I know my wallet is now full of them and you've gotten a few also.  Gift cards.  I love them and I hate them.  But don't think don't  you have options.  Gift cards come with lots of options.

I love to give gift cards.  Especially iTunes cards.  These are pretty easy to use(provided your recipient uses iTunes) and best of all there isn't a lot of problem with your recipient having to overspend.

This is why I hate gift cards.  I'm on a pretty tight budget, so gift cards for places I don't usually go to are problematic.  Hard for me to spend all the card without going over.  I've always felt this was how they "got you" on the gift cards.  Nobody goes in and spends $20 bucks...exactly.

The major exception being restaurants.  I got a $20 Outback Steakhouse card that will pick up the appetizers and that's a big gift for me.  Unless of course if I didn't like Outback; because I wouldn't redeem it anyway, lost gift, lost cash.

And I never dare re-gift a gift card.  What if there was a problem with the blasted thing? "Hang on, let me call the person that bought it for me, have them get with Target, have them call me and then I'll call you back.  Just hang at Target until next Tuesday, cool?"

Apparently I'm not the only person with these issues.  According to a new report $41 billion dollars worth of money on gift cards has gone unclaimed since 2005. I'd always presumed companies eventually absorbed the money as revenue.  Due to gift card regulations, companies cannot report the money as revenue until the cards are redeemed.  So the money is just sitting there...in limbo.

Whatever you decide, make sure you do something with them.  Somebody wanted you to have it, it's up to you to do something with it.  Somebody that found a troublesome piece of plastic a bit more intimate and personal than the ultimate gift card, a lottery ticket!