I really hope this Gifts for Teens 2018 is going to be a useful post – for me as well as for you. As I said yesterday, there isn’t much around that’s new. In addition teens, who have always been unbelievably difficult to buy for, now spend so much of their time in the digital world that ‘stuff’ just isn’t on their radar. And yet they still anticipate the excitement of surprises as they look back at their childhood Christmases when stockings full of lego blocks and bouncy balls were enough to light up their day.
This is the first year that I haven’t been sent elaborate Christmas wishlists, especially by the eldest who even last year at the age of 21 sent me an elaborate Powerpoint document full of whizz bangs that made me laugh along the way. With a birthday on 21st December, he’s always been a Christmas boy but this year with his university finals approaching, his mind is full of coursework deadlines and presentations. I’ve had to accept that at almost 22 his Christmas is now viewed through the eyes of a man, not a boy.
I’ve been busy thinking of ideas for celebrating his birthday but when I talked them through with him the other night, I heard the catch in his voice as he said “well actually Mum that night will probably be twelve pubs so I think I’ll be out.” The Twelve Pubs of Christmas is an annual event where old boys and teachers from his grammar school get together for a pub crawl. They break for an interval on the Town Hall steps where they don Santa hats and sing tuneless but joyful carols to the delight (or not) of passers-by!
When it comes to the younger two, they’ve never been particularly acquisitive. The middle one is currently focused on his driving lessons and the youngest has mentioned new Playstation games ‘to give him a break from revision.’ My wise sister-in-law once told me that as a mother, you have to grow with your children – and this Christmas feels as though it will be a different one. Plus as we’ve already discussed on here, there is a mood in the zeitgeist for buying less but focusing on the experience instead and so I think Christmas is changing across the board.
But there still has to be something to open so let’s crack on – I’ll show you what I’ve unearthed as I’ve been searching every nook and cranny of Christmas 2018. And I apologise but as always I’m a bit clueless when it comes to girls (they just seem so easy to shop for) but lots of these ideas are not gender specific.
And just a note for anyone who hasn’t read my other gift posts. The pink FGF heart denotes a small brand or charitable company that you can feel good about spending your money with.
Gifts for teens 2018
With the experiential in mind, these are great value if you buy them now on the Black Friday offer. I’m hoping that my boys won’t read this (unlikely) because they’ll be unwrapping an envelope with these inside on Christmas Day. My thinking is that we can plan them in as breaks from revision in the months to come – it will give us all time out to look forward to and it should be a bonding experience for them too. The first two are for the younger two to do together because I doubt the oldest will be available:
The experience of free-falling but without the complications. This should be such an adrenaline kick that I’m hoping it will be a good stress release. It’s available at three different locations and it’s almost half price at the moment so an amazing offer.
There’s also a really great offer on the old favourite – Go Karting. Mind you this doesn’t look like the wasteground track filled with old rustbuckets that was the karting of my youth. Anyway it has to be another good form of escapism and there are lots of locations across the country.
Indoor Go Karting Black Friday offer
I’m also planning this in for us to do as a family later in the year when the exams are all over. It won ‘Family Attraction of the Year’ last year so it must be good. I’m thinking we’ll spend a weekend in London in the summer when it’s more fun being out on the river.
Powerboating Black Friday offer
And this is one I haven’t booked – there are lots to choose from but this particular one uses Virtual Reality as an added dimension. It’s really fun to do as a family – the boys still talk about the Escape Room we did a few years ago.
Do you dare? It’s a hard thing to get right isn’t it but there are a couple of things I’ve spotted.
This t-shirt is suitably distinctive and yet unbranded so it will appeal to the teen who is unwilling to be defined by a logo – which I find is something that happens at about age 15.
This is a great quality sweatshirt with velvet embellishment. It also fulfils the Gen Z love of clothing with a story because Faguo plant a tree for every item they produce.
And pyjamas are the way that they can express their inner boy. I was disappointed to miss the dinosaur pyjama bottoms that John Lewis did this Christmas – they seemed to sell out overnight. However these gecko ones will go down well too.
