They may not be personal, but they sure are practical.
That's why half of holiday shoppers plan to give a gift card this season, according to a recent report by Bankrate.
Gift cards are generally considered good for business. They boost sales and create loyal customers. However, they also decrease the opportunity to make additional revenue when shoppers come in with their items to return or exchange and inevitably pick up a few more things.
The increasing popularity of gift cards has curbed some of the appetite for returns, according to Britt Beemer, chairman and CEO of America's Research Group. "We've seen a huge drop in Christmas returns because of the growth of gift cards."
"Aunts and uncles are going the gift-card route, which is reducing the amount of returns altogether," he said.
Last year, consumers returned only 4 percent of their gifts, on average, with two-thirds saying they didn't return any gifts, according to the National Retail Federation.