And we’re off … with probably the most important of my gift buying posts: Christmas Gifts for Teenagers. I’ve been surprised by the number of readers that have been in touch asking when this is coming but I completely understand. It’s difficult bridging this gap between adult and child when Christmas still really matters and yet so much things are deemed uncool. So, I’ve worked hard on this one.
Santa still comes to our house. My parents’ rule was that if we came home on Christmas Eve, Santa would still visit. It was very clever of my mum because it meant that the youngest of my brothers and I continued to go home for Christmas for a very long time! So that’s the tradition I will continue. It does mean that I work hard to buy the right little treats in the run up to Christmas though.
I don’t know if you’ve ever got it wrong – we have on two separate Christmases when the day has been tinged with disappointment. What was the root of the problem? Santa thought the boy was more grown up than he actually was and didn’t include any toys. Maybe it’s different with girls but I’ve found that however big they are, as long as boys have a toy on Christmas Day they’re happy. With that in mind let’s go (and to my boys if you are reading – please close the page and walk away).
To start with, I am pleased to have found a website that isn’t owned by a huge conglomerate that treats its employees like robots. This is not a sponsored post, a friend told me about them but I’m glad she did. It’s The Present Finder and it is family owned. These are my top picks:
Christmas Gifts for Teenagers
Motorised Paper Planes
This was the winner of ‘Gift of the Year’ last year. There are multiple plane designs to make which will keep them busy for a while. You then attach the engine, charge it with the battery charger and off they fly. Obviously if you have more than one man / boy child it opens up the opportunity to race them too and will hopefully get them outside for a while.
Laser Tag Shooting Game
This doesn’t need much explanation but there are several modes including different amounts of shots before you have to reload. An easy way to playfight without a trip to A&E.
Light Up Cinema Board
These are a big thing for student/teenage bedrooms at the moment. It comes with plenty of letters so they can change the message as often as they want – and it currently has 25% off.
Star & Satellite Finding Binoculars – App-Enhanced Space Navigator
I find that anything that works with their phones tends to be a hit and these binoculars are app enhanced and have 7 x magnification. They include a free registration code for the app so it simply needs to be downloaded and it will then help you to explore meteors, nearby galaxies and neighbouring planets.
Ginormous Sticky Note Pads – Pack of Two
I know the days of drawing are over for most teens but I’m including these giant ‘post it notes’ for anyone who has a summer of revision ahead. They might not thank you on Christmas Day but these will be invaluable in May when they need to learn things by rote – they can just stick them all over their bedroom walls. Currently 26% off.
The Most Amazing YouTube Videos Ever – QR codes included
I am frequently bemused by just how much time they can lose watching YouTube videos. However it is an inescapable part of teen culture so here is an analogue way of giving them more joy!
Chilli Chocolate Challenge
I have a very high tolerance for hot spices so I confess that I get sadistic pleasure from this sort of thing. In fact one of the times when I have literally cried with laughter was when Mr MC brought chilli chocolate of varying degrees of heat home from a beer festival. The boys were so confident that they were man enough for the challenge … and they so weren’t. I still chuckle when I remember the expressions on their faces whilst I remained completely unaffected until we got to the hottest bar.
Remote Control Wall Climbing Car Gravity Defying Fun!
I’m putting this in for anyone who has a slightly less OCD husband than I do. There is no way he would allow this on his walls (he nearly wept when I brought home those sticky men that climb down the walls when the boys were little). However this looks like great fun to me – perhaps one to give to your godchildren!
100 Things They Don’t Want You To Know Book
We’ve had lots of discussion on how to get teens reading recently. This is a good way, a book that includes ‘listicles’ and piques their curiousity.
So, moving on to unusual undies, these are great and they help to raise money for The Oddballs Foundation increasing awareness of testicular cancer which I am particularly keen to support. My boys claim that they are the most comfortable undies you can buy. There are endless designs to choose from, use code MIDLIFECHIC10 for 10% off and if you spend over £29.99 you can choose a free bobble hat.
These socks are great for school, they adhere to the uniform policies but have a hint of rebellion.
Revision by stealth
We all know how good teens are at avoiding conversation over the breakfast table and staring at the cereal packet. Why not give them a mug to stare at instead. They’ll grumble at you but it’s worth it.
One for students sharing a flat … or just for persuading teens to use coasters at home
Polaroid style camera
We have been utterly perplexed by our sons’ love of everything analogue this year. Turntables and vinyl LPs along with the latest craze – the polaroid camera. The eldest’s student loan must be going mostly towards buying packs of film. However it is one of the gifts of the season (accompanied by bumper packs of film).
Bumper pack of film (40 shots)
Emoji keyboard cover
You’ll have seen the craze for writing whole emoji sentences. This only works with Apple laptops but it adds an emoji keyboard overlay with over 300 emoji options that can be used in addition to the usual QWERTY.
One for girl students – I’ve been assured that this is a great gift
One for their bedrooms, this comes in lots of different colours
Another essential for their pad – be it at home or away. This is static so you touch it to set your favourite colour
Moving on to clothes – this is a minefield, Top Shop and Top Man gift cards are always a good idea however there are a couple of things that go down well.
I don’t know whether you have arguments about taking a coat to school, we do, daily. I’ve found my much loved Ultra Light Down to be the solution. They will compromise by putting one in their bag in the morning and they almost always return wearing it because it is, indeed, cold. The good thing is that they can wear them beneath their blazers so they still feel sufficiently manly (sigh)!
Ultra Light down jacket – various colours and styles available
And the last thing for me – trainers. My eldest son is a complete sneaker head (so much so that he is thinking of setting up a blog about trainers) and so unless I am briefed, I would never dare to buy anything. However he did recently advise me that there is one thing you can never go wrong with – Converse. In particular the new Chuck IIs that have been introduced since Nike bought the brand and introduced cushioned lunarlon insoles so that they are more comfortable than ever before. I have tracked down what I think is an unbeatable offer on these here and there is currently good stock availability in all sizes and colours.
Herschel continues to be a popular, safe buy
Or, if you have more budget, Fjallraven is the cool Icelandic brand du jour (lots of colours available)
Alternatively this is a brilliant offer – you get all of these toiletries and a water bottle as well as the backpack
And finally don’t forget the advice that I gleaned from my year spent working in fragrance. Zara is great quality (developed by a real parfumeur) and great value. Best picks are the double sets like this:
So, I really hope that has helped you with your Christmas gifts for teenagers. It is a guide that has been approved by genuine teenagers (or rather gleaned from their lists and those of their friends), unlike so many of the ones I keep reading in magazines which cause me to question whether the editors have ever met a teenager!
Happy shopping everyone, I am busy collating the best of the offers that are coming in so over the next week, I will continue to update the list at the bottom of whichever is the most recent post. I’ll be back on Thursday with details of two really exciting offers so check back then.
Best Christmas Shopping offers
Jaeger 25% off everything here – use GRAZIA25 at checkout