So last night, I made a comment on Twitter, half-jokingly, that I was going to create a gift certificate that allowed people to give people the promise of a gift without actually giving them a gift. (It sounds more cold-hearted than it actually is.) This came about from me thinking about Black Friday this weekend and all the sales and madness that goes along with it. Firstly, I'm flabbergasted that this is happening again - and so soon! (Didn't this just happen last year? Sheesh!) Secondly, I find it hard to believe that, given the current state of the economy, that there are people rushing out to spend all this money on expensive gifts. Money that a lot of people simply don't have. (At least the people around me don't have it. I don't know about where you're standing.) The very thought of having to shop for my wife and family this Christmas curls my hair, not because I don't love them and I don't want to supply them all with lavish presents, but I simply cannot afford to do that.
So I got to thinking, what if I gave my wife a gift certificate? I would love to take her on a weekend trip to Chicago, but realistically, this goal is out of reach financially. Given my graphic designer chops, I was going to make a gift certificate or a raincheck to give her on Christmas day, Then I started thinking, what would this certificate say? How about this, I thought: "Hey, honey. Let's go to Chicago. Or something." That's romantic, right? I felt like I was back in college and picking up my date on a bike. Maybe my wife could stand next to me as I rode the bike to the airport to get on the imaginary plane that I booked. Yeah, that's not working.
So, I mulled it over and with a little brainstorming help from my friend. musician Marian Call (one of the most hard-working people I know and someone who always has brilliant marketing ideas), we coined the phrase "Non Committal Gift Certificates." I spent the afternoon laying the certificate out and you can now download THIS FREE VERSION of the certificate:
It features a cute little drawing of a bunny riding a scooter because A) who doesn't want to see that? B) It is pretty awesome and C) It's the only thing I could think of on a short timeline,
So, go ahead and pass the certificate along, print it out and give it to as many people as you choose. Hopefully it will be taken in the same tongue in cheek way it was intended and - in a perfect world - the recipient will be handing you his or her own copy of the NCGC.
And because I do design and illustration for a living, I've decided to add a customizable version to my online store. For just $10, you can have me draw something fun and personalized in the "Bunny Area". This way, for a nominal fee, you can actually hand someone a custom drawn piece of art instead of a pre-made PDF. This option is perfect for the people on your list who will not get a huge hilarious kick out of the message of the NCGC.
So, please consider this my early holiday gift to you all. With any luck, the economy will start turning around and Christmas will be saved!! But in the meantime, we have this option.