One of our Christmas gift purchases this year was a gift card to a certain restaurant. My wife went there in the middle of an afternoon.
This was, apparently, a huge faux pas. The restaurant had several employees in it, but the door was locked.
She knocked at the big double-door until she got someone's attention. An embarrassed, guilty-looking employee finally appeared. "Uh... we're closed right now."
"All I need is a gift card!", my wife protested. "Don't make me come back when there's a dinner crowd!"
"Uh..." The employee blushed. Bass-heavy music could be heard in the background, along with an occasional "Whoo-hoo!" and the breaking of glass. A wadded-up string of Christmas lights flew through the air, knocking over a nearly-empty water pitcher and collapsing in a heap on the floor next to some lunch debris that hadn't been swept up yet. "We're supposed to be... I mean, we *are* decorating the store for Christmas. No customers allowed."
My wife sensed a chink in the armor. "I could call the manager and ask him for a gift card..."
"No! Hold on! I'll see if anyone's sober enough... er... *available* to find a card for you!"
"Wait! How long will that take? Can't I wait inside the door? It's cold out here!"
"Well..." This was tricky ground for the lightly-inebriated staffer. "What exactly do you see going on in here?"
"I see hard-working employees creating a festive atmosphere for tonight's patrons."
"Come right in."
My wife stood just inside the door, pretending not to notice the raucous activity happening in the general direction of the kitchen. A male and female employee, holding hands, covered in glitter glue and trailing garland, ran giggling past her and into one of the bathrooms. A couple of fireworks went off.
"Here you go," said the door-opener. It had taken more than 10 minutes, but he had managed to sober up and find a gift card. He had bloodshot eyes and smelled strongly of coffee. "Glad to be of assistance," he happily lied.
My wife left the restaurant as quickly as dignity would allow. Part of the store was on fire.
Next year we may have to resort to actual presents. Gift cards are too dangerous.