You can, however, download a “gift certificate” from the TreasuryDirect Web site, indicating the amount of the bond you have purchased, and for what occasion.I had a hunch when I read that sentence, and I was correct: You can download those gift certificates regardless of whether you actually purchase savings bonds.
Cheap gift idea: print out the gift certificates and send them to little kids for their birthdays. Parents probably won't know how the paperless system works at first. If they do, just blame everything on bureaucratic red tape and assure them their confirmation e-mail is coming "any day now." They'll probably forget about it in a few weeks.
This is even better for senior citizens, most likely the biggest segment of savings bond gift-givers. By the time those kids try to redeem their savings bonds, the giver will probably be dead. No one will want to accuse the dearly departed of cheating their kids, so they will just assume that the giver didn't understand what he or she was doing online (like many seniors) and surely intended to buy those savings bonds.