As last minute shoppers race to stores many are taking the easy way out...gift cards.

Purchasing gift cards can make Christmas shopping easier.  But is it lazy?

I always list gift cards for a few stores or restaurants when asked for a list of gift ideas.  A couple of my favorite restaurants in town, San Chez and Bistro Bella Vita, always make that list.  I like to included them to provide an easy option for the purchaser.

Gift cards can be very thoughtful.  Many gift cards pooled together to use at one store can help to make a major purchase much more affordable.

Gift cards can also be an easy or lazy way out.  It really depends on the situation.

Some people are against the idea of giving gift cards altogether arguing that it's not any different than just giving cash.  I disagree in some cases.  If you are giving a gift and expect to receive one of similar value in return, isn't that just an exchange of money anyway?

Gift exchanges, especially those with pre-set dollar amounts, are different than gifts that are given with nothing expected in return.

Are gift cards as gifts lazy or practical?