There is no questioning the popularity of gift cards for holiday gifts this year. Cnn.com reports that 58% of people would like one as a gift, and 80% of us will buy one during our holiday shopping. They certainly are an awesome option, but are they always the right gift? I don't think so, so I've come up with a system that I use. It's 'Lou's Holiday Level System".

There are three levels, silver, gold and platinum. If someone is a silver level member, they are an acquaintance or co-worker who will probably get you a little something, so a gift card is perfect for them. Gold level members are friends or non immediate family members, some of whom will spend time shopping for a great gift for you, others who won't. Gift cards are good for everyone in this category except those people who you know will spend a lot of time shopping for you. Finally, there's the platinum level. This includes wives, husbands, kids, parents, and close friends. It's a good bet the people in this level are spending time thinking about and shopping for your gift, and it's nice to return that favor. Anybody in this level can be a gift card person, just be sure of it before you make the purchase!

I may be wrong, but that seems to work for me! Are you a gift card person?