A present for Jack.

Gotta be something better than a gift card.Jack’s 11th birthday party is in a couple weeks. And as with every birthday party my son is invited to, we’re wondering what to get Jack for a present.

When the kids were younger, it was easy to pick out a good book to give, or at the least some kind of interesting toy. But now it’s harder to be guided by what led our decisions in the past: what we think is good for them. And what do you give to kids who have more electronics than you do?

As the years passed, gift giving devolved into gift-card giving. They’ll do in a pinch. They’re shiny and plastic and branded. But they leave you with an awareness that they aren’t personal enough to give to a someone you actually know. Gift cards lack the creativity and the rip-off-the-wrapping-paperness of a real present. And with a brand comes limits.

Cash comes without some of those drawbacks, of course.  But it also conjures up those checks from Grandma, or some dirty, crumpled bills stuffed into an envelope. What the world needs now is something that combines the glitz of plastic with the perfect liquidity of cash.

To do that, we need to rebrand cash.

It’s time for: The Cash Card.

Each credit card-sized Cash Card would come stamped with an easily recognizable logo on one side and, on the other, the following ad copy targeted especially at children:

This cash can be used at Target, Barnes and Noble, Borders or wherever gift cards are accepted. You can also use it anywhere American money is welcome. You can break into smaller amounts (change). You can even give it to a charity. This cash will not expire. And if you put it into a bank account, it will pay interest. That’s right! This gift can make you money!

The card would be inserted into its own branded sleeve, with enough room for the giver to slide in a sizable wad of cash.

Wrapping paper is optional.

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Filed under parenting, popular culture, reading

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