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Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Age of Practical Gift Giving

I've been planning on sending a gift for my good friend overseas and although I know by heart what she wants, my major constraint is how to send my present to her. This is not the first time I am faced with this dilemma. Every year on Mother's Day or my mom-in-law's birthday, The Hubby and I struggle to send something to my MIL and each year we just end up sending her flowers even though we'd love to get her something she could use and not wither after a week.

Normally if I am at a loss on what to give, I go for gift certificates. It's practical because the recipient can choose exactly what he wants for himself. The downside is I have to know the recipient’s favorite shop or business so I can get or buy the certificate from there. Safest shops usually are SM and Rustan’s or simply just get a Sodexho certificate.

For my family and friends overseas, I find solace from the magic of the internet and online shopping. With just a few clicks our gift-giving woes are finally over. We can now send something to family and friends during special occasions. I also found some innovative gift card websites where I can have the option to send cash too and/or let them choose for themselves the store and item they like. Generous gift-givers can send gift rocket gift cards online without falling in line for gift certificates at the mall. Everything is done with a few clicks and in the comfort of our home or office any time!

I like the flexibility of this new type of gift card online as sometimes even a gift certificate can go unused ‘til it expires if the recipient is not a fan of the store where it can be redeemed. On the other hand, the essence of gift-giving is somehow lost. There is an added value to the gift when the giver personally chose, paid for and wrapped the gift.

I guess that’s the price we have to pay for being practical and availing of the fast-moving technology.


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