I may be known as Aunty Gift Card to my nieces and nephews for their birthdays, but I am decidedly anti-gift card at Christmas. Ripping open an envelope on Christmas morning is about as exciting as ripping open a report card: they already know what’s inside.
Teenagers are a rare breed to live with on a good day… never mind to shop for. They either want everything under the sun or they don’t want anything at all; proving my long-held assertion that teenagers cause hair loss in parents. Add to the stress of selection - the cost! In addition to my own three kids (ages 15, 14, and 11), I have 11 nieces and nephews for whom I shop (read: I need to stay within my budget).
Here are some suggestions to make gift giving easier for teens and tweens.
If you still think Hello Kitty is just cute little pink lunch bags and pencils, then you and I have been living under the same rock. I recently checked out their line of totally far out make-up compacts at Sephora which include eye shadow palette and blush for $35:
The famous Coach line of handbags is far too expensive. And really? What teenager deserves be walking around their high school with a handbag nicer than mine? But they seriously want one. So, why not a little wristlet, instead for under $50. This cuties can easily hold their cell, iPod and lip gloss (but not a hair straightener, sorry).
You don’t have $999 for the MacBook Air on his list? Really? So? What now? If your teenagers has a lap top (any many of them do), why not consider getting them a cool skin (aka cover sticker). At www.Gelaskins.com you can chose from a huge array of funky designs - and not just for their lap tops but also cell phones and iPods too. You can also create one of your own buy uploading pictures or designs. While they might be a little disappointed they didn’t get that new lap top, for under $30, at least their old laptop, iPod, Blackberry or cell will look brand new!
How about a pair of really neat earphones? Sorry, epic fail on the teenage lingo. I mean, I am stocking up on some totally sick skull candy for their iPods and MP3 players. There’s usually a whole aisle of them at Best Buy or Future Shop, but you can also occasionally find them dirt cheap at Winners!
Finally, for the rarer-than-Mother-Theresa-rare-Teenager who really, really, really doesn’t want anything for Christmas… buy them a goat. Er – rather - buy a village in need of a goat through one of the many charitable organizations offering Gifts of Hope such as Plan Canada, Unicef and Oxfam. Mango trees, baby chicks, classroom essentials, sanitary essentials, anti-malaria bed nets, among many other popular choices, are available for sale.
So I wish you every success with your holiday shopping for teenagers. I still have hair which proves these gifts have all been well received by my family - and by my wallet. Happy holidays!