Libby Copeland writes about gift cards.
There’s another way of looking at gift cards, though, and that’s from the receiver’s end: You get what you want. This can’t be underestimated. Receiving a gift card can be a delightful relief. It does away with awkward, dishonest thank-yous (Just what I wanted! Tie-dye!), with wonderings (Is this what he thinks of me? Tie-dye?), with yet more picture frames and, God forbid, Christmas pins. The gift card confers freedom from others’ assumptions and from their half-hearted, eleventh-hour, anything’ll-do mall frenzies.