So many of you have told me you’ve been waiting for the ‘Christmas gifts for teens and young adults 2021’ post that I’m starting it rather nervously. As always I tasked my troops with helping me but this year the first thing they warned me was that it might be the last time. You see at the moment ‘new stuff’ isn’t cool; when you talk to millennials and Gen Z they’re all buying vintage which is great… but it doesn’t make it easy for me to help you. However in another way I was thrilled and suggested that I’d just buy them Depop vouchers* this year but the thought of having no stockings to open caught them out. So they set to it and for the first time I have girls to help too so it’s a little less boy orientated than usual.

*Depop vouchers would be great but they don’t appear to be an option although some individual Depop stores sell them. The best alternative is a prepaid Paypal card – details here.

Christmas gifts for teens and young adults 2021 – unisex

I’m going to start with the two suggestions that made me bang my head against the wall. Cast your mind back to 2006 when your little ones begged for Crocs with an endless supply of Jibbitz that they could swap with their friends. They were practical and useful so you bought them, replacing them every time their feet grew along with a pair for yourself because they were good for wearing in the garden. Fast forward to 2010 and suddenly you were the uncoolest person on the planet, even if you were just wearing Crocs to mow the lawn. But you still did, giving your teens a bottomless source of mirth until now, when what’s suddenly trending?

Crocs… with Jibbitz.

Be careful because apparently they’re a generation divided – some love them, some hate them but I had to share it with you, even if it’s just so that you can score points over them next time you’re putting the bins out.


Crocs for men and women

And this one made me sigh. Just as so many parents have succumbed to the pressure of being constantly told by their offspring that they had zero status if they didn’t have a pair of AirPod Pros, Bella Hadid is snapped wearing a pair of wired ones.

The picture goes viral, lauding her as a social leveller and now it’s a movement with Jake Gyllenhaal, Jennifer Lawrence, Lily-Rose Depp and Zoe Kravitz all being papped with their wired headphones. And it makes sense because it’s so much harder to lose the wretched things – although our middle one would still manage it.

Wired headphones 

While we’re on the subject of the middle one, he and his friends have gone one step further and are wearing vintage-style 80s headphones – remember the ones we had in our university days if we were lucky enough to have a proper Walkman (and not the Boots own brand version that my mum and dad bought for me when I put “Walkman” on my Christmas list). The eldest hasn’t spotted it catching on in London yet though.

Retro 80s-style Bluetooth headphones 

And of course there are always contradictions flying around – at the same time as social levellers and buying vintage, there’s also a move towards designer logos and buying less but better. I spotted this customisable denim jacket and really enjoyed playing around with the various options, it’s one of those gifts that could last for life and get better and better with age.




Customisable denim jacket for men; Build your own denim jacket for women

These starlight projectors are much loved as an easy way to jazz up a university bedroom without the risk of losing a deposit. I have to say I quite fancy one too – it reminds me of sticking fluorescent stars to the boys’ ceilings when they were little.



Starlight projector

Probably the best thing we equipped the youngest with was a toasted sandwich maker when he went off to uni this year, it seems to keep his whole flat fed. This will be a welcome addition I think and provide a much cheaper way of satisfying the chicken and waffle brunch cravings they all seem to have on a Sunday.

Mini waffle maker

Another idea, make your own beer in two weeks with a kit from Brewdog so hopefully they can’t go too wrong. The early weeks of January and February can be a bit of a dip so it would be a good project, the only things that I can see they’ll need in addition are a sieve and a bag of ice cubes at a later date.

Brewdog beermaking kit

This is a bit pricey but cool and starting to take off apparently, if you have a tech lover in the family it could be a good gift.

3D camera

A failsafe option that comes in different colours and is welcomed by most.

Classic beanie

Socks are tricky for older teens / young adults, they have to be sports sock (rather than school sock) style and with the trend for showing a flash of ankle and trainer they’re often a way of expressing individuality. These are an easy choice for stocking fillers and there’s a special offer if you buy two pairs.

Printed ribbed sports socks

Another idea for students in particular, they probably don’t need any encouragement but it’s a good ice breaker for a night in – or before a night out. Perhaps a good gift to build up hope for anyone who will go to uni in 2022.

Buzzed party game

I suspect we have Rishi to blame for this one – since he was photographed wearing sliders the day before the budget they’ve hit the rocks and now EVAs are the thing for both boys and girls to wear in halls / the showers after a match / in summer generally. There are lots of colours available, just make sure you get the vegan EVA finish, not leather (which they still mostly associate with their dads).

Birkenstock EVAs

Some will love this, others won’t. I know the youngest, his girlfriend and I would enjoy a game nitpicking over the finer points of grammar.

Grammar police game

Every year I tell you not to forget to add a construction toy to their stocking but last year I couldn’t find a good one – and they were sad. I find it fills a lull on Christmas Day when for once they want to be downstairs with you but you’re busy with Christmas dinner. These are really lovely, the kind of thing you’d keep once you’d made it.


Construction toys for ages 14+

Another safe bet and this is in an exclusive colourway so their friends won’t have one.

