Are your kids at an age where all they want is gift cards? My 14-year old son and his friends certainly are!
To help make the gift a little more personal and the presentation a lot more fun, find out something the recipient likes (I’ve found texting the mom is the easiest way) and incorporate that into the gift. For a friend’s birthday, my son spelled out his name in Snickers—his friend’s favorite candy.
We’ve used this approach for several birthday gifts recently with great success. Yes, it does take more time than just popping a gift card into a greeting card and having your kid sign his name…but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much this approach has benefited MY son as well:
- Provides an opportunity to be creative-It’s really fun to see what your kid can come up with! Even my son, who is much more of a math guy than an artist, had a blast putting this together.
- Gets skin in the game-I may be old-fashioned, but I want my kids to be involved in selecting/creating/wrapping birthday gifts for their friends. After all, they know their friend better than I do and they are the ones who will be enjoying the party fun.
- Makes the gift a lot more impactful-it’s always exciting to receive a gift, but when it’s adorned with one of your favorite items, it’s even better! Instantly, the recipient knows that you understand what they like. The gift is likely to stand out among the others, which is likely to make the giver feel even more proud of their efforts. It was music to my ears when my son came home from the birthday party and said, “Scott loved my gift. Everyone else just put a gift card in an envelope. I’m glad I took the time to make it special.” YES!
The next time your child (or even you!) is about to give a gift card, take a few minutes and see if you can make the gift even more special. I guarantee the experience will be positive for both the giver and the receiver.
My son with the birthday gift he put together for his friend, Scott.
Scott’s mom sent me this picture. Clearly, the gift was enjoyed. No word on how long it took him to polish off all those Snickers! 😉