A gift card is a great way to ensure someone is getting just what they want for Christmas, but they totally miss the point of Christmas giving.

Yeah. I said it. And I say this as someone who has purchased their share of gift cards - gift cards miss the point of Christmas.

I understand if you're getting a gift card for a service, you can't exactly wrap up a massage or a car detailing, but those gifts cards that are just for a store, especially ones like Target or Walmart - that's just missing the point.

Of course, we should first wonder where the tradition of gift giving at Christmas actually started. Some may point to the Three Wise Men, but the origin is not that simple. According to The Atlantic, Christmas gift-giving began as a concerted effort in NYC in the early 1800s, by "elites who wanted to move raucous celebrations out of the streets and into homes, and families who simultaneously wanted to keep their children safe at home and expose them, in limited amounts, to commercial entertainment."

Bottom line, it's basically a made up thing.

I'd like to think that each gift is a well thought out reflection of one's affection for the receiver, as opposed to a gift card that basically says "I couldn't figure out what to get you, so go buy it yourself."

Isn't that just a step removed from people setting up their own Christmas registries, like for weddings? Oh wait, we call those Amazon wish lists. 


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