I have 4 kids and 3 of them are teenagers. Perhaps you're like us and before the holidays you ask them for a wish list every year so you actually know what to look for when it's time to shop. You could be a family that has chosen to do Christmas a little differently and you choose to gift handmade items or family experiences instead. Maybe every year you agonize over this decision wandering aimlessly in the mall hoping something will attach itself to you and your kids will light up with glee when they unwrap it. You know, like they used to do when they were three years old!
The last couple years we've done things mostly the way we always have with wish lists but each year we've added a bit of a personalized spin to it that makes it feel more meaningful for us. One year, they each received 2 or 3 bigger items on their wish lists and we also gave a group gift of a weekend in Birmingham, Alabama to see Twenty One Pilots in concert. Two years ago we gave BIG things! Things that took up a lot of space but were still within our budget like a big TV, a new queen sized mattress and bed frame, a bike and a futon. It was just fun to fill up the whole room with huge packages! Last year, we gave gifts with a theme. They each received 3 gifts: 1 "gold" gift - their big wish list item, 1 "frankincense" gift - something for their spiritual development, and 1 "myrrh" gift: something from their wish list that was for their body like clothes and a basketball for physical activity.
If you're looking for some ideas of what to get your kids or grandkids this year I've asked a few teens for suggestions! Here are some things they're hoping for:
I asked my daughter (13) and some of the girls I've taken pictures of for help! Here are a few things they suggested:
You can't go wrong with Vans classic slip-ons and Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. They also come in so many colors and patterns that even if your niece already has a pair then it couldn't hurt to have another in a different color. And if you want a really unique option my incredibly talented neighbor can customize your Vans!
Snuggling under a plush throw blanket is something my daughter and I look forward to during the winter months. This is another item that you really can't have too many of so there is no worry about duplicating a gift they already have! Here are three options in different price points...
Ella told me that she and the girls on her volleyball team are all hoping for items from Lululemon. Even if the student you're buying for isn't an athlete you could easily find an awesome hoodie or sweater for her! Here are three gorgeous options...
Ella also mentioned that, "Calligraphy and journaling is a big thing in my church group, so I asked for some more calligraphy books and neat journals to doodle in." I follow Park Studios in Atlanta and noticed today that they recently hosted a Beginner Calligraphy Workshop by Laura Hooper Calligraphy. What an awesome gift to give her! Especially if you pair it with some of the items she'll need to get started. My husband once gave me a hand-quilting class along with all the items I needed. The ladies in the shop helped him pick everything out and that has been one of THE most thoughtful gifts he has ever given me and I can't tell you how much it has blessed other people as I have been able to gift them with quilts over the last 20 years. The gift of a class and the necessary tools to get started is really amazing!
When I asked Gracie she said, "Honestly? Just gift cards and cash. lol" And really ... don't we all just love being able to do a little shopping over Christmas Break? Some ideas for gift cards are: e gift cards to Urban Decay, American Eagle, Free People or my personal favorite Anthropologie (I just spent all of mine that I'd been collecting and it was so fun to leave with several pairs of pants I needed for my trip to Korea and not actually spend any money!) The best part about a gift card is that if you're a last minute shopper this is still a great option with the e-cards and you can have it sent directly to their email or as a text message! To make this option more personal combine the gift card with their favorite candy or a new ornament for the tree.
I have 3 boys at home ages 17, 16 and 11 so there are no shortage of ideas flowing for gifts around here. Especially since all 3 are such different creatures! The older boys generally want the same things but my 11 year old is not into sports and obviously isn't thinking about stuff for his car since that's a few years away.
Sports Teams gear:
For the last couple years my guys have been basically building a collection of sports jerseys! This year Cameron has 32 different jerseys on his list - no joke! He and Parker already have 3-5 each but because there are so many athletes they admire I guess they just can't have enough - especially jerseys of legends like Julius Erving and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. My guys are mostly NBA fans but Parker especially is into both football and soccer. Perhaps the guy you're buying for is more of a baseball fan but regardless, you really can't miss by getting them a hoodie, t-shirt or jersey from one of their favorite teams!
For the music loving teen there are tons of gift options! My husband still says that one of the greatest gifts I ever gave him was a SiriusXM receiver and subscription. We've given concert tickets quite often and it feels like an extended Christmas when several months later you get to go see one of your favorite musicians. If your teen guy isn't driving and you'll be going with him then this ends up being some great quality time together!
I'll admit, this one can be a little tricky. Every guy has a different style but a lot of guys just aren't buying that many clothes for themselves and don't think too hard about what they're putting on each morning. So when someone buys a nicer item for their closet it feels good knowing that they have a few more options. Here are three pretty classic pieces for your teen guy and items that would be great in your annual family picture or their senior pictures.
I'll go ahead and admit that this is more of a suggestion from me and not necessarily from any guys in particular. Of course, my guys love great shoes but they can be really pricey so this makes a great gift when they don't often have extra cash to spend on new shoes. As a senior photographer, this is also really helpful to me because over the years I've had a lot of guys come in wearing some pretty beat up sneakers or they don't have more than one option with them and shoes can really make or break an outfit. Great shoes really go a long way to making them look put together!
If the thought of trying to find the right size or buying them something they'll never use is just too much then definitely go with a gift card! Some great ideas for guys are PlayStation, iTunes, Nike, Adidas or Ticketmaster gift cards.
All teenagers will appreciate tech gifts! My kids are always needing new phone chargers and earbuds (I swear,...why don't they last longer than 6 months?!) and it seems like every 6 weeks there is some new technology coming out.