“Oh, thanks….mom, this is great, I really wanted a…highlighter scanner pen. Ya, uh, that’s true, it will be great for SAT prep.” A direct quote from my brother to my mom. I promise, that pen never left the box.
If you are going to spend a fortune on gifts, you might as well get them what they want. I know, teens are impossible to please, and, like my mom, I am sure you want to get them something semi-useful that will decrease, rather than increase, the amount of time that ipod earbuds remain in their ears.
Here are a few suggestions (I tried to keep them uni-sex…and for a multitude of price ranges). I have also included gift recommendations for those who have no idea what the teen in their life wants (distant aunts, cousins, or neighbors).
10) “Losing My Virginity” by Richard Branson
Ok, don’t freak out at the title, he talks about how he formed Virgin. I think this book is witty, interesting and inspiring. Richard Branson is a great person for teens to look up to because he is daring, always has fun and values his family and friends most of all. A great read.
9) iTunes Gift Certificate
Money is great, gift certificates are only ok. I mean, I usually feel gift certificates are kind of an insult to my independence. Its like saying: “I don’t really want to give you money that you might spend on something I do not approve of, so here is $20 to somewhere that I have pre-approved for you.” And, it’s a horrible gimmick…I always, always, always spend more than the gift card allows. Saying all that, an iTunes gift card is usually pretty good with all teens, even if they are not music buffs, they can still buy movies and TV shows.
8 ) Water-resistant USB Thumb Drive
These are always useful for teens who are printing out papers last minute, at school or in computer labs. Water resistant is important because—well, you know, we spill everything.
7) Mole skin notebook (or any kind of cool notebook)
We love to doodle, we also love to write notes in class, could be used on college tours, to take notes in class, to write down future hopes and dreams, etc. A cool notebook can be good for anything…so it would be good for any teen.
6) Nalgene Water bottle
Nalgenes are great because they help the environment by using less plastic bottles and they can easily strap onto backpacks to carry around to class.
5) Wireless Speakers
Maybe check with the teen’s parents first…and if you are a teen’s parents, do not keep scrolling through this one just yet. Wireless speakers for an ipod or MP3 can be awesome for more than just vibrating your house’s walls. These can be brought down for the family to enjoy during game night, days by the pool or when coking dinner.
4) Inflight USB Power Unit
Have a teen that travels frequently? How about those who are about to embark on a three week college trip. This is great so teens can still do homework/write essays/do research (watch DVDs/listen to music/play computer games) even when flying somewhere.
3) Guitar Hero 3
This is so cool, if your teen has a system that is compatible, this is great for both boys and girls, and very popular at the moment.
2) Subscription to a Magazine
Some would say snooze on this one, but if you know your teen well, then getting them to a subscription to Economist, Wired, Sports Illustrated, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, National Geographic, Newsweek etc. can be a great investment.
1) Whatever they asked for
Hello! If they made a list for you, stop reading this one and get them what they want! So often, people do not listen (or ask) directly what they want for Christmas. So, ask them, or ask their best friend.