Back when my kiddos were babies, it was so easy to buy them presents–not only for me but also for the relatives and friends. After all, just look watch some commercials, listen to what your friends are buying their kids or read recommendations from parenting magazines and you pretty much know what to buy. I used to also let the kids play in the toy stores and see what they seemed to really love.
Now, fast forward to the teen years, and everything is completely different. While I know what my teens like, sometimes it’s hard to explain their interests to well-meaning friends and relatives. The girls who once enjoyed the latest toys, dolls and Barbies now like an eclectic mix of make-up, classic books, Manga books, pop music, Korean pop and jewelry. And, don’t even mention buying clothes. Of course, techie items are popular, but were talking inexpensive gifts here. So, what’s my recommendation? In a word or two: gift cards!
Some people, aka the grandparents, see gift cards as highly impersonal, but after surveying my teens and their friends, I found out that they absolutely love these little gems! Here are some of the most requested cards.
- iTunes–With such a wide variety of musical favorites out there, giving an iTunes card allows your favorite teen to choose what they really want. Oh, and they’re also loved by gamers of all ages–but I wouldn’t know.
- Barnes and Noble and other bookstores–All of my kids love going to Barnes and Noble. They can pick out their favorite book, games, toys and anything else they may find here.
- General Mass Merchandisers–I’m thinking of stores like Walmart and Target because you can find almost everything here. From make-up, clothes, books, accessories, candy and crafts, these places really are popular with teens.
- Starbucks–My teens and their friends love this place. Unless you know that your favorite teen hates coffee, this card will be used!
Of course, you can also buy a card for your teen’s favorite clothing store, but this is meant to be a general guide. You can also attach a pack of gum, candy or mints to make the gift card more personal. Oh, if you want to give something handmade, such as a scarf or quilt, your teen will really like it. It may not be cool to acknowledge it, but at some point, they will really appreciate it!
If you have any pointers, I’d love to hear them! Thanks for listening, and this post is totally about the teens I happen to know, based upon our own opinions and nothing more!