When it comes to gift giving, it's pretty much a cop out to give a gift card and allow the recipient to purchase something she'd like on her own. (Normally, I'd use the pronoun "he," but in this case, it's definitely a woman. Men don't usually care what you get them, but get a woman the wrong gift, and you'll never live it down, which is why the gift card has taken over.)

If you're going to give a gift card, it should be to a business the recipient would enjoy.  For instance, my daughter receives a gift card for frozen yogurt almost every Christmas.  This is ideal for her because she ALWAYS wants to go out for frozen yogurt or ice cream.

This year, she expressed her desire for three things: a Nerf gun, a hoverboard, and a pair of Retro 23's.... (Don't ask.  I don't know.)  She has said that this year, she wants us to help other families.  I'm with that!  However, being so thoughtful has made me want to give her more than the simple items she requested.  I'm thinking a gift card to Upsurge!  She would go there every week if I could find the time. (See, a gift card that took some thought.)

Because I am a huge proponent of supporting local businesses, I'd like to do a bit more shopping for others.  What are some local businesses where you would go Christmas shopping, and what would you buy?