My older boys (men! yikes!) are 18, 19 and 20… and planning out our Christmas gifts has got me thinking on what to get them and what they will enjoy, that won’t require them sitting and staring at a screen.
When you’re thinking through gift-giving, the best thing to do is spend some time thinking about the person and their interests. For teens, this may require you to be very observant, because often times, they don’t even realize what their interests are. Which means when you ask, it’s an “I don’t know.” or “Nothing really…” So just spend some time with them, open conversations regularly and eventually you’ll catch onto what they are interested in.
For the Gamer
As a gamer myself, I totally get these kids! (It’s been over 10 years since I was a “gamer”, now I just use my computer time more productively. 😉 But I still love strategy games, though now, they are all tabletop games.) If they have never played tabletop games, you may need to sit down with them and learn it, but that is one of the best presents you can give! If you have a reluctant teen, here is the best way I have found to approaching time together.
- Our favorite is Settlers of Catan, and our kids learn to play this by the age of 7, so we tend to all enjoy sitting around the table and playing together. If you have more than 4 players, you’ll want to get the expansion pack as well.
- Ticket to Ride is another hugely popular game, taking about an hour to play through and don’t worry, they’ll want to play it again many times over.
- Carcassonne is another strategy game that is tons of fun and gets everyone thinking.
- Say Anything gives teens many opportunities to enjoy their crazy sense of humor. Similar to Apples-to-Apples, in that you have to gear the response to what you think the “judge” will find the best, it’s hours of fun.
- Nerts is another great group game – a mix of speed and solitaire, this is fast paced and loads of fun. And for those of us old-school people, it’s basically Dutch Blitz.
- Tabletop War Games. War Hammer is similar to playing a video game, but it takes place on a table, with friends. The best part, in my opinion, is that it requires the owner to be creative. Having a game to paint and choose a color scheme is perfect incentive to get those creative juices flowing. You can get them the starter pack and it has everything they need to play with a friend.
For the Outdoor Lover
This might be anyone who enjoys outdoors, from walking, running, biking & swimming, to hiking in the mountains or sitting on the beach. It doesn’t have to mean that they are serious survival campers, but if you find that they enjoy taking a walk with friends or they go for a run when they need time to themselves, think through what can help them in those experiences.
- Road Rash first Aid kit (small enough for a pocket or backpack) throw in some of this ointment (if they are a cyclist) and they’ll be much more comfortable on all those adventures.
- If they commute on their bike, being able pick up a coffee on the way is a huge perk (Perk! So punny! I make myself laugh!) and this is probably more of an American thing, but now they have nice drink holders for bicycles.
- 12-in-1 headbands are great, especially in the cold weather: for either gender, these can be used as a hat, scarf, or scrunchy- and pack up small.
- For the skateboarder: ask at a local skateboard shop if there are camps or clinics available, or grab them a nice new pair of skater shoes.
- Camping, fishing and hunting gear is also super helpful. Don’t fall into just getting them any gadget, even though they are “cool”. Search for things you know they will get a lot of use out of: binoculars, high qualitywool socks, buck knife, etc.
For the Sports Lover
Think through what they really enjoy and what will get used, there are many ways to indulge them without adding to clutter to their life.
- Tickets to an event, especially if you join them, builds stronger relationships and gives opportunity to build cherished memories.
- Better quality equipment can be very useful. Cheap equipment can get frustrating. Please cultivate responsibility and promote them passing on their old equipment. 😉
- Clothing items, either useful for their sport or from their favorite team are much appreciated.
Many readers also write, and having a nice journal to collect quotes in is a wonderful add-on to their gift.
For the Music Lover
Gift cards for iTunes are always great, or paying for their subscription to Spotify or Pandora can be very exciting, along with a portable speaker, so, yes, they don’t have to be “plugged in”.
And if your music lover also is a musician:
- Agate Guitar Pick is great for the avid guitarist
- Sheet music of a few favorite songs, or
- Musician Dice can be a huge help when composing and needing an extra boost to help them through an area they are struggling with. Along with that, a music journal to keep track of their notes is very useful.
- If their focus is more on writing song from a poetic point of view, this journal is a great option.
For the entrepreneur or student
This is the time to encourage them as much as possible and you can definitely do that with these gifts:
- Passion Planner is a huge help in aligning their day and getting the most out of it. With a full section on goal setting and how to use the planner to achieve those goals, along with monthly evaluations, it’s extremely beneficial to accomplishing what they set out to do.
- The Freedom Journal goes hand-in-hand with the Passion Planner, in my opinion. Breaking down the biggest goal into 100 days and setting small daily goals means things get done and each day there is forward movement toward that goal.
- Audible membership. For long commutes, trips or just unwinding, listening to books that align with beliefs, goals and niches is one of the best things a person can do.
For the Foodie
- Plan out a night every week, or every month, where you and the gift-recipient try a new restaurant, or try all the pizza places around you and rate the restaurants.
For the Creative and Artistic
- Coloring books are hugely popular and if you can find out what they love most: Cats, Coffee, Fantasy or Fashion. To go along with coloring books, I recommend these soft-core colored pencils, blender pencils and this case, as well as a decent pencil sharpener.
- A nice sketchbook is always appreciated by the artist. Doodling is so important and can really help in processing emotions.
Do you have other suggestions? I’m all ears! Leave a comment below.
- Setting Realistic Expectations for Christmas Gifts
- Getting Teens Involved In Holiday Tradition
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