Are you shopping for boomerangs this year? No, not the curved aboriginal hunting tool. These boomerangs are kids that went off to school, tried to make it on their own, and were smacked down by a couple of stock market crashes and a hideous job market in the short first decade of this century. Now they’re back living with mom and dad and trying to figure out what to do next. Hence, the boomerang moniker. So, what do you give a boomerang as a holiday gift?
One good approach might be to give them something that will help them get back on their feet again. Cash is always nice, but it may go as fast as it came. Besides, who has a really significant amount of cash to dole out in these hard times? How about something that can do a lot of good for a little money?
One characteristic of the Millennial generation is that they are tech savvy and like to connect socially. One excellent tool for making connections, including those connections that might lead to a job offer, is a cell phone. But aren’t cell phones and plans a real luxury for someone out of work? Not if you don’t have to pay extra for the phone or buy a separate second service plan.
Here’s what I’m thinking. Your cell phone plan is about to expire. You want a new model phone, anyway. So get yourself a new phone for free and a substantial package of minutes. But don’t buy an individual service plan. Instead, buy what’s called a family plan. You still have a certain number of minutes each month and you get a single bill. But a family plan can have multiple phones on it. Get that free phone for yourself when you order cellular phones and service online and then get a second free phone that you can give to your progeny. Remember, you didn’t pay anything extra to get that second phone. If you can trust them not to hog all the minutes (under threat of being disconnected), you’ll only pay marginally more for the service plan. You can even add a third line for a spouse, all on the same plan.
How about a nice set of business cards to had out to potential employers and anyone who might be helpful? Don’t pay for those either. For just the cost of shipping, you can create a set of 250 custom business cards online for that special someone and have them sent to you ready for wrapping. They can thank you by handing them all out to good prospects in the next year.
Even better than traditional business cards is an inexpensive new gadget called Poken. It’s a wireless USB device packaged as a small character or flash drive. The owner creates one or more business and personal electronic cards which can be shared with other Poken owners. The process involves touching the devices together in an electronic handshake that transfers the contact information. A free personalized online hub organizes the contacts you make and helps you know more about them and how to get in touch. This “Y” generation will easily embrace Poken, as they’ve adopted MySpace, FaceBook and Twitter for social networking.
Do these sound like good presents for young adults living at home? Now that you think about it, they sound pretty good for any age and even those who have already left the nest.