Gift cards: The gifts that keep on taking


They say money is the root of all evil, but when it comes to modern gifting that’s not even remotely true. Money is warm and friendly, like a puppy. Like a big, red-bow wrapped,chocolate puppy even.
Judging from my holiday mail, it’s gift cards that lead to trouble. Like cell phones and Paris Hilton, gift cards have gained an unshakable foothold on America. Everywhere you look, there they are, proliferating faster than overpriced latte shops.
Pick what you want. Industry sources put the annual growth of these plastic cards, loaded with money and meant to be spent at specific retail locations, at 12 percent to 15 percent and said that givers like certificates because recipients “can pick out exactly what they want.”
That sounds so thoughtful, doesn’t it: “pick out exactly what you want.” Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll see that the gift certificate is simply a mandated trip to the mall, whether the recipient wanted one or not.
It’s basically a pass that says “I loathe shopping for gifts, so I thought I’d


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.