• Ladies, could I ask you a question? How do you feel about gift certificates?

    I mean, when you "receive" them?

    The reason why I ask is that last week, while I was waiting — actually, enduring — a much delayed flight, the issue of holiday shopping came up.

    And the guy next to me said that he gives everyone on his list — including his wife — gift certificates.

    He said everyone's happy that way. I told him that he's nuts and that I'm very anti-gift certificate. And here's why:

    You're more or less telling the person you're giving it to, that, "Heck, I don't know what to give you and frankly can't be bothered. So go buy your own damn gift and be done with it."

    Trust me, certificate-givers, the people you're giving the certificate to know that. And some — maybe even many — will like that. But I trust that many more won't. They'll think you're lazy or don't care or both.

    The guy on the plane thought I was nuts. Am I?

    I say better a Wisconsin Yule log you did shop for than a certificate for one, you did not. But that's me.

    Ladies, since men buy three times more gift certificates than you, what do you think? I need to know.

    Time's a-wasting!

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