You can start getting excited now. There are only five weeks until Christmas. Good times. Except that not all things Yuletide are fun. There are hangovers and family feuds. And then there is the ultimate festive bringdown: the unwanted gift.
Trying to explain to Uncle Geoff that you’re not really into vest tops without hurting his feelings is impossible. Either you lie and force yourself to wear the offending garment, or play it straight and watch Uncle Geoff go from expectant grin to crestfallen grimace in the time it takes to say, “It’s just not my thing.”
Amazon has come up with the answer. It has patented an idea called Bad Gift Protection that would allow you to set rules for people buying your pressies from the site. So you could convert all gifts from Uncle Geoff to Amazon vouchers, for example.
It’ll also let you specify by gift type, so you could ask it to replace any Justin Bieber CDs with something off your wish list. And you can get it to check sizing for clothes and convert to the right cut before it ships.
It will do all these things, if and when it launches. At the moment it’s just a patent, an idea, and that means you’ll have to tell Uncle Geoff a porky again this year. But the future of Christmas could be merrier than ever, assuming Amazon’s switches don’t create added family tension.
We’re getting ready to send a big, heartfelt thank you letter to the UK’s third biggest retailer as soon as it makes this a reality. Dear Amazon, thanks for saving Christmas…