Teens are a tricky group to buy for. They’re the first to latch onto the latest trends. And thanks to the rapidly shifting influence of social media, their tastes change faster than you can make a shopping list. It’s enough to make even the savviest of grown-ups nervous about choosing the right gift – even if your teen has told you exactly what they want.
Plus, buying for teenagers means getting clued in to the latest trends. Teens are the arbiters of pop culture. This can be a daunting task for grown-ups who’ve never even heard of some of the things their teens like.
We scoured the Internet, examined surveys, and read up on marketing research to take some stress out of holiday shopping for your hard-to-please teen. The result is a list of trendy ideas ranging from electronics to decor to entertainment. You’re sure to find something to thrill the teen on your list no matter your holiday budget.
Gift Ideas Under $20
You don’t have to spend a lot to wow a teen. From books to games to low-cost tech, $20 or less affords you plenty of teen-approved options.
1. Trendy Books
Time magazine reports the percentage of teenagers who read for pleasure is dropping, but as many as two-thirds of teens still enjoy reading. That means most teenagers won’t think a book is a lame gift. And a popular book can even sway reluctant readers to dive in. That’s important. Stats compiled by Book Riot show students proficient in reading are five times more likely to graduate high school. Plus, you’ll impress them with your pop culture knowledge.
The Netflix film “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is a teen phenomenon based on the first of a series of books by Jenny Han. They follow a girl whose private letters written to past crushes are stolen and mailed out. Netflix has greenlighted two more films in the series, with the second coming out in February 2020. And you can get a box set of all three “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” books for under $20.
According to 2019 research from the marketing firm Fuse, which specializes in brand engagement for teens, fantasy fiction tops teens’ lists for reading material. And the most widely read and beloved fantasy series is “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling. According to Fuse, teens are still reading it – more than any other series – even 20 years after it was first published. The decades since have spawned many reprints and collectible editions. If you have a “Harry Potter” or fantasy fan on your list, treat them to an illustrated version of the first novel in the series: “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”
Or go with a subscription to Scribd. If you include the free trial, teens will get three months of unlimited e-books and audiobooks for under $20.
2. A PopSocket or PopWallet
PopSockets are a cultural phenomenon. The collapsible phone grip reduces the likelihood of dropping their phone and lets them prop it up for hands-free calling or video viewing. And the newest trend is the PopWallet, a removable and repositionable card wallet that sticks to the back of your phone. It allows teens to carry one or two cards, like an ID and debit card, without the extra bulk of a purse or wallet. If you can swing a bit extra, go for the wallet-PopSocket combo.
3. A Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
If you’re buying for a teen who loves to listen to music, set them up with a water-resistant speaker so they can jam to their favorite tunes while in the shower or at the pool. The Soundbot SB510 shower speaker is waterproof and wireless and sticks to the shower wall via a suction cup. Even better, teens can take phone calls using its built-in mic.
If portability is the bigger concern, teens can use the Vtin SoundHot Q1 waterproof Bluetooth speaker in the shower or easily port it with the attached loop – handy for clipping to a belt or backpack. Plus, Amazon reviewers were highly impressed with its sound quality, saying it’s more powerful than speakers costing over $100.
4. Bedroom Lights
According to a 2019 survey of teens by The Strategist, string lights are the most popular and beloved room decor. If they have a smartphone, upgrade their fairy lights with a set that connects to an app on their phone. Using Bluetooth technology, Abtong fairy lights with music mode sync with your teen’s music and change color along with the beat. Overall, there are 16 million color combinations and 29 modes.
Or get them a set of photo clip string lights, which allow them to showcase their printed photos while adding a warm glow to their rooms with LED lights.
Better yet, combine the best of both worlds with a cinematic light box. It comes with space to display a row of instant photos and a letter board to display a custom message using the included letter, character, and symbol tiles – and everything is backlit with 16 LEDs.
5. An Anytime Escape Room
According to USA Today, interest in escape rooms has tripled within the past three years due to the rise of social media and nerd culture. With an Escape Room in a Box, teens can play this immersive game anytime, anywhere. The board game version brings the room to you, as teens work with their friends to solve clues before the mad scientist werewolf Doc Gnaw gets them. Plus, teens can connect the game to Amazon’s Alexa for enhanced gameplay, including timing challenges, providing hints, and playing a spooky soundtrack.
