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Tis Ths Season To Be Phony

While listening to the radio the other day (more specifically, the Dan Patrick Show -- gotta love that hair) I heard an advertisement for something called the American Express Gift Card. Beneath the whimsy, the ad claimed that during the “holiday season” (which I suppose now begins as Halloween), people should give gifts to their friends, family, and co-workers in the form of something they actually want. Therefore, claims the voiceover, one should give American Express Gift Cards, which can be used at any of the thousands of places that take American Express.

My first thought was typically cynical. A person who gives such a gift is blatantly admitting that they haven’t clue one as to what sorts of things their friends and family are interested in. A card with a gift certificate inside practically screams:

“I don’t want to appear inconsiderate, so here’s a bunch of money that you can use to buy any consumer product that you wish – products that I would have bought you myself if I wasn’t so lazy and oblivious as to your personal desires. Merry Holiday Season.”

Later, as I was mulling this idea over in my mind, a second thought struck me: Why not just give cash? If you are going to go through the trouble of NOT shopping for someone, why not just stuff a C-Note into an envelope and be done with it? Why all the pretense of a “Gift Card?”

I realize now that the truth lies directly with the synthesis of these two thoughts: People are lazy and stupid, but cash gifts are too transparent a reminder of how lazy and stupid they are. The Gift Card is the eidolon that fools the recipient into believing that the giver actually put time and energy into their gift, when in fact, they did not. It is as negotiable as cash, but with its metallic gold coloring and fancy script, sidesteps the tackiness of a folded up twenty dollar bill.

Phony gifts for phony people to give their phony friends.

And the wheel keeps turning…

Comments

Moni said…
I'll take a shiny metallic gold colored gift card, or a C-note. You give C-notes? Can I be on your Christmas gift list.

I know what you mean though, people have gotten a wee bit lazy when finding that heart-felt gift for their loved ones. Whatever happened to homemade gifts? Oh, I'm sorry i must be living in the 1800's ;p

"Eidolon." I had to look that up; now if you expect me to post on your blog, then you've got to stop using those five dollar words. hehe

Bless,
Moni
Anonymous said…
If you're going to try to be intelligent at least do a little research first, I'll take a few hundred of those cnotes myself, I don't find them tacky & distasteful whatsoever

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