The best gifts for Christmas are the ones that show you’ve put some thought into what your teen likes and that you’re interested in their hobbies and interests. With a little bit of research, parents can easily find the perfect gift for their kids.
Teens may be difficult to buy for, but thinking like a teenager might help parents decide on Christmas presents or activities they’ll like. Teenagers are too old for toys yet too young for household items (does your hubby get you household items for Christmas too?). Teens’ preferences fluctuate over time, but most have clear ideas about what is trendy and what isn’t-at least for the moment.
Giving the Gift of Independence
Teens want to be autonomous, so presents that acknowledge this will be appreciated. A car may be the pinnacle of independence, but parents don’t have to go as far. They might give a teenager her own electronic photo keychain or gas station gift cards instead of a vehicle. His or her own Netflix membership, ski pass, or coupons to use the car to go somewhere like the mall, to dinner, or movies with friends. This all depends on each child and we parents know what our kids are ready for and what might not be a good idea.
Activity gifts are a great way to show teens that you’re interested in their hobbies and interests. If your son or daughter is into music, get them tickets to a concert or a music festival. If he or she loves the outdoors, give them a hiking or camping trip. If they’re into fashion, buy them a gift certificate from their favorite clothing store. If your teen is into gaming, buy them a new game or the latest gaming system (YIKES, if your budget allows and gaming isn’t an issue with school work, behavior, or chores).
The Gift of Adulthood
Teens want to be treated as equals and are eager to learn how to become adults. Meals at a high-end restaurant, a weekend in a hotel in a neighboring city, theater tickets, or an exhibit at a museum are all wonderful gifts that make this a more mature type of gift. The gift-giver should go with the teenager to these events when appropriate.
Entertainment Type Gifts for Teenagers
Teens, like everyone else, enjoy being entertained. Music, movies, or books are frequently seen as the ideal present for many teenagers. The secret to finding a great gift for a teenager is to choose things that they will enjoy.
Gift cards to music or movie download services, prepaid gaming cards, an iTunes gift card, and even a subscription to a teen magazine are all good ideas. These gifts let the teen choose what they want to do and give them some choices which will help this to be the best Christmas for teens.
If your kids love audiobooks an Audible Subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only does it give them the entertainment value but it is perfect for high school and college reading, research and helps with the overall aspect of improving their study skills.
Giving Teenagers the Gift of Choice
Teens enjoy making their own decisions, which makes gift cards perfect for them. Gift cards allow them to purchase whatever they want. Parents should think about a card for the coffee shop where teens socialize with their friends or a card at a clothing store where they like to shop. When in doubt, ask the teenager!
Giving Experience Gifts to Your Teens
Experience gifts are another great option for teens. Parents may want to consider giving their teen an experience gift instead of spending money on items that will just sit in the closet or be forgotten about over time.
A cooking class, surfing lessons, ice skating lessons, skydiving lessons, bowling alley memberships, and tickets to a play or sporting event are all examples of experience gifts. One of my teenage sons said one of the best Christmas gifts he ever got was a membership to a fitness center. He uses it almost every day and absolutely loves it.
Some of these gift ideas can be enjoyed by the whole family or just your child. Keep in mind some experience activities may need a parent to accompany or provide rides depending on the type of activity and the age of your child.
Giving Teens the Gift of Caring
Teens can be distant at times, but they desire to be loved even though they don’t show it. (My kids act like they don’t care but we all know they truly do, being a teen or tween is a balancing act of being a kid and acting “cool”.)
Homemade presents such as a quilt or blanket, or hand-knit caps and scarves, are great ways to show how much you care. Be cautious here parents, not every teenager will enjoy these things. But trust me as they get older and become adults and even parents themselves these gifts will have heartfelt importance.
A letter from one or both parents telling their teenager how much he or she means to them will be a treasured gift. I gave my son and daughter a journal and wrote a little note in it telling them a story from my crazy teen years I thought they may appreciate.
After my husband passed away I tried to do meaningful things for them to show them things their dad would have done or said. I loved finding ways to keep him and his memory still with us. For a grieving child and as a grieving wife these heartfelt gifts and gestures are important ways of healing and bonding for us. I do these things throughout the year for my kids, not just at Christmas time. It helps me just as much as it’s helped them.
Are their Perfect Gifts to Make this the Best Christmas for Teens?
Finding the perfect gift is a tough one for teenagers unless you want to scoop out a bunch of money. For some reason, teen gifts can be expensive, those baby and toddler gifts are so much easier.
But gifts for our teens this Christmas don’t have to be expensive. Like any good present, a gift for a teen should show the gift giver cares about the recipient and his or her opinions and preferences. If you’re still unsure what to get your teenager, go ahead and ask them and listen. Even if what they want isn’t something you are willing to give or a feasible gift you might hear some tidbits of things that could spark an idea.
With a little bit of thought, parents can easily find the perfect gift for their kids this Christmas without breaking the bank or compromising what they feel is appropriate. Gift-giving isn’t just about buying things, one of my daughters says having me make her favorite Chicken Sausage Soup with a grilled cheese sandwich is better than any gift I could ever purchase.
In the end, our kids may think they want the “in” gadget, game, toy of the year. I’ve found when they get older it’s the thought and the meaningful things they’ll remember and cherish the most. Our love and just being there will be what makes this the best Christmas for teens. Merry Christmas! And happy gift giving!