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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gift Certificates

According to Wikipedia, a gift certificate was first called a “scrip”. Scrip is an “American term for any substitute for currency which is not legal tender and is often a form of credit. Scrips were created as company payment of employees and also as a means of payment in times where regular money is unavailable, such as remote coal towns, military bases, ships on long voyages, or occupied countries in war time”.

You could receive a gift certificate like the one above and discover it was sent to you from the past by a welder named Klaus. Or the more likely scenario is that you have a voucher to go on the party pirate ship that sails around the Cape Peninsula. It seems like a lot of fun can be had with the making of gift vouchers. I have often thought that in some situations the best thing you can do is make a gift certificate for someone. For example, if a friend has just had a baby I could give her a voucher for one babysit or a home cooked meal – a voucher almost makes that offer more tangible and then they might remember to take you up on your offer.

Gift cards are of course another form of gift certificates. There would be a certain amount of money on the card already and you would have to spend it at the specified store or shopping centre. I think that these are really great, I know that I love getting them (especially if it’s a Woolworths one because then I have to shop there).

And then there are the gift vouchers that no one ever wants to get. Personally, I would not want this one. I wonder if there is gift certificate etiquette...can you pass it on to someone who can use it and just lie to you friend and say that you got the hammer you always wanted? I guess this falls under friend etiquette and then I guess the lying part would be inappropriate. I guess I could always buy a plant at the hardware store.

There are so many different types of gift certificates out there and in this day and age almost every shop has them. I think it is a great way to let someone choose what they want. And if you do get a gift voucher to some random shop like Dumbbells-R-Us then just make the best of it and be grateful for the gift of toned upper arms.

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