Why gift cards appeal to younger and younger kids

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - With all the talk of wish lists and presents this time of year, it just feels wrong when you hear business expert David Berkowitz say,  "Children don't necessarily want a physical gift."

Berkowitz now serves as the Dean of Graduate Students at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, but he's studied business for decades. He argues that kids would often rather have a gift card so they make their own purchases.

For years, it felt like kids would create the last bastion of real holiday gift shopping, with a constant hunger for toys trumping all else.

Now it seems gift cards have even won over the generation that grew up on "Swiper, no Swiping".

Berkowitz says kids as young as eleven have started to really prefer gift cards, because they now engage in the same consumerism that grown folks have grown to love.

He summarizes, "They want that independence of their own shopping."

A gift card fits into their world almost like a learner's permit for a car, giving them the ability to break into an adult world without all the responsibility.

It works out beautifully for retailers.

Berkowitz goes on, "The retailers want this period to extend as long as they can. By you giving a gift card, it's critical to retailers, because they're saying, 'Well, my Christmas period doesn't end on the twenty-fifth. My Christmas period extends all the way into the first of the year and maybe the middle of January, until those purchase cards are consumed."

Just some thoughts on a gift some accuse of taking too few.

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