C'mon, you can do better than a gift card.
Better still, why not buy a thoughtfully chosen but modest present? If an inexpensive gift turns out to be the wrong choice, not much loss. And if you feel you should be spending more money, you can always slip a check into the package.
Tim Harford is a Financial Times columnist. His latest book, The Logic of Life, will be published in paperback on Feb. 10.