6. A Fun Card Game
Card games are an easy, readily available way to socialize. And since teens are typically never far from their phones, Game of Phones is one they can always play. It uses card prompts to challenge players to a scavenger hunt on their phones – like searching for photos and Google images. The fastest and funniest get the win.
And you can’t go wrong with a game that instructs players: “Build a Unicorn Army. Betray your friends. Unicorns are your friends now.” Unstable Unicorns is a game about betrayal and destruction. Players collect over 20 unicorns to build their army. Meanwhile, they use their magic to mete revenge on other players while working to become the Righteous Ruler.
7. Table Tennis
For the active teen on your list, a take-anywhere table tennis set will keep them on their feet without the bulky table. They can challenge friends or family to a tournament whenever or wherever by clamping the net onto nearly any available surface.
8. A Set of Phone Camera Lenses
Upgrade an aspiring photographer or social media influencer’s photo options with a Todi phone camera lens set. It comes with nine lenses that clip onto virtually any smartphone. Plus, it gives your teen the ability to take professional-quality photos of all kinds with wide-angle, macro, and zoom lenses.
9. A Journal
Journals are a place for teens to explore their thoughts and work through challenging emotions. They also help teens practice valuable writing skills, according to Very Well Family.
The “Wreck This Journal” by Keri Smith is a twist on this concept, full of unique doodles and prompts that encourage journalers to destroy the book creatively. Prompts include instructions to take their journal for a walk, poke holes in pages, rip pages, paint on pages, and even throw it. It encourages journalers to embrace their own creative processes – and, as a result, their individuality.
10. A Time Capsule
Combine the best of journaling and time capsules with the Letters to My Future Self kit. This letter-writing set includes 12 prompts that invite them to write down specific reflections they’ll be able to look back on in the years to come. The kit gives your teen’s future self the chance to look back on how far they’ve come.
Gift Ideas From $21 – $50
If you have more to spend, this budget range opens you up to a bunch of fun tech gifts – like Bluetooth-connected turntables, smart speakers, and even VR gaming sets. Or you can opt for gifts that let teens express their personal style or interests.
11. A Space-Age Notebook
Today’s socially conscious digital natives don’t need an old-school notebook from yesteryear. So upgrade them to a Rocketbook from Everlast. The Rocketbook features 36 pages that wipe clean with the swipe of a cloth if you use Pilot Frixion pens (one included), markers, and highlighters. They’re infinitely reusable, so no trees are wasted.
Even cooler, your teen’s handwritten notes are uploadable to Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Box, OneNote, Slack, iCloud, or email through an app on their smartphone. Once uploaded, they can use Rocketbook’s smart technology to search their notes. This notebook won’t make homework any more fun, but it could make it just a little more bearable.
12. Beauty & Styling Tools
A gift of hairstyling or makeup tools lets teens try out the latest style trends. The Revlon one-step hair dryer and volumizer gives a salon-style blowout in minutes. For a more traditional blow-dryer, go with the Revlon 1875W infrared hair dryer, which outperforms the much pricier Dyson, according to testing by Reviewed. A flat iron or curling wand is also a great pick for teens, as it lets them experiment with a range of different looks.
When it comes to makeup sets for teens, it’s all about the influencer. Fenty Beauty by Rhianna is a top hit with teens. The Fenty Beauty Glossy Posse Mini Gloss Bomb Set is a limited-edition collection of four cruelty-free lip gloss shades made with high-quality ingredients and designed to look good with almost any skin tone.
If your teen is new to wearing makeup, they’ll appreciate a starter kit like The Makeup Set by Glossier. This trio of mascara, brow pomade, and cheek stain is enough to let them experiment with a few essentials while still feeling glam.
13. A Collectable LP or Record Player
Everything old is new again. Despite living in an age with easy access to unlimited streaming music, interest in vinyl is surging among Gen Z. According to the research firm MusicWatch, half of all record buyers are under the age of 25. And although record sales account for only 11% of all music sales, according to Neilson, their growth rate is outpacing digital downloads. Miriam Linna, president of independent record label Norton Records, told CNBC she believes the reason for the interest is the desire to have the personal feel of a physical artifact.
If your teen would like to get in on this trend, set them up with a Bluetooth-enabled record player, like the vintage-inspired suitcase turntable from Victrola. It lets teens stream their digital music in addition to playing records. Plus, it’s portable and comes in a wide range of stylish colors.
