March 6, 2021

The Perfect Gift May be the Most Practical One

Scratching your head about what to get those on your gift list this year? You may want to consider something practical like a gift certificate for groceries or a prepaid calling card.

This holiday season, 34 percent of adults said they are more likely to buy practical gifts, according to a Consumer Reports National Research Center telephone survey of 1,014 adults conducted earlier this month and released Thursday. Also, one third of those surveyed said they wanted to receive more practical gifts this holiday season than last (see more of the survey findings here). But what makes a good practical gift?

Readers commenting on my colleague Ron Lieber’s Tuesday Bucks post about “7 Ways to Help Unemployed Friends and Family” offered up some ideas including grocery store gift cards, gas gift cards and just plain old cash (through an online gift fund).

And this recent “Dear Abby” column mentions practical gift ideas including laundry detergent, toothpaste, bird seed for bird feeders, handmade coupons for chores, gift baskets of food items (think canned tuna, soup, crackers and coffee), public transportation passes and gift certificates for manicures, dry cleaning, pharmacies, restaurants and theater tickets, among other ideas.

Elsewhere, United Policyholders, a nonprofit focused on educating the public about insurance issues and consumer rights, suggested Thursday that emergency kits or safety supplies from one of its partners would make good holiday gifts.

Other surveys are backing up the Consumer Reports findings. A National Retailer Federation survey released Wednesday, for instance, predicted that grocery stores can expect to see an increase in last minute shopping this year as more people consider food or candy as gift items.

What are your ideas for practical gifts, and what do you think of this gift-giving idea? Are practical gifts any fun at all?

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=d8cd7699b7fda140f7ae583589ade890

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