The Sword and Laser discussion

Gifting in the digital age

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message 1: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 585 comments So with the holidays coming up, I wanted opinions/thoughts on gifting when so many of peoples pastimes are becoming available digitally. For instance-I spend about half my time reading, and the rest playing PC games. So getting a Barnes n Noble card or being gifted a steam key is fun for me-but, according to my mother-in-law, isn't a real gift. I have to admit as a gift-er I enjoy picking out a physical item that I can wrap up all pretty. Are Christmas' of the future going to be full of flat packages and festive emails?

message 2: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 1988 comments I'm the same way. I hope things don't go that way but at the same time, I'd rather give someone an amazon gift card that I know they'll use to load their kindle up and enjoy rather than a physical gift I'm less sure of.

message 3: by David(LA,CA) (new)

David(LA,CA) (DavidScharf) | 327 comments I think it depends on the gift giver. I'm happy with whatever most of my relatives would think I may want or need. One relative, however, is definitely being notified about a Nook book on my wishlist for every birthday and gift giving holiday going forward.

message 4: by aldenoneil (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments I've been told several times by relatives over the years that they can't find anything they want to buy me on my Amazon wish list, as it's full of digital items.

message 5: by Emy (new)

Emy (EmyPT) | 98 comments My mother hates me asking for 'virtual' gifts because she can't wrap them, put them in piles or physically hand them over, so she wont buy them. If it's something really important to me, she'll possibly buy one thing but my lists now have to include things she can buy on the high street. I usually put down books I don't mind how I get them or which I want hard copies of, computer peripherals, that sort of thing. She also now has a habit of buying me clothes, which is useful but still feels, odd, as a present... :P

message 6: by library_jim (new)

library_jim | 212 comments Maybe a dictionary that shows that "giving" is a perfectly serviceable word?

Just kidding! Not trying to be a dick, really. I just wonder about the use of "gifting" sometimes...

message 7: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (truckinggeek) | 25 comments last year my daughter asked for itune credits, so I printed the receipt off and gift wrapped that. She did find that amusing, thankfully!!

message 8: by Emy (new)

Emy (EmyPT) | 98 comments Heh, I will admit I got an ingame thingummy for Warcraft which was the printed receipt inside a pretty envelope :)

message 9: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 3582 comments I try not to give gift cards or virtual gifts, but if I do, then I do wrap up the receipt or whatever. I like giving physical presents and like people to open things.

That said, I do refer people to my amazon wishlists all the time. I have one for physical objects and one for digital. Never gotten something off my digital one, but I have gotten other digital type things (like tickets to an event that I'll actually load to the phone but I see the "gift receipt" in the box).

message 10: by library_jim (new)

library_jim | 212 comments My wife says she's going to wrap the empty box my new Kindle came in and put it under the tree. Fine with me!

I think the best way to handle gift cards is to just present them with a small gift of food or toys or something hand made or fun so yeah, the _real_ gift is the $50 gift card but it's around the neck of an action figure or something to make it more fun.

message 11: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5009 comments Mod
I'm lazy and just give cash. My family isn't big on gift exchange these days anyways. My sister and I bought my dad a laptop. I think I got an Amazon gift card from him, which is perfectly fine with me.

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2232 comments I'd always prefer money or gift cards. I try to emphasize, if asked, that part of the fun for me is planning and picking things out. I don't need any more well intentioned yet ridiculous themed gifts.

message 13: by aldenoneil (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments Jenny wrote: "I don't need any more well intentioned yet ridiculous themed gifts."

Right. Gift cards or consumables. I want my gift to be gone a month or two down the road, because I have enough clutter. Not that I'm ungrateful when I receive "stuff," I'll just say, "Thank you," and then sell it on the sly.

message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim (kskryptonian) | 202 comments In this era where gift cards are so readily available, it is shameful to get gross sweaters or junk. Gift cards are more appropriate and encouraged. Also, they ship easier. With my family being spread out over several states, it's so much easier to send points or creds or whatever.

One year my father in law sent 25$ on a Wal-mart card. That was like a fourth of my groceries that week. It was great, because he used to shop at 7-11 for gifts if he remembered us at all!

message 15: by C.C. (last edited Nov 02, 2012 11:52AM) (new)

C.C. (vfefrenzy) Jim wrote: "I think the best way to handle gift cards is to just present them with a small gift of of food or toys or something hand made or fun"

I agree. My wife's extended family comes in for Christmas, and since I only see them at holidays, I don't know what else to get them. So we buy gift cards and put them on candy. SInce we live in the Great Smoky Mountains, we're able to give candy from local shops, which feels a bit more special than taping a gift card to a Snickers.

message 16: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 2101 comments I make it clear to people that if there is something I really, really want I would have already bought it for myself :) Gift cards are the way to go.

