Teens can be really hard to shop for, especially teen boys. They have their own style and very specific tastes. You don't want to purchase the wrong brand name hoodie, or a colour they hate. And many of the items on their wish lists are on the pricey side (like electronics) so may be outside the budget. If the teens are your own, it's easier, but even then it can be hard to come up with good ideas that they'll enjoy. So, as the step-mom to an 18 year-old and aunt to a 14 year old, I decided I'd share with you a few of the things I have found to be hits over the last few years.
Let's deal with clothes first. Clothes are difficult to buy unless it's your own child and you know exactly what they like. (Since, you know, you're always doing their laundry.) Sizes can also be tricky. A trendy store with lots of hot brands can work. I find West 49 has a great selection for the teen boys on my list. I know they like brands like DC, Hurley, and Element, all of which are carried there. A gift card will let them shop on their own, or you generally can't go wrong with a hoodie or tee, so long as it's the right brand for them. Just be sure to include a gift receipt to be safe! (Note - hats, scarves and gloves generally are not welcomed by the teen boys I know. Unless they are specifically the ski or snowboard type. My big guy likes to act tough and go without these cold weather accessories, much to my chagrin.)
In the electronics area, if you can get a firm video game title, you're in the clear. Make sure you know the system they use before you shop. Items that are better bets when going without a list are things like headphones or portable speakers. Having multiples of these isn't a bad thing, and most of the kids can use them to enjoy the music on their iPod or phone, or with their gaming systems.
When I asked the Teen what he wanted this year, he said cash. Now, this is Christmas, not an Italian wedding, so I won't do cash. But, I am happy to do gift cards. iTunes is generally a hit as the iTunes store can be visited for music, movies, and apps. But, particularly if you are buying for someone with a big ticket item on their wish list, a gift card to an electronics store like Future Shop or Best Buy (our faves) can work really well. If their desired item is out of your gift budget, they can use your gift card towards their purchase. Actually, this is something we've done for the Teen for a few years now - all the family (other than us) gets him gift cards to Best Buy and then he can pool the money for a larger item he picks out himself. He got his XBox 360 that way back in 2006!
Then there are the experience gifts. Gift cards to the local cinema, tickets to an upcoming concert, or maybe a season's pass to a local amusement park. Canada's Wonderland has a special no payments until April 1, 2014, on their 2014 Season Pass, which would save some cash at this time of year. Great for the lover of roller coasters in the GTA. For movies, Cineplex offers both traditional and electronic gift card options.
Note: This is not a sponsored post.