DALLAS, Dec 16, 2008 / FW/ — It was 111 years ago when 8-year old Virginia O’Hanlon asked the question ‘Is there a Santa Claus’ and Francis Church of the New York Sun answered Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus. But, what about Santa’s list? Is it in a book or written on a scroll? In our digital world, it’s in databases called the Holiday Gift Registry.
Usually reserved for brides and would-be mothers, a gift registry is becoming more popular than ever. Graduation, birthday, and celebration of a rite of a passage, there is a gift registry out there for every or all occasions. In fact, online destinations like Amazon.com, neimanmarcus.com, and Target.com encourage their registered visitors to maintain a wish list, which can easily be transformed into a gift registry.
Perhaps, it is a sign of the times. Re-gifting or exchanging gifts at the store had been around for a long time. With the advent of the internet, specifically the popularity of eBay.com, unwanted gifts turning up on online auction sites have become the norm.
The giver really wants the gift to be exactly what the receiver want; but, short of asking the question straight up, which can be embarrassing, there is really no better way to know except via a gift registry.
The concept of a holiday gift registry is still new, so etiquette experts are still debating whether it is ‘good manners’ to maintain one during the holiday season and tell family and friends to check it out as reference for gift giving.
Is it tacky or practical? Perhaps, this question will not really find the final answer until the next decade. Having gift registries answers Virginia O’Hanlon’s 111-year old question with a resounding, ‘Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.