Or invest in Billie Eilish’s LP, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” She’s a current obsession among teens, who value her edgy aesthetic and relatable everygirl vibe. For more insight into what teens listen to, check out Teen Vogue’s list of up-and-coming musicians for 2019.
If you’re still not sure what to get, opt for a gift box from Vnyl. The Trio gift box contains three records curated just for them.
14. A Recipe Kit
Recipe kits are great for teens interested in experimenting in the kitchen. The kits provide the necessary ingredients and instructions and let teens practice their skills and try out new flavors.
For teens who enjoy baking, try a homemade sourdough bread kit, which includes sourdough culture and tools like a sourdough scraper, whisk, and muslin cloth.
For those interested in cuisine from around the world, go with a DIY tamale kit, which comes with corn husks, masa mix, chilis, and other spices. Or go with a trendier pick, like the KTeas bubble tea kit, which comes with everything they need, minus the milk, to make two delicious flavors of Taiwanese bubble tea at home. You can also introduce them to trendy Japanese cuisine with a mochi ice cream kit. It contains all the necessary ingredients, minus the ice cream, to make chewy, creamy, delicious mochi ice cream balls.
15. An Insulated Water Bottle
Insulated water bottles keep athletic teens hydrated and their beverages cold. The Coldest Water Bottle keeps drinks cold for an impressive 36 hours, plus it fits easily into a bike holder and features a rubber grip to keep it from slipping from sweaty hands.
A sticker-covered insulated Hydro Flask is the essential accessory of the VSCO girl. The term refers to a trendy subculture among Gen Z that follows laid-back fashion choices popular on social media. It’s unquestionably pricey for a basic water bottle, even if it does keep beverages cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. But if your teen is into this trend, she’ll be thrilled to have one of her own.
16. A Fun & Functional Phone Case
A fashionable phone case lets your teen showcase their personal style with a device they take everywhere. Even better, a shockproof case strikes a balance between fun and functional, ensuring the screen won’t shatter if they drop their phone.
The Casetify iPhone XS Max case with gold floating glitter fits this description. For a different look, go with the neon flames iPhone 11 case. Or opt for the gold standard in phone protection – an Otterbox. Not solely utilitarian, Otterbox makes cases for Star Wars and Marvel fans and even has a line with built-in PopSockets.
17. A Multifunction Device Charger
Make sure your teen is always able to phone home with an Anker PowerCore two-in-one charger. This charger is a backup battery that also plugs into any wall outlet when it needs its own recharging. Plus, it provides connections for charging up to three devices at once.
For teens who always like to look their best, opt for the dual functionality of the Pearl compact mirror charger. This compact features two mirrors – one regular and one magnifying – that illuminate with LED lights so teens can check their makeup or hair on the go. It also has a USB port for charging a phone and comes in a sleek, sophisticated shell.
And for teens with multiple devices, the Elago charging station can charge an iPhone, AirPods, and an Apple Watch simultaneously.
18. A Smart Speaker
An Alexa-enabled smart speaker, like the newest Echo Dot, lets teens stream their Spotify playlists and get the weather and news updates. And it can answer just about any question a teen might ask. It also allows for making hands-free phone calls and can even help teens get out of bed in the morning by playing their favorite tunes.
19. A Racing Set
Get teens who still enjoy playing with toys something that speaks to their inner child without making them feel like one. The Fast & Furious Edition of Anki Overdrive lets them race cars from one of their favorite movie series. These iOS- and Android-enabled cars bring together technology and car racing, allowing them to pit Dom’s Charger against Hobbs’ MXT on eight different tracks for the ultimate face-off.
20. A Virtual Reality Headset for Their Phone
Believe it or not, virtual reality (VR) headsets under $50 exist. Thanks to significant advancements in technology, today’s kids get to experience gaming on a whole new level using their iOS or Android smartphone with a Merge VR Headset.
Even better, the Merge system features dozens of educational apps – so many they market it to teachers as a way to enhance their lesson plans. Teens can walk with dinosaurs, explore the universe, or take virtual field trips, making this a gift parents and relatives can feel good about giving.
Gift Ideas From $51 – $100
In this price range, you can afford a few higher-end items, like trendy fashion, customized tech, and even an instant-print camera.
