Weekly Poll: Do You Give Digital Gifts?

It’s the season of giving, the time when you have to rack your brain to figure out what to buy your Mom that she’d actually like, while trying to simultaneously figure out how you’re going to cram in that one extra Christmas party in your already packed schedule. It may be the season to be jolly, but looking at people’s faces in lines and parking lots, you wouldn’t know it. And that’s sad. We get so distracted by the preparations for holidays that we forget the very meaning behind the special days we celebrate.

This year, more than ever, some of the best things you could think of to buy your family and friends are virtual. Whether you want to give a copy of Cars 2 to your nephew or copy of Steve Job’s biography to your coworker, often the digital copy is the best way to go. If I made a wish list, it’d have more digital items than physical items. Even a new Dropbox or Evernote Pro subscription would make an idea gift for many people on your list.

Only thing is, it seems somewhat odd to give a virtual gift. There’s something about giving a big wrapped box with a bow, the anticipation of ripping off paper, and the surprised delight with the actual gift that digital items just don’t have. It simply isn’t as exciting to pull an iTunes gift card out of a stocking or open an email telling you that you’ve been gifted a book or web app subscription, even if it is just as useful and fun.

I’ve personally given a number of digital gifts, and am sure I’ll continue to do so in the future, but I feel odd giving them without a little something extra, perhaps a candy or some other trinket. So how about you? Do you give digital items, or are boxes still essential to your Christmas? Perhaps Dropbox should start selling gift subscriptions in real blue boxes…