I’m most definitely NOT a fan of gift cards- especially now that so many of them actually lose value over time or even just plain expire. HOWEVER, they do have their place and I find them most valuable for party gifts for hard to please teens and preteens.
I won’t speak for you, but I would no more attempt to choose the music my kids want to listen to that I would fly to the moon, so the iTunes gift card is a perfect gift. No iPod necessary; the music can be downloaded to the computer and/or burned to CD and/or put on the iPod if they have one. With most songs at 99cents, the available $15 and $25 gift card denominations go a long way!! You can order the plastic gift cards online with various graphics you choose from or even download and print a paper certificate for immediate giving if you’re in a time bind.
For teen or preteen girls, if mine are any indication, anything from Victoria’s Secret is a gift success so their gift cards are also a perfect girls birthday gift solution. While they don’t offer an immediate print out option like iTunes, you can send your gift certificate by email and then make a paper gift card that can be boxed and wrapped for the party. Victoria’s Secret also makes plastic cards with various graphics available, and they all get sent to your recipient in their own gift box for a pretty presentation (think ahead and have it sent to your address to have to take to the party).
Lastly, any local store that’s a big hit with the kids, be it clothing or cosmetics or candy, probably have gift certificates too that can make a nice gift.
For hard to please teens and preteens, gift cards can be the perfect solution to the kids birthday gifts dilemma. For your further reference on these gift cards, check out the iTunes and Victorias Secret website gift card pages.