I’ve become my own grandmother. Well I ‘m not really my grandmother but I am becoming more and more like her with each passing day. Often you hear talk about old timers and their gift giving , family gifts that is , for Christmas and birthdays. Up to a certain age around 65 they do their own shopping and pick up the most wonderful and creative presents. And then comes the time when to go out and find the perfect gift is too great a burden. That is where I am now.
So what are my options ? Well there are three as I see it. One is to not give anything . I could get away with that if there was assurance that the non recipient of the gift gets recompense in my will. Of course, then I am gambling that he or she is not in a hurry to have that gift delivered too soon . The second option is to have someone else do the shopping for me. That was easier in the days of large families. Out of a brood of eight or ten children one person would likely be able to get the gifts. But today families are smaller and everyone is too busy. I can just see my daughter’s reaction if I gave her the list of names to purchase gifts for throughout the year. I am sure she ‘d be delighted to do that on her day off . And her child would stay with whom? There now. Do I get her to shop while I babysit or do I shop myself. No. That option is out. That leaves number three. Give money.
And that was my choice this past Christmas. Now it was cleverly disguised . I didn’t give the twenty dollar bills or fifties. No, that would be too tacky . And besides giving money could be THE gift that keeps on giving. Imagine the bacteria that have found harbour on the surface of those bills. Instead the cash is disguised as a gift card. That sounds much better, doesn’t it. We don’t give cash. We give gift cards. Much more respectable. And that person gives me a gift card. The only tricky part about it is how much to give. If I give twenty dollars and she gives thirty how will that look? Better to have her on the low side. I will give more.
So now I have my gift cards and I have to go shopping anyway. I thought I’d taken care of that dreaded past time. So off I go to the streets of commerce. I can’t go to Walmart because my card says Sears . I am forced to buy half of some unmentionables because the cost there is twice as much as anywhere else. And rather than get an inexpensive serving dish at Zellers, I buy a luxury model at Pier 1. Unfortunate, because I live in a Zellers style basement apartment and not a Pier 1 condo. Gift cards can be limiting.
Now If they could be traded in for full cash value that would be great. But that is where they get you. A gift card is a guarantee for the business that there will be sales for that amount. And if the cards are not cashed the business has just been given a donation. I will take the half unmentionable rather than let that happen.
Anyway , I digress. I am like my grandmother because I am heading towards the universal gift of twenty dollars–no, consider inflation and make it thirty dollars. The only difference is that mine will be plastic . It will be in a neat little envelope or maybe even a box made just for that purpose and if you are lucky I might tie a bow around it. And nobody will mind it at all because now I am too old to be out shopping for gifts for people who are into i-pods, pads , 3 D flat screens ,surround sound and cellphones . Perfume, soaps , scented candles , chocolates and liquor contribute to allergies, lung diseases, obesity or failed breathlizers. So I will go the route of the aged and give the best gift of all -money cards. That is the advantage of getting old. I am excused . I am forgiven. Isn’t it wonderful! One more thing I can get away with.
If you have a gift card that you will not be using, send me a message and I will relieve you of it. And I won’t even charge for the pick up. Do not, I repeat , do not let it decorate some trash heap.