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Gift Cards as Gifts?

by Michele | December 16th, 2009 | Teens

Christmas+presentAs a mom of three teens and tweens and an aunt to several more in that age bracket, I have begun to question the propriety of gift cards. I do enjoy shopping and try to stay in touch with what these children like. However, would my 12 year old nephew rather get a gift card to a fun store, such as Aeropostale, or a shirt that I purchased there? I guess that the answer may be the gift card.

Before the holiday shopping season got into full swing, I submitted a project at Idea Offer, looking for feedback from others. A good number of people shared their thoughts on this topic. The answers overwhelmingly resounded with, “Yes! Gift cards are acceptable.” Explained quite well by JTZ, “My experience with teens is, since you cannot POSSIBLY understand them (roll eyes, sigh) then cash is most welcome.”

With all of this encouragement toward my decision to buy gifts, there were some excellent pieces of advice worth noting:

  • If you buy a gift card to a store that you know the teen or tween likes, then it is a perfect gift. If you buy a generic gift card to make your shopping easier, then it is a thoughtless gift. –Tasty Thoughts
  • (T)hey should still have a couple of presents to unwrap that day so they don’t feel like they are getting “ripped off”. –Chris Beem
  • At some point, kids need to learn how to use money wisely, and hopefully, gift cards will be a step in that direction. –FloridaKitten

With all of this advice, I have one final piece to offer. For my own children, I don’t plan on giving gift cards, at least not yet. Even though they have become pickier, I am well aware of their likes and dislikes and know what they do and don’t own. For now, I will buy my children actual presents, but as I don’t see my nieces and nephews on a daily basis, I will purchase gift cards for them.

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