Lot's of people will be getting Starbucks Gift cards this year as the tech industry seems to give them away like candy.

message 17: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 585 comments Ooh I like the local candy idea! Might have to steal that.

message 18: by Luis (new)

Luis L (monkeyluis) | 24 comments I don't want physical objects anymore, so if someone gets me anything it better be a gift card. I'm tired of so much stuff, so I repeatedly tell my family I don't want anything. The only "things" I like to have now are my few gadgets, and the only things I want are digital items for that, books, movies, music. I don't want physical media anymore. Also if someone wants to get me gift cards they can be to grocery stores or restaurants, that's always a big help.

message 19: by Camilla (last edited Dec 11, 2012 05:34AM) (new)

Camilla Hansen (MalazanShadowDancer) | 64 comments I still prefer getting actual gifts, but then again I'm still young and clings to my childhood memories of Christmas. I like when I know people took the time to pick out something they know I'll like. But if my family gets to the point of digital gifts, then I'd still appreciate the thought of putting the receipt on a teddy-bear or what it may be. It's kind of cute and still shows some personal touch.
Gift cards might be very handy, but here we usually only give them as a emergency-solution to gifts. (Or when someone is moving out and really needs them)

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2232 comments I always buy at least one requested DVD for my husband, but this year he asked for them in iTunes so he doesn't have to digitize them. Since we share a bank account, I"ll have to wait for the day of!

message 21: by Katherine (new)

Katherine (Masquerader888) | 7 comments I happen to love getting gift cards. Most of my family knows by now to get me B&N gift card and between Christmas and my birthday in July I can generally cover most of my book purchases throughout the whole year by gift-card, which to me makes them gifts that keep on giving.
In contrast almost everyone on my to list doesn't consider gift cards serviceable. I have tried everything I can think of in that arena, even giving gift packages to my sister and brother-in-law for a couples massage package a couple years ago, and they just never get used. My nieces had almost two hundred dollars in walmart gift cards collected over the years and just didn't get the chance to spend them (I did explain that she could order things on-line with them, which she didn't seem to know, but in the end I think her mom bought them off her.)
So now I take them shopping to pick out their own gift, and I do my best on everyone else, but how I wish I could get away with a gift card and know it was going to be used to get something they wanted instead of giving it my best guess and knowing that half the things I get are going to collect dust.

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

I wouldn't mind buying digital for people or receiving it but for me most of the people I know aren't as gadgety or techy as I am, they don't have ebooks or play on steam so I have to buy physical, I don't mind that either, I just enjoy finding presents for people whatever they are into, its fun for me.

message 23: by Kim (new)

Kim | 476 comments AndrewP wrote: "I make it clear to people that if there is something I really, really want I would have already bought it for myself"

My wife hates that I do that. She's struggling to think of something this year and I can't think of anything to help her :P

I'm a big fan of gift cards. They really are the way to go. My family are all happy with them. We're spread out around the world so physical items are getting quite expensive to send plus it's hard knowing what they'd use otherwise.

My wife's family though are a lot more traditional when it comes to presents although they do also tend to give each other Kindle books. My father-in-law did it in an interesting way a couple years ago. He had bought his wife a pile of Kindle books so what he did was print off copies of all the covers and stick them on cardboard then put them in a box. I thought that sounded like a good way to do it.

message 24: by Daran (new)

Daran | 599 comments Physical, digital, I think it's the thought that counts. As long as the receiver enjoys it, no one else can say it isn't a real gift.

message 25: by Ruth (tilltab) (new)

Ruth (tilltab) (till-tab) | 1378 comments Jim wrote: "Maybe a dictionary that shows that "giving" is a perfectly serviceable word?"

Lol, this thread is actually the first time I've come across the term 'gifting' and it does sound very odd. "What are you gifting for Christmas?" for example, seems a weird thing to say when 'giving' fits in there so nicely, and 'presenting' would sound ghastly unless you were about to be the presenter of a show. Or maybe 'gifting' is used in different ways?

I really love to be surprised by things I would never have thought to buy, but there are so many digital things I want these days that vouchers really would be very handy and much appreciated. They are also great for when physical presents are too difficult. But if there must be solid, wrap-able present, a little something cheap and thoughtful goes a long way.

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