As you’re out and about spending money on good deals today — most likely on Christmas gifts — heed the lessons of George Will’s latest column on gift giving. It turns out that it can be very inefficient.
As he points out:
Gifts that people buy for other people are usually poorly matched to the recipients’ preferences. What the recipients would willingly pay for gifts is usually less than what the givers paid.
But don’t give up giving. If in doubt of what your loved one really wants (especially with the amount of money you are willing to spend), the column suggests giving a gift card. It’s more efficient because the recipient will be able to spend it on what they truly value.