Picking a Christmas gift for a teenager is a tricky task. Just a couple of years ago they would be smitten with a huge jar of candy drops and a new set of colored pencils. A surprise or a discovery were the main thrills of the present while they were kids.
Now your teen has a mile long wish list and it contains items they can brag about in Snapchat – like the newest gadget everyone talks about or a holiday tour in Europe. They surely know who brings them presents, but still, have only a vague concept of where the money comes from.
To bring back the magic you should really know what your child wants and dreams about deep down under the sheer desire to impress their friends. Look at what they are passionate about, and encourage this passion with your gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive to impress them, but it must be carefully chosen to show your support and recognition of their interests and appreciation of their individuality. This is the kind of present that creates warm memories!
1. For Avid Gamers
Video games are a favorite pastime for the vast majority of teens. Fact!
However, some are more serious about it and might even have the ambition to become professional players in the future. Those having such aspirations will be excited about a new game console, a set of advanced controllers, or an accessory such as a mini rocking chair with a speaker for the immersive gaming experience.
They also might appreciate a themed artwork or collectible item, only make sure you get the right title and the right character to hit the nail on the head.
2. For Outdoorsy Teens
If your kid loves camping, hiking, sports or generally prefers spending their free time out in the open air, they’ll be excited to find a bicycle, a pair of rollerblades, a swagway board, a geocaching starter kit, or some cool camping equipment, such as a stove with USB-charger or something similar.
In fact, everything that combines technology with outdoor activities is a nominee for a successful gift. If your teen loves traveling, you can give them a scratch map to mark each journey.
3. For Music Lovers
For those who cannot stand silence, there is a wide array of options from Star Wars headphones and wireless earbuds to Bluetooth waterproof speakers to sing along in the shower. However, you can dig deeper.
To encourage your child to take more active interest in music you can give them an instrument. Something as small and simple enough as a pocket guitar practice tool or a blues harp is a perfect start of a beautiful friendship with musical creativity.
4. For Beauty Aficionados
Jewelry stands and makeup palettes, colorful spray chalk for temporary hair dyeing (DIY style), a piece of piercing jewelry (accompanied with a salon gift card and your permission to use it, which probably is the actual present), a gift card for a mehndi courses – why not?
If your teen is passionate about beauty, style and fashion experiments, it can be a start of a designer career. Alternatively, they will just have hours of great time and oodles of fantastic pics for their Insta. Not so bad either way.
5. For Romantic Souls
Something with a hidden meaning that says ‘I love and cherish you’, ‘I believe in you’ or ‘I trust you’ will touch their hearts. Romantic and impressionable teens will like personalized journals (with tiny padlocks and their name on it), artsy posters with inspirational quotes, paired pendants or key chains to share with the BFF, and stylish magnetic boards for their bedroom doors to keep concert tickets, snaps, cards and other mementos.
You can also try lucky charms with dry flowers that are in bloom on the day of your teen’s birthday or something equally personalized and metaphorical.
6. For Science Geeks
STEAM puzzles, a telescope, a microscope, a chemistry lab kit – whatever is to their liking. A tip: if you wonder whether a particular article is age-appropriate, take something for older kids. Anything that falls an inch short their expectations is instantly stigmatized as ‘lame’ and ‘for toddlers’.
If safety rules do not allow using some of the equipment below a certain age, it’s better to provide parental guidance and have some quality time together messing around with a ‘dangerous’ stuff than opting for something less sophisticated.
7. For Art and Etsy Enthusiasts
Mini-looms, starter kits for string art, needle felting, scrapbooking, big art sets with watercolors, pastels, brushes and a book on drawing technics – everything that promotes creativity and self-expression also makes a perfect gift.
Besides, arts and crafts are very soothing activities, so it most certainly will help your teen to cope with anxieties.
8. For Those Into Old-School Stuff
Teens today also can be crazy about retro and vintage. For them, you can pick some antique books shelf holders (and a selection of books for that matter), retro instant cameras, and generally old-timey looking accessories such as record bowls, tape cassette boxes, mini-coolers for soda and snacks shaped like a streamline fridges.
To strike the right chord and see how their face lightens up instead of cringing with disappointment, do your homework. See if your teen likes one big present or a pile of trinkets, do they like to see their presents on the dressing table upon waking up or chase around the house finding the clues that lead them to the cache. Make a gift an experience!
Featured photo credit: Scott Hadfield/Flickr via flic.kr