Sadly, there is no section in the mall that caters to “no idea what to buy” during birthdays, holidays and special occasions. However, gifting occasions come very often when you have a kid in the family.
Whether that child is just 5-years old or 15-years old, you will need to go gift shopping quite a few times per year. If you have been doing this for some time now, you must have already noticed how their choices have evolved due to the changing trends of games, technology, toys, fashion and popular culture.
That sends most parents in a tizzy when the time comes to buy the perfect present. They often wish they had the power of Professor Xavier to find out what their children want.
- Purchasing a gag gift: Do not buy a gag gift unless you have something genuinely impressive hiding somewhere nearby.
- Getting a gift card: This says, “I tried, but then I gave up.”
- Giving money: This can be appropriate in case your teenager is saving up for college or some other expense. Giving money to young children might not be such a great idea.
What are the three defining traits for an excellent gift?
You should focus on only three factors to make a gift great –
- Usefulness: A good present should be one that the recipient can use. You can choose an expensive gift, but if that does not find use in their daily lives, they will gather dust in one corner of the house. Unless that is what your gift is for, you should think of something that has a real purpose. For example – for someone who loves to read, you can check out the collection of books or comics they have and help them complete the entire series.
- The element of surprise: The perfect gift should always be a surprise. There is no point asking your kids what they want and then buying the same from the mall. How is that any different from shopping for daily supplies? However, there is one way you can ask what they want and still add an element of surprise to it. Get them a subscription to a mystery box that contains a series of similar or related things that shows up at their doorstep every month for the next year.
- Pay attention to quality: Sometimes, the buyer has to make the hard choice of quality vs. quantity. Although you might want to buy them ten individual things for their special day, your budget might allow you to buy only 6 or 7. If purchasing all ten items entails a compromise in quality and safety, then you should probably reconsider buying all of them. For an adult, nothing is more important than the child’s safety.
Buying something for the tweens and the teens does not have to be a challenge. Pay attention to what they are reading, playing or using throughout the year to get a sound idea of what they might appreciate on that particular day.