21. A Snazzy Pair of Sneakers
Classic white sneakers are a beloved fashion trend among today’s teenagers. They go with everything, they’re super-comfy, and they look stylish. But you can’t get away with buying a fashion-conscious teen just any pair. So get them the Air Force 1 sneaker from Nike – the top most-coveted. You can snag this design for either women for under $100.
22. A Fashion Subscription
While younger kids are prone to turn their noses up at a gift of clothes, fashion-forward teens appreciate them. Gift cards are the traditional standby for gift-givers who don’t know what teens want. But today’s subscription services are an even cooler option. They give teens the chance to try out several new styles, all carefully curated by their own personal shopper-stylist.
For teen girls, go with the Wantable Style Edit. She’ll get five to seven apparel and accessory pieces selected to suit her tastes and featuring the hottest trends and premium brands. Plus, she can keep what she wants and send back the rest. And you can set a budget before items are shipped.
For a teen girl into accessories and experimenting with beauty products, a Rachel Zoe Box of Style lets her try out $400 worth of fashion and beauty products curated by the fashion designer and keep it all for less than $100. Plus, she’ll get Zoe’s exclusive styling tips.
For teen boys, go with Bombfell. They get their own personal stylist to handpick outfits – including shirts, pants, jackets, and socks — just for them. Plus, you can set a budget and even approve shipments ahead of time.
23. Timeless Jewelry
A gold or silver necklace featuring their name in script is a classic piece that never goes out of style. In this budget range, you can choose from sterling silver, 18-karat gold-plating, or rose gold-plating, plus four different chain lengths.
Or go with an equally classic 18-karat gold bar necklace that’s engravable on all sides with your choice of meaningful dates, coordinates, and names or other symbols and phrases.
24. A Video Game
For teens who love to play video games, few gifts are more appreciated than a new one. Top picks for teens include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Borderlands 3, and the newly released The Outer Worlds.
25. A Customized Game Controller
If they’re really into video games, level up their gameplay with a custom controller. The Xbox Design Lab lets them choose from 19 body color options with different effects, including ombre, geometric details, and highlights. Plus, they can even customize the style for the ABXY keys.
26. An Entire Year of Disney+
The new Disney streaming service comes with 24/7 streaming access to Disney films plus Disney-owned properties, including Pixar, Marvel, “Star Wars,” National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox.
Like other streaming services, Disney+ also has its own exclusive shows. Top forecasted faves include “The Mandalorian,” the first-ever live-action “Star Wars” series, and the Marvel series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” Get an entire year of access for under $100.
27. A Sport Set
If you’d feel better about giving a gift that encourages less screen time, go with a fun sports game that requires physical activity. Pickleball is a fast-paced game that combines aspects of tennis, table tennis, and badminton. The Hathaway deluxe pickleball starter set contains everything they need to play, including the net, four paddles, four balls, and a convenient carrying bag. And if they discover they love the game, you’ve got another great gift for their birthday: super-cool pickleball paddles.
28. A Telescope
Give amateur astronomers the ability to explore the universe and glimpse distant stars with their own eyes. The Gsyker travel telescope is simple to use and reasonably priced and features high-quality optics.
It’s also a useful gift for the outdoorsy teen who enjoys hiking and camping. It folds to fit into a convenient included carrying bag, so they can take it with them wherever they go for a superior view of the stars at night and a close-up of wildlife during the day. It even makes an ideal gift for teens interested in photography. The telescope comes with a smartphone mount, so they can use their phones to take some amazing photographs.
29. An Instant-Print Camera
An instant-print camera gives teens immediate access to mementos they can hang on their walls or give to friends. They’re much like the Polaroids of the ‘70s and ‘80s, but with the superior sharp resolution of today’s digital technology.
In fact, Polaroid – the pioneers of the industry – has developed the Polaroid Snap instant digital camera, a smaller, sleeker updated version of its ancient cousin. The Snap lets teens take pictures and instantly print sticker-backed, 2-inch-by-3-inch high-resolution photos. It also digitally saves every photo for easy storage or posting to social media. And it comes in a range of fun colors.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 instant camera is another option popular with teens. It comes with similar features, including a variety of modes to account for indoor and outdoor environments. It also comes with a small selfie mirror to ensure proper framing. And if you opt for the bundle, it comes with several colored filters, extra photo paper, sticker frames, plastic frames, an album, clips and string for hanging photos, and a camera case with a strap.
