Back in the old days, you actually bought people Christmas presents.
A gift card is as lazy as “wrapping” a present by tossing it into a bag. (Having said all that, I’m fine with gift cards in my old age; however, even today I never choose a bagged present at a gift exchange. Surprises are supposed to be unwrapped.)
With the current gift card frenzy, it’s very easy and tempting to snatch up a Starbucks/Red Lobster/iTunes card at a grocery store register and – voila! – a major chunk of your Christmas shopping is done.