Simply a case of "You get what you pay for" The Fire is not an iPad killer... yet.
Frankly, I am not a fanboy, am often very critical of Apple, and I also hoped to buy several Fires as holiday gifts. However, I really did enjoy your creative way of expressing the same disappointment I felt at the dearth of "in-house" features in the Fire. (all of which can easy be accessed on the iPad).
Solution: Go back to the gift cards with a $250 Apple card to help they can buy the only device that they will not be frustrated with.