With Christmas coming and Black Friday only two days away, holiday shopping is going into full swing, even if we are in a recession.  To make spending on others a little more interesting (I've always preferred spending on myself), several retailers are experimenting with gift cards that double as actual useful objects.

Target's card for 2008 doubles as a digital camera!  It even comes with its own USB cord, driver disk, instructions, and a voucher for 40 free prints.

Say what you will about the digital camera card above, this one is my favorite.  Best Buy's 2008 card comes with an integrated speaker with a cord and plug.  It also goes really well with an iPod under the tree, as it allows you to share the music with more than one person on Christmas morning, even if the iPod only comes with headphones.

Several months before the digital camera above was released, Target offered a gift card with a Speed Racer-themed 60+MB flash drive.  It came preloaded with wallpaper files, video clips, printable coupons, and a cheat code for the upcoming video game.  Self promotion doesn't get much better than that.  While it appears that they are no longer available, used ones can still be found on Ebay.

Of course, radio personality Clark Howard has his own solution.  Click here to view an alternative to all the gift card craziness; a printable certificate you can wrap around cold, hard cash.



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