Christmas Gift Registry: Is It Useful?

Christmas gift registries have become an increasingly popular option for holiday shoppers pressed for time, but critics are warning against them.

Gone are the days of receiving unwanted gifts or spending hours contemplating gift ideas for friends and family. Christmas gift registries allow users to post a list detailing the gifts that they want, or even more importantly, need, but critics are not convinced.

One Christmas gift registry website,, allows users to "send Santa an email telling him what they want for Christmas and they will receive an automated personal reply within a few hours," the website states.

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Family and friends are granted access to a registry in the same way a wedding registry works.

The site's "Pick-A-Present" feature enables the registry owner's loved ones to select from his or her desired gift list, saving time and in some cases, money.

Christmas gift registries promise to alleviate the hassle that traditional Christmas shopping presents, but critics are disturbed by the concept.'s Tatum L. Ryan wrote, "Has it really come to this? Has our world of technology and online shopping finally tainted our traditional handmade wish lists?"

"All children should believe in the premise of Christmas, the season of giving with love, not placing an order with an expected delivery date of Dec. 25, free shipping included," she added.

Ryan argued that Christmas gift registries take away from the festive season tradition, and promote the materialistic idea that Christmas is about presents.

"Children registering for presents may seem fun, easy and hassle-free, but so are cookies without frosting, a tree without ornaments and a holiday dinner without in-laws. It may seem simpler, but that’s not what this season is about," Ryan wrote.

Many Christmas gift registry websites insist the service is harmless and can reduce the stress that Christmas shopping often brings. By using a Christmas gift registry, users can avoid the chaos inside malls and department stores which include never-ending lines and large crowds of shoppers.

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