flightmum











{March 4, 2013}   Gift cards – good or bad?

My children were lucky enough to get a few gift cards as presents over the holiday season. We just spent them recently. 

I love watching my kids making the very important decision of what to buy. If it’s MY money,  they want everything in the store. “Please, Mummy, can you buy it. I LOVE IT!” But, when it is THEIR money,  they are a lot more choosier.  They will pick something up that they are considering purchasing and I ask them if they think they really will use/play/read it. They usually put it back down. Then they browse for a long time before they finally choose something.  My daughter usually chooses her prized possession  pretty quickly.  I guess as a four year old,  she satisfies easily.  My sons take longer. They have lived through the disappointment of a shiny new toy that only holds their excitement for a few days before it is quietly discarded into the basement, never to be played with again. They want to BELIEVE that there is something in the toy/book store that they can buy and love forever. I want to believe it too. Maybe, just maybe, this item will be played with over and over again. But, unfortunately, it’s usually not the case.  Regardless,  they take their shopping challenge very seriously. It teaches them to make a good decision about what they really want. If in a week’s time, they don’t like it, they only have themselves to blame. It also teaches them about taxes. I tell them that even though they have $25 to spend, they need to choose something a little cheaper as they have to save a few dollars for taxes, which launches me into a short discussion about sales taxes and the government and finishes off with bumpy roads and welfare.  I think they got it. 

I grew up indoctrinated NOT to give gift certificates (as they used to be called) as presents because that is the lazy person’s  gift and not very thoughtful or creative. So, I’ve rarely given them in the past. But, I LOVE receiving them! I think if you read between the lines of that life lesson, it is more about you not wanting the other person to know EXACTLY how much you spent on their gift. What if it wasn’t enough,  and you look too cheap? Or, if it was TOO much,  and now you’ve raised the bar. You can’t win. 

I think gift cards ARE thoughtful. I like to pair it with a small chosen gift to combat the life lessons of my formative years. Everybody wins! I say, bring it on!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some more toys to bring down to the basement. 

 

 

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