The middle son’s credibility at Sixth Form seems to be defined by his tie so I’ve bought this as I know he’ll love its quirkiness. It’s a great price for a pure silk tie too.
I feature these every year because my boys love them – apparently they’re the most comfortable boxers you can find and there are endless designs available. Some of the profits go towards the Oddballs Foundation which fits ‘check yourself’ guides in male toilets and changing rooms around the country showing men how to check for testicular cancer.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, Father Christmas always brings new socks to our house. These are popular because they adhere to school rules and yet conceal a flash of closet rebellion. Plus they’re a huge relief when you have as many male socks to wash every week as we do – I no longer have to worry about the sock monster!
Which brings me on to the light stuff. Even last year, at the age of 21, I noticed the eldest looking a bit doleful at the end of his stocking. He remarked that for the first time he had nothing to build on Christmas Day which brings me to…
You’re never too old for a shooting game – although I can imagine that this one would upset the cats!
I’m thinking that this is a good game for after lunch when champagne has been drunk – there’s a high probability of laughing till you cry…
Or there’s this game which requires you to think your way creatively out of an apocalyptic situation
On a similar track but easier for grandparents to understand is this box of dilemmas – you really do get to see a different side of your nearest and dearest with these kinds of questions!
Here’s one to take them back to their eight-year old selves. “One two three four I declare a thumb war!”
You’re never too old for Top Trumps – in fact I miss the simple days of Top Trumps and there’s was a time when I never thought I’d say that! Here’s the DC Superheroes version and Mr MC has just glanced across and asked me to point out that Marvel is also available (apparently that’s very important)!
If you’re despairing of Fortnite, there is an analogue version that everyone can enjoy… unless you find Monopoly to be one of the most stressful games ever, as I sometimes do!
Or how about Trivial Pursuit Harry Potter… or Lord of the Rings…
The youngest has always had a fascination for Mensa puzzles and so this would go down well with him.
And from the sublime to the ridiculous, I’ve flicked through this book and I know it would have the eldest (born in 1996) chuckling away…
Whereas the middle son as a dedicated learner driver needs to focus on his driving theory test. This is a voucher for online practice tests.
Of course every stocking looks better when it’s padded out with an enormous selection box
These pencils might make them smile during the long revision sessions ahead
Bits and pieces for bedrooms always go down well…
Plugging your phone in to charge apparently requires effort so these wireless chargers go down well but bear in mind that you need to have a relatively new phone – there’s a list that tells you which models it works with.
Wireless phone charger –Black Friday offer
If you have a teen who likes to sleep to music or white noise, this pillow might just save the whole family’s sanity. Our middle son drives us all mad by sleeping with rain and thunder sounds playing at top volume – those childhood camping trips have a lot to answer for!
And one last recommendation which the eldest has told me I must include. If your teen is a sneakerhead, apparently this is the most important accessory you could buy. Coming from the boy who now has a ‘collectable sneaker wall’ featuring over 60 limited release pairs worth crazy sums, this is serious stuff! This kit is for when you’re actually wearing your trainers rather than just admiring them – just in case something like dirt from the ground touches them (yes I really did do a mum eye-roll there)…
This is the kit you need at home…
Alternatively, if the worst happens there is now a sneaker hospital in London where miracles can be worked.
Phew – that’s it, my gift posts are done. And you know what I urgently need to start doing now don’t you? Christmas shopping. I’ve been so busy doing all of this that I haven’t really started yet. Tomorrow’s post will simply be a live update of the best Black Friday offers – I’ll start running it in the morning and update it throughout the day. Don’t forget that the links in the Christmas style posts I did will take you straight through to the discounts at an item level as well so I’ve listed them all below.
So hopefully we’ll all have everything done by the end of this weekend and then there will just be the fun stuff to look forward to. In fact we have our first Christmas event tomorrow night – we’ve been invited to the opening of a festive ice rink. I haven’t been ice-skating since I was in the Girl Guides so it could all go wrong. If I try it before the mulled wine I’ll be a bag of nerves but if I leave it till afterwards I’ll decide I’m Jayne Torvill which will probably be worse. It may be one of those rare occasions when I do an Instagram Story – or it may not. Videoing whilst skating badly may not end well…