Friday, 24 January 2014

Gift Voucher, Gift Voucher

Gift voucher! Gift voucher! Gleaming bright
Spent at emporiums day or night,
Thanks to Amazon and eBay
Could there be any other way?

I apologise to Blake for the flagrant abuse of the first verse of one of his most famous poems. If you're turning in your grave Bill, you can stop now because I promise it stops here.

As you may have gathered, the main reason I'm writing this month's blog is to laud the virtues of the humble gift voucher. It may also have something to do with the fact that my birthday is imminent and I'm considering writing a definitive birthday present list for my friends and family. High on this list is the gift voucher.

I'm one of the odd minority who relish receiving them as gifts.

Yes, I know some of you think they're boring. But here's the thing – they mean I can get WHATEVER I like, WHENEVER I like, WHERE EVER I like. What's not to like about that?

When I reached the age of 10 or 11 my grandparents regularly gave me money as birthday presents. I truly relished receiving these packages of good will as it seemed to signal the fact I was responsible enough to be trusted with cold hard cash. The possibilities were endless.

Gift vouchers have the same feel good factor as those envelopes of money my grandparents gave me. Like the money, they give a hint of things to come. For a start they have your name written on them by the giver in their own handwriting – personalisation personified. The vouchers are often edged in a shiny gold border (sometimes fluted) which seems to further enhance the quality of the slip of paper. 

I always feel like Charlie finding the golden ticket whenever I'm presented with one of these envelopes. I'm always thrilled to bits and I'm not faking it either.

And like Charlie, I'm never disappointed by the journey through the chocolate factory.

Over the years these rectangular slips of paper wonder have:
  • extended my library
  • expanded my DVD collection
  • enlarged my ever growing shoe and boot collection (I'm catching up Imelda!)
  • allowed me to caterogorise my wardrobe into Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter collections
  • provided much needed massages, manicures and pedicures
  • improved my tango skills
  • and so on and so on...

So I urge people to give up endlessly trawling shops and internet sites to find the present nobody really wants and send these flimsy parcels of wonder off to friends and family instead. And if your loved ones complain at your lack of thought in getting them so bland a present, just direct them to this blog as explanation.

Eventually everyone will come to realise the true value of a gift voucher – it is the gift of CHOICE!

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