30. A Smartphone Printer
For minimalist teens who’d rather not have one more device to carry around, a small portable photo printer like the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link smartphone printer connects wirelessly to their smartphone or Fujifilm digital camera using Bluetooth technology. It gives teens the ability to instantly print 2-inch-by-3-inch photos with a simple swipe on their phone. They can even print from videos or a friend’s phone.
Or check out the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer. It also connects wirelessly to devices using Bluetooth, and multiple devices can connect at once. Plus, it enables your teen to print 2-inch-by-3-inch sticker-backed photos instantly.
Gift Ideas Over $100
If you have a splurge-size budget for the teen on your list this year, get them a truly wow-worthy gift they’re sure to use – like a new game system, computer, or even a smartphone.
31. A First Phone
According to experts interviewed by The New York Times, the best age to give kids a smartphone is between the ages of 12 and 14. In the end, though, it truly depends on kids’ maturity level and ability to handle social media. All the experts agreed that the longer you wait, the safer. However, by the time kids are teens, the vast majority – 84% according to a 2019 survey by Common Sense Media — own smartphones. So if you feel your teen is ready, a first phone is a gift sure to elicit a squeal.
Some of the hottest phones for teenagers include:
- The Apple iPhone 11. The iPhone is the gold standard of smartphones. The latest Apple iPhone 11 is especially appealing to teens, though, because of its new and improved dual-system camera that allows them to take ultra-wide photos. It also boasts the best video quality of any smartphone.
- The Samsung Galaxy S10 Series. The Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10, and S10+ also feature top-notch camera technology, with built-in pro-grade lenses, including an ultra-wide lens. Plus, the intelligent camera helps them take stunning photos by suggesting image compositions and automatically optimizing camera settings. And teens who plan to use their phones for gaming can take advantage of technology that reduces lag time and enhances performance.
- The Google Pixel 4. The Google Pixel 4 XL is a third option with the features teens care about most – namely superior photo technology. As with the iPhone and Galaxy S10, the Pixel shoots color- and detail-rich photos, even in low-light conditions. Like the iPhone, it comes with a second lens, which gives photos pro camera quality. And like the Samsung S10 series, it comes with photo assistance. Unlike the other two, those who opt for the Google Pixel get unlimited photo and video storage for a lifetime’s worth of digital content.
32. Their Own Game System
Treat your avid gamer to their own system so they can play in the privacy of their room without having to endure pestering siblings. Perhaps more important, they can play games too mature for younger viewers without their younger siblings seeing something they shouldn’t.
The game systems on most teens’ wish lists include:
- The Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch gives teens the option of playing games on their TV by inserting the handheld device in the docking station. Or, they can play games on the go – or curled up in a favorite chair – with the portable screen. They can even remove the controllers from the handheld device for two-player mode.
- The Playstation 4. The Playstation 4 is a classic choice, and the latest version comes with updated features. These include a whopping 1 terabyte (TB) of storage and an ultra-modern slim design.
- The Xbox One. Like the Playstation 4, the Xbox One also boasts 1TB of storage and a sleek design. The reason for choosing one over the other depends entirely on game preference, as there are some games made exclusively for certain systems.
- The Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift + Touch VR system comes with a Rift headset, touch controllers, two sensors, and six games. This system offers unrivaled optics, including low-latency tracking and 3-D graphics, for the ultimate immersion experience.
33. A Gaming Chair
Whether your teen spends hours playing video games or hours in front of their computer working on homework, a gaming chair has multiple benefits for their long-term health and comfort. A quality gaming chair helps maintain good posture, which prevents back and neck problems and improves circulation. Plus, many even have added features that enhance a player’s gaming experience. The Mini Rocker speaker chair from PB Teen, for example, comes with built-in speakers to make them feel like they’re right inside the action.
34. A Convertible Tablet-Laptop
Can’t decide between a laptop and a tablet? Get the best of both worlds with a convertible device. The 360-degree hinge on the Acer Chromebook Spin 11, lets teens transform it from a laptop to a stand-up display, tent, or tablet. They can watch videos, play games, and experience enhanced picture detail in their face-to-face chats. And when it’s time to do their homework, they can transform it back into a laptop.
Or go with the Lenovo Flex, which features a similar 360-degree hinge and comes with an active pen that allows your teen to draw or take notes directly on the screen.
