PLEASE do me a favor: DON'T pick out any gifts for your loved ones. Don't buy the book you know they'll love, DON'T get that one gadget you know they've been droping hints about for the last six months, DON'T even bother with gift cards.
You’re going to pick wrong.
I absolutely guarantee you’re going to pick wrong — just like you did last year, just like you’ve done for many, many years. Everyone has just been too polite to say anything.
And then I have to spend days of my life, after the holidays, doing nothing but processing returns. At least once an hour I’ll be asked, “Can’t I just get cash back?”
And sadly, the answer is no.
So let’s all agree: The Perfect Gift Is an Envelope Full of Cash.
I’d love to get cash. Anyone aged 14-28 would definitely prefer cash. Do a gut check: what do you want? Sure, that surprise gift, the exact right thing is great when it comes from the one person in your life (spouse, partner, boyfriend, girlfriend) but for everyone else?
I say: If you’re not sleeping with them, they just get cash.
[If you are sleeping with them, this seems appropriate]
Imagine the time you’ll save. Imagine the lack of stress. If you think cash is too impersonal, put the cash envelope inside of a tin of home-made cookies. That would be fantastic because, c’mon, *cookies* AND *cash*! That would be a holiday gift I’d be talking about for decades. The folks in the retirement home will be sick of hearing about it.
[cash is even traditional in some cultures]
So do yourself a favor. Do your loved ones a favor. Most Importantly, take the pressure and the hassle away from the poor retail clerks who have to process all those damn returns for clothes and other crap gifts: Just give cash this holiday.
Thank you for you time and polite consideration. And I’ll be back in 2012 to repeat this message in RocketBomber’s next Holiday Gift Guide!