Herschel backpack – limited edition exclusive colourway

Mr MC taught the boys how to play chess when they were little but I always found the pieces hard to engage with. This would bring the game to life. Apparently since lockdown construction toy manufacturers such as Lego have found they’re making more money from the new collectible adult ranges that they’ve launched than they ever did from children’s sets.

Lego Harry Potter chess game

Christmas gifts for teens and young adults 2021 – girls

Of course I should say that these ideas don’t have to be for girls, it’s just that they came from the girls in my ideas gang. A cosmetics fridge for your bedroom – it was a new one to me but I can see how lovely it would be for undereye gel to reduce puffiness in the mornings.

Beauty fridge

I’ve noticed that Glossier is a real love amongst young women. There are some lovely sets and I like the fact that rather than coming in a pre-packed box, they’re customisable so that you can choose shades to suit the recipient’s skin. Dewy is a key look right now in the same way that Glow is for our generation.

The Dewy Look set

Here’s a starter set with the added kudos of a Glossier lip balm for extra hydration and shine.

Glow set and lip balm

I have to say I’m quite interested in this cult product myself, it’s used to style and set eyebrows firmly but softly and without crispiness.

Soap brow setting kit

I’ve picked this particular gift from the popular Skinny Tan range because it’s raising funds for Coppa Feel, a charity teaching younger women about the importance of checking their breasts for lumps.

Skinny Tan giftset raising funds for Coppa Feel (young women’s breast cancer charity)

Superb trainer socks for any age, they don’t show, don’t slip, last for ages and they come handed (or should I say footed) with a helpful R and L to tell you which sock goes on which foot.

Luxury trainer socks

A great pair of cotton pyjamas with a stunning tiger and butterfly print. These are such a good price for the quality.


Cotton pyjamas – tropical tigers

Christmas gifts for teens and young adults 2021 – boys

It’s said we’re going to see an appetite for logomania next year. This is a classic buy for any boy or man, great quality in a body flattering cut. Men’s custom fit version here, women’s custom fit version here.

Custom fit denim shirt

The aftershave with the most universal appeal apparently, said to suit every skin and highly esteemed by all.

Classic Eau Sauvage

Or you could go for the latest high profile release. I haven’t sampled it yet but bergamot, vetiver, amber and lavender sound like an unbeatable fragrance combination.

Defy gift set

If you’re not sure of their tastes though this giftset always goes down well, it’s good for sports bags and great value because you’re getting 120ml in total.

Ralph Lauren giftset 

A cult product for today’s haircuts apparently.

Hair texture powder

I thought I’d add this because I always put it in stockings. It works really well for spotty outbreaks and the packaging is suitably minimal for them to have it on show.

Skin Perfecting Exfoliant

It must be a sign of maturity that my boys are requesting chic designer undies now. As waistbands are set to lower again I guess the logo will count.

Ralph Lauren boxer shorts

And I wish I’d been able to find one of these years ago, it would have been a great thing to keep in the welly bag in the car for picnics or days when a quick game of rounders could break up a walk. So much better than a random stick from the woods.

Rounders bat

And that’s my selection of Christmas gifts for teens and young adults 2021 although there will be more ideas in my gifts for men / gifts for women posts that are due on Friday this week and then next Tuesday.

A quick preview of tomorrow’s post

Tomorrow there will be an extra Christmas outfit ideas post where I’ll be doing one of my fitting room try-ons. I’m hoping to please everyone by including a few sparkly outfits for those who have requested them and then a number of others that can be worn all year round. Looking through the photos today I can see it’s getting a bit long so here’s a teaser, two outfits I really loved – I’ll show you the rest tomorrow.

I’m starting with sequins made from recycled materials and stitched onto recycled polyester. This navy top is so beautiful and wearable that it’s selling really fast, you can find some sizes here and more stock here . It’s just been launched in chocolate here so it’s available in all sizes in that colourway with a skirt to match if you’re quick.

And I’ve been hearing people rave about these barrel jeans for a while but I was put off by the word barrel which I assumed wouldn’t work with my hips. I tried them on and instantly understood all the hype, they’re so slimming and the way that the leg is cut with a seam that tapers towards the front makes them much more flattering than straight jeans. The advice is to go up one from your normal size so I’d usually wear a 29 inch waist but these are a 30. I compared the two and was deliberating in this picture but it’s true, the larger ones are a more flattering fit. I bought them.

Sequin top; barrel jeans; glitter shoes

For something more perennial there’s this dress which looked nothing on the hanger but was really lovely on the body. If you look at the sleeve in the foreground of the picture you should be able to see that it’s dotted with gold metallic flecks that catch the light in a subtle way. I like the slight V of the neckline – it’s more flattering than round and the floaty sheer hem is just beautiful as you move.

Teal, navy and gold dress; glitter shoes

Anyway you can see the other outfits I tried tomorrow so don’t forget to look out for a post if you don’t subscribe by email – and if you’d like an email reminder, add your details at the bottom of the page. Thank you for reading, happy shopping – and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Oh and if you haven’t spotted it, Boden have gone early with their Black Friday offer, there’s 30% off everything here until Thursday with code 6T2C.

Disclosure: ‘Christmas gifts for teens and young adults 2021’ is not a sponsored post

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