Alternative Gift Suggestions for Teens This Christmas…from an actual teen

Becca is one of our teen writers.  She is a 16 year-old from West Palm Beach, FL. She loves to cook and travel, and she would like to study International Business in the future.

Teenagers have a hard enough time keeping up with the latest trends, so it’s no wonder parents have a hard time finding the right gifts for their kids. This holiday season, take a new approach. Instead of trying to buy something that your teen will probably return later, give them an experience….

1. Take a road trip.
Family vacations can often be stressful, but if you and your teen plan a trip together, they’ll be more likely to enjoy. Everybody likes to see their contribution at work, so instead of making all of the decisions yourself, ask your son or daughter what they would rather do. Car rides are great for talking, so make the best of the alone time that you wouldn’t normally get.

2. Go to a sports game.
If your teen plays a sport in high school, they would probably enjoy watching a game. It doesn’t have to be the Super Bowl- even local college teams are fun to attend. There’s something to be said for getting decked out in team colors, cheering with a huge crowd, and eating popcorn, hotdogs, and giant pretzels.

3. Bake or build
As many parents would agree, many teens today are used to having things done for them. However, this may be due to the fact that they simply do not know how to do what their parents do. Compile a stack of recipes and have an evening in the kitchen with your daughter. Even if she can’t use a can-opener in the beginning, with your help, she’ll be able to braise, poach, and caramelize by the night’s end. If your son doesn’t know the difference between a Phillips and a flathead, open the toolbox and show him. Build a skate ramp or a half pipe. The bigger the project, the more time you’ll spend together.

4. Do something you enjoyed as a teenager
Yes, times change, but some things stay the same. There’s more to fun than computers and television. Don’t just say, “Back when I was your age….” Show us! Did you like to shop? Fish? Go to the beach? We can learn more about you by doing things together.

Phones die, iPods break, and clothes go out of style. Memories, though, last a lifetime. Surprise your teen by doing something different. The possibilities are infinite.

You’ll be able to redefine the “gift of giving.”

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2 Responses to “Alternative Gift Suggestions for Teens This Christmas…from an actual teen”

  1. Nicole Feliciano
    December 16, 2008 at 7:21 pm #

    What a lovely list. It’s good to know not all teens are obsessed with status symbols and gadget. Well done!

  2. Emily
    February 5, 2009 at 12:36 am #

    Hi Becca,
    Great list! As a teen, I would enjoy any one of these presents. But with regards to number three, I would just as soon like to learn about screwdrivers as can-openers. And, really, more boys should learn to cook : )

    Keep up the good work!

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