It used to be that giving a gift certificate (before gift certificates became gift cards) as a Christmas present was frowned upon. A lot of people felt like gift certificates were something people only gave when they were too lazy to come up with anything else, or ran out of time before finishing their Christmas shopping. But do people still look at it that way? 

Is it OK to give gift cards as Christmas presents?
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

It is almost impossible to find a business for which a gift card or gift certificate is not an option. It's even common to find gift cards from multiple businesses all at one location. A buyer can purchase cards to places like Toys R Us, Red Lobster, Best Buy, Home Depot, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Olive Garden, Macy's and AMC Theaters, in addition to filling up their iTunes accounts and purchasing minutes for the TracFones, all at the grocery store. In fact, during the holiday season, it's hard to miss the massive displays of gift cards from businesses of all sorts at nearly every major retail outlet.

With so many gift cards to choose from, it's pretty enticing to just pick up a few cards, and call your Christmas shopping done. I used to think giving gift cards/certificates was a lazy way out, but I've softened my stance on the issue considerably in recent years. To me, as long as some thought goes into choosing the right gift card for the right person, based on their interests, it's not a big deal.

What do you think? Is is OK to give a gift card for a Christmas gift?

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