Quest: finding the perfect holiday gift
|Apple's iPod, the defacto music player is facing competition from old rivals such as Digital Networks' Rio and Microsoft's recently introduced Zune.|
With Black Friday already behind consumers, many of this holiday's gifts have already been purchased and are carefully stashed in sock drawers and linen closets or hidden in attic rafters at friends and relatives homes. However, finding the right gift for every person on the list can be a challenge.
No one wants to spend more time than they have to in the return counter on Dec. 26, so finding something that will be appreciated is often top priority for gift givers.
For teenage girls this year, a survey sampling students at Carbon High School found that the expected clothes and shoes topped the list.
Among boys, video gaming consoles are the hot items this year, but clothes and shoes made their list too. And while clothes and accessories were the most requested items, some buyers may be wary of getting fashion because they don't know what size or color to buy.
Enter the one-size fits all solution. More personal than getting a gift card, there are plenty of gifts that fit a teen's personality and interests and save consumers who don't know what size shoe to buy.
Both sewing machines and surgers made Carbon High's gift list for girls. If she knows how to make her own clothes, a new machine or a few yards of cloth may be in order.
For others on the list, appealing to her everyday interests is not as hard as it seems.
Many popular television shows are available on DVD within a few months of airing. If a television viewer watched the season premier and couldn't miss the summer reruns, chances are he or she would love it again on DVD.
A peek into a CD case or just asking what's playing on the iPod may give some ideas for music tastes.
|A locally owned paintball gun on display. Paintballing has become very popular in Carbon County and paintball guns were one of the most requested holiday gifts among teens at Carbon Senior High School. |
Those who are planning on moving out of their parents' homes this year, bedding, appliances or a set of silverware may get them started on the right track.
Cell phones, digital cameras and music players may be some of the more pricey items out there, but they are also more likely to be used on a daily basis. Verizon Wireless released its popular Chocolate phone ($149 with two-year contract) in three new flavors for Christmas. Originally sold in black, the phone is also available in mint, cherry and white. The Motorola MOTORAZR, which has been out since earlier this year, is available from both Verizon and Alltel ($99.99 with 2-year contract) and introduced a (PRODUCT) RED version recently. And Nextel's i870 ($299.99 with two-year contract) comes complete with MP3 player capabilities and is Bluetooth-enabled.
One hitch with cell phones is getting the phone with the right features. A teen who owns a portable music player may not need an MP3 capable phone. And Nextel's walkie-talkie capability is a love-it-or-hate-it feature that could make or break the gift's success.
The popular Apple iPod is still making tracks in the music world. Apple released an updated iPod shuffle ($79) just in time for the holidays and offers a (PRODUCT) RED version of its iPod nano ($199) for the teen who is trying to help save the world. The iPod shuffle is a scaled-down version of Apple's larger music player. While it lacks a screen, the shuffle holds 1 GB of music (240 songs) and is priced at $79 and can be personally engraved.
The iPod nano comes in three sizes and six colors, ranging from $149 for a 2 GB (500 songs) silver version to a 8 GB (2,000 songs) available in black or red.
However, the iPod is not the only music player on the market. Microsoft's Zune ($249.99) was released last month, but its still too early to tell how the new player will catch on. The Rio Carbon 6 GB ($187.95) offers many of the same features as the iPod, and may be more compatible with existing digital music libraries. Digital Networks, the maker of the Rio also offers scaled down versions of its player for under $40.
And don't forget the old fail safes. The Red Rider BB gun of yesterday's youth has been replaced with the paintball guns. Skis and poles have been replaced with snowboards and bindings.
The simplest advice for finding the right gift? Have a conversation with a teen. Figure out what they talk about. and if that doesn't work, ask.