards in the event that the item that is requested is out of the price range. For example, Shawn and I partake of the family gift swap with his cousins--each person is matched up with someone that isn't in their immediate family and then you get that person a $50 gift. One year, his cousin asked for a $50 gift card to Banana Republic because the blouse she wanted was $98. And if you've ever happened to walk into a Banana Republic, you know that $50 doesn't get you very far.
However, gift cards are a cop out if you're just giving it because you have no idea of what else to get--or you're too lazy to actually go out and get something.