Some groups of people are just difficult to shop for. Teenage boys, I think, can fall into this category. Too young for alcohol (for the most part) and too old for toys… and you know that every other uninspired person will do exactly what you were away to do – buy him a Lynx gift set.
Fear not, however, for I have successfully navigated my brother’s teenage years and I am here to impart some wisdom!
I will say that gift shopping for a teenage boy, like for any person, is generally much easier the better you know him.
For his birthday this year I bought my brother something crazy like 120 Jaffa Cakes, just for lols. In the past popular other popular presents have included Pringles and Jammy Dodgers. They’re growing at an alarming rate, so why not buy them some of their favourite treats? It’s something a little bit more special than a selection box.
- A cinema trip
Depending on your relationship to the person, this could mean literally taking them to the cinema all expenses paid. Or it could mean making up a little hamper with a voucher for a local cinema and some snacks. Thus promoting independence, decision making and all those good skills that are the difference between being a child and not.
- A book
I buy my brother at least one book every year, despite the fact that I have never met somebody who hates reading more. If your boy isn’t a reader but you like the idea of buying him a book, then you’re sure to find a book that appeals – so many social media ‘celebrities’ have books, actual celebrities, football clubs and sport stars. They say that people who don’t enjoy reading just haven’t found the right book yet…
- A CD or DVD
If you know there is a release that they’re excited about, why not go ahead and get it for them?
If you know there’s a specific item that they need then that’s an easy one. If not why not think about getting them a t-shirt or a jumper that you think might be their ‘style’?
- Go Ten Pin Bowling
Everybody loves a game of ten pin bowling. Why not give him a chance to express his competitive side – it’s totally up to you if you let him win or not! Alternatives to ten pin bowling include crazy golf, disc golf or laser tag.
- Something related to a hobby
This might seem super obvious, but I think sometimes, especially at Christmas, it can be so easy to just reach for that Lynx gift set that we forget to stop and think if we could pick something a little more thoughtful. A lot of hobbies are expensive, but there’s often something that they might not think to ask for that’s a bit cheaper – for example a new set of bowls costs hundreds of pounds, but the bowling chalk that is forever getting lost like a pen in an office costs like a fiver.
A surprisingly uncommon gift, but new bedding can be quite exciting. Why not pick them up a fresh new design for their duvet? This can also help to navigate the transition out of childhood.
- A toy
I know, I know, you’re sure they must have grown out of toys by now. How about a trendy game (there’s always something circling on social media), or a board game related to their favourite team or TV show? What about something like mini air hockey? Have you considered some of the Lego which has been created especially for teenagers and adults? Not being a child anymore doesn’t have to mean boring presents.
- A voucher
I know that this can sometimes feel like a bit of a cop out, but sometimes a voucher can be as good as anything. It let’s them pick something they want. Maybe they’re into something expensive, like video games, and while you wouldn’t buy them the latest Call Of Duty you might buy them a voucher for a more suitable amount that they can put towards buying it themselves. You can get vouchers for specific places or, a personal favourite of mine, you can get a One4All voucher which is valid in loads of places!
A lot of people don’t like to gift money, and I get it. I’m probably one of those people. If a voucher is a cop out then money definitely is. If you know that they are saving up for something important though, like a school trip to volunteer in Africa or driving lessons, I promise you that they will genuinely probably prefer a small donation towards their savings (make sure you say what it’s for!) than something that is just going to sit about unused.