You love your teens — you really do. Their quirky behaviors, their knowledge of all things, their ability to have one foot in childhood and one in adulthood at the same time — these are all qualities that you find charming about your kiddos … well, at least most of the time.
But if you are being totally honest with yourself, the one thing you don’t love about your teenagers is shopping for them. Teens can have pretty specific wants and needs and the last thing you want is for those pricey jeans you bought for them to hang in the closet unworn because they are just a shade too light … or dark … or tight … or baggy … you get the idea.
To shop successfully for teens, it’s often best to channel your inner 16-year-old and remember what you would have loved receiving at that age. With that in mind, check out the following ideas.
A lava lamp
When you were a teen, lava lamps were probably a current “in” type of gift, you might have even had one in your room. If your teens have a funky, retro sense of style, they are sure to love one as well. Fortunately, you don’t have to scour thrift shops for a lava lamp that was made in the 1970s and has questionable wiring; it’s easy to find a selection online. You can purchase a traditional style with the blobs of “lava” that go up and down inside the lamp, or you could vary the look a bit with this Sparkle Motion Lamp that is filled with shimmering glitter that floats around in the bullet-shaped lamp when it’s plugged in.
Tickets to a fun event
Maybe your 17-year-old daughter talks non-stop about her love of the Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry and/or Draymond Green. Or perhaps your 15-year-old son is a budding guitar player who loves to imitate his fave country musicians. Instead of a gift of “things,” surprise them with tickets to see their beloved sports players and/or musicians. Even if you don’t live anywhere near where the Warriors play, they might be playing an NBA team in or close to your city, and Google your teen’s fave musicians to check out current tour dates and locations. Then visit a website like StubHub.com to find tickets. Put the tickets in a festive envelope and attach them to a Steph Curry T-shirt or a Blake Shelton CD — your teen will be sure to flip.
A goodie bag devoted to their fave movie or show
Remember when you were younger and you fell in love with a certain movie and saw it over and over in the theater? Your teen probably feels the same way about a least one film and/or TV show. Celebrate their fascination with a gift bag or goodie basket filled with items that all have to do with the movie or show. For instance, if your son or daughter is obsessed with “Stranger Things,” fill a box with a baseball hat that looks like the one Dustin wears, a few Pop figures from Funko and a t-shirt featuring an image of Eleven on the front. Since most movies and TV shows have a variety of merch to go along with them, it shouldn’t be hard to take just about any of their cultural interests and transform them into a fun selection of gifts.
Shopping for your teen doesn’t have to be stressful — with a little imagination, remembering your own youth and what you loved and keeping your ears open for their current interests, it is quite possible to come up with gifts that will delight your kiddos.