Don't panic! This is good news, although a bit delayed and totally embarrassing.
The other day while in a two-week self-quarantine from travel and coronavirus concerns, I realized that I could either dust or organize Christmas letters and cards ... I can barely say this ... dated 2016-19. Not that I was bored after alphabetizing the spice cabinet.
These heartfelt greetings and smiles that have reached across the miles ... and years ... had been placed into my highly efficient filing system: A Nordstrom's shopping bag.
As I sorted through the stack, definitely a choking hazard as dust rose, what was revealed inside one envelope circa 2017 made me almost leap for joy. Not wanting to throw my back out, I decided to just shout in ecstasy instead.
Yahoo! A Starbucks gift card was inside!
The prospect of a trip to the nearest barista had me almost head over heels when suddenly time slowed to a crawl. There were still three days left until I could have the good luck to stand behind someone ordering a "quad ristretto, no foam, one stevia, extra hot latte."
So, rather than picking up a dusting cloth in the interim or writing an apologetic thank you, I decided to do a little online research.
Did you know that according to CNBC reporter Annie Nova and Mercator Advisory Group, up to $3 BILLION worth of gift cards go unused each year?
Whoa! That's a lot of gifts going to waste! And I imagine the retailers and banks that get the money returned to them may actually be doing cartwheels. (They're probably millennials.)
But one quote in the reporter's article that really struck me was from Providence College professor Dan Horne, "The recipient's part of the bargain is to accept the giver's gift."