Is An IOU An Acceptable Alternative To An Actual Gift?

With just four days left until Christmas, it may be time to admit you’re going to end up stiffing someone. You could just do what I do: just purr and let them give you gifts. If that’s not an option for you, there are other choices. According to a new poll from our calculating cousins at Consumer Reports, about half of the people who don’t finish their gift shopping in time give IOUs instead.

Giving an IOU is actually pretty generous, compared with some of the other things tardy consumers do. According to Consumer Reports:

Slackers who fail to finish their shopping in time have some explaining to do. According to the Consumer Reports poll, the most common way Americans try to smooth things over with those they’ve slighted are to promise a future gift or give an IOU (46%); shrug off the oversight as if it didn’t happen (36%), concoct an excuse (31%), or re-gift a present the offender received from someone else (15%). Eight percent took the easy way out; they just avoided the other person and 6 % of scramblers, admit to buying a last minute gift they knew the receiver will want to return.

We don’t buy any of this. And we don’t buy gifts either. If you’re getting down to the wire, just give cash — and throw in a Consumerist Anti-Gift Card while you’re at it.

Consumer Reports poll: 20 percent still haven’t started shopping [Consumer Reports]