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Work/Life: The New Gift-Giving

Looking back at the last few days of holiday celebration and gift-giving, it hit me how much things have changed. For instance, my father sent me an e-mail with the code for an Amazon gift certificate. In years past he would mail me a Christmas card with a check inside. And when we were giving out gifts, after a huge holiday dinner on Christmas Eve, my sister-in-law Cindy told my wife and I our gift hadn’t arrived yet from Buy.com.

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Looking back at the last few days of holiday celebration and gift-giving, it hit me how much things have changed. For instance, my father sent me an e-mail with the code for an Amazon gift certificate. In years past he would mail me a Christmas card with a check inside. And when we were giving out gifts, after a huge holiday dinner on Christmas Eve, my sister-in-law Cindy told my wife and I our gift hadn’t arrived yet from Buy.com.

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Is the convenience of the Internet making gift-giving less personal? Or is it just stripping away the hollow pretense it had before? I think giving someone a gift card is the easy way out. And a thoughtful and unexpected gift is one of the best things in the world. Yet, this opinion doesn’t make me a better giver: at the office party I gave away a gift card for iTunes — a non-object you can trade for other non-objects.

In what way has modern technology and convenience changed your holiday experience? And is it for the better?

About the author

His work has also been published by Kill Screen, Tom's Guide, Tech Times, MTV Geek, GameSpot, Gamasutra, Laptop Mag, Co.Create, and Co.Labs. Focusing on the creativity and business of gaming, he is always up for a good interview or an intriguing feature.

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