Gift bags, cards, tissue paper–why?

Just found this transaction on a Target receipt:

  • $20 – gift for a 6 year old girl
  • Crap that doesn’t matter:
    • $1.50 – gift bag that will be thrown away
    • $2.50 – card written by someone who knows neither the giver nor the recipient
    • $2.50 – tissue paper for the gift bag that will be thrown away

So in this case:

The total gift’s price was inflated by a third.

Why do we buy cards we didn’t author, tissue paper, and gift bags? Do the recipients ever care?

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