WE are all told it's not polite to hand out cash to the kids at Christmas time because it means you couldn't be bothered finding them a real present.
So the next best idea has been instead of cash you find a retailer you know the kids will enjoy shopping at and buy a gift card.
Problem solved, well it is unless that retailer suddenly hits a financial brick wall.
If you were one of the many that thought a Dick Smith gift card was a great idea you will know exactly what I mean.
After receivers walked into the 393 Dick Smith stores yesterday your $100 or $50 gift card became little more than a piece of plastic.
There is a slight chance you'll get something back if the receivers can salvage the wreck, but I wouldn't be waiting by the post-box for that cheque to arrive in the next few years.
Gift card buyers weren't the only ones burnt in the crash.
Those who put down deposits on the super Dick Smith pre-Christmas bargains also got stung.
Their deposits are now also worth zero. Yes, that great bargain turned out to be just another big lemon.
The question we should be asking Dick Smith executives is if they knew the situation was so dire before Christmas why did they continue to sell gift cards and take lay-by deposits?