35. A Drone
Drones let teens interested in filmmaking or aerial photography take stunning overhead shots they’d never capture with a regular camera. The Holy Stone HS720 takes superior-quality photos and comes with image stabilization for vibration-free photos and video. Plus, it includes some really cool features, like the ability to fly a programmed path; follow you wherever you go; and automatically return home if the battery is low, the signal is lost, or you press the return key. And its propellers fold inside its body for easy portability. Use the drone lighting kit of your choice from Lume Cube, and buy in bulk if plan to gift more than one drone or purchase one for yourself.
36. An Alexa Speaker With High-End Sound Quality
While any Alexa-enabled speaker gives you access to the library of Alexa skills, the Sonos One smart speaker also comes with superior sound quality. Inside its compact body is a set of amplifiers and custom-built drivers tuned to the speaker’s unique frame. So teens can play and control their music with simple voice commands while enjoying rich, clear sound.
37. High-End Headphones
A pair of wireless headphones lets teens listen privately while seamlessly controlling their music with on-ear controls or voice commands.
The Beats Solo3 wireless on-ear headphones connect with Apple devices and Siri via on-ear controls to play music and enable teens to take phone calls. Plus, they feature fine-tuned acoustics that maximize clarity, breadth, and balance for fantastic sound. And they last for up to 40 hours on a single charge.
For teens looking for something small and compact that’s easy to tote around, Apple AirPods are the answer. They provide quick and easy access to Siri with voice commands and rich audio for music play. They also work via simple motion controls, starting to play automatically when they’re in-ear and stopping when removed. And they filter out background noise during phone calls. Plus, they can go for five hours on a single charge, and the compact carrying case holds additional charges – enough power for 24 hours of play.
If they need headphones that work with Google Assistant, check out the Google Pixel buds. These small in-ear headphones have similar features to AirPods. They provide rich audio and hands-free calling that filters out background noise and a case with backup power – plus, they work with Google Assistant through voice commands. And if your teen does any foreign traveling, they come with an additional cool feature: translating languages in real time.
And for connectivity with Amazon’s Alexa, Bose’s noise-canceling wireless headphones are the best bet. They enable teens to tune out ambient noise when they’re studying with 11 levels of noise-cancellation. They can also control their smart devices with voice commands via Alexa. And they’re optimized for Google Assistant.
38. A Guitar
Learning to play the guitar sharpens your concentration, improves your memory, and is just plain cool. For beginning players, an acoustic guitar is best. The Fender beginner acoustic guitar bundle includes a bag, tuner, picks, and guitar strap so they can start playing right out of the box.
Or go with the Squier by Fender Short Scale Stratocaster. It’s a comfortable, beautiful guitar ideal for first-time electric guitar players due to its shorter length and hardtail bridge, which make tuning and chording easier. Plus, the relatively inexpensive bundle comes with guitar picks, a strap, a clip-on tuner, and an amp – everything they need to start playing.
39. A Facial Cleansing Device
Unless teens specifically ask for it, avoid well-meaning gifts like acne treatment sets, which are bound to misfire. But teens who’ve demonstrated an interest in beauty trends will enjoy receiving a gift of the latest gadget. The Luna 2 facial cleansing brush is a cult-favorite. It effectively removes 98.5% of dirt and makeup residue without using outdated bristles. Instead, it uses antimicrobial silicone touch points to cleanse the skin gently without causing irritation. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors.
40. An Adventure
Research from the University of Toronto has uncovered a simple truth: The best gifts are gifts of an experience. While experiential gifts can backfire with younger kids who prefer something to unwrap and play with, teens are old enough to appreciate them. If your teen enjoys going to concerts, sports games, or the theater, get them tickets to their favorite event.
Or, for a truly unique experience, treat them to an adventure from Cloud 9 Living. They can fly in a hot air balloon, race a car (there may be age restrictions), scuba dive, or even go hang-gliding. Available adventures depend on your location, but there is a variety of once-in-a-lifetime experiences to choose from all over the U.S.
Teens have gained widespread notoriety for their finicky natures. It’s tempting to take the easy route and give them a gift card. And a gift card isn’t a bad choice. Many teens would likely prefer it to an ill-chosen gift.
But taking the time to pick a thoughtful gift is well worth the effort. Most teens will tell you what they want, but if they don’t or you can’t ask, just do a little detective work. Have they mentioned any new hobbies or interests? Can you quiz their friends? What have they liked or followed on social media? Taking the time to do a little research is likely to set you on the right path.
What are you getting for the teens on your holiday list this year?