It becomes harder and harder to buy Christmas presents for family and loved ones. Tastes change, they get older, and a Fruit Cake just won't cut it.
My wife and I actually resort to gift cards sometimes for their favorite store or shopping destination. They're not exciting, but that way they get to shop for what they want and I don't have to supply exchange slips with every wrong gift I buy.
As for cost, well, if you're giving a $25, $50, $100 card, you pay full price, right?