If you’re like me, you’re still finding gift cards that you received last Christmas, but never used.
Oh joy, with Christmas 2011 only 11 days away, we’ll soon be starting the gift card mania all over again.
Try going to any store these days without being inundated by gift cards from scores of retailers. The supermarket. The drugstore. The office supply store. Even the 7-Eleven down the street has umpteen variety of gift cards. I guess that’s why we call them convenience stores. But is there such a thing as too much convenience?
Standing in the checkout line of any of these stores, you can find yourself an arms-length away from any number of brightly colored gift cards from places like Barnes and Noble, Applebee’s, Best Buy, and Bass Pro Shops. Hey, don’t snicker. Bass fisher men and women need a little love during the holidays too.
What happened to the good old days when you had to actually go to an individual store to purchase that store’s gift card, or God forbid, purchase a gift itself? And try giving someone a $50 American Express Gift Certificate these days, redeemable like a traveler’s check. They came in matching gold-colored envelopes and made a great Christmas or graduation gift. Nowadays, you might as well try giving someone a rotary dial phone.
I must admit that I too find it hard to resist buying a gift card or two each year for that special someone — or not so special. It’s easy, and requires little thought or planning. Isn’t that the American way?
Let’s try something bold and new this holiday season. Physically go to a store and actually buy a real gift for that friend or loved one. And pay extra to get it wrapped by a human being.
In fact, make it a point this year to demonstrate a little inconvenience. Go out of your way. And do the same with your customers and clients. You’ll enjoy the results and the good cheer it will bring.