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Gift Ideas for Teenagers: What's Hot and Not

May 31, 2008
Few creatures are harder to understand than the modern teenager, and this can make shopping for them nearly impossible. Let the following seven ideas inspire you to give a gift that is appealing and even meaningful to the teen.

1. The Green Stuff. The first thought most people have when they hear the words "gifts for teens" is cash. It's true that money is one-size-fits-all, but giving cash all of the time can become boring. Still, cash gives teens the ability to purchase what they would really like. And you can personalize a cash gift by enclosing the cash in a creative way that suits the recipient, or by including a card in which you share personal sentiments (tell the teen why you admire them, for example). And you can always include a small gift that they can open, as well. All kids (even teens) love to unwrap a gift.

2. A Gift Card. For a variation on the standard cash gift, you can try giving a gift card to a specific mall or a store where you know the teen enjoys shopping. This way they will know that you put a little bit of thought into the present, but you also provide the freedom of choice that cash allows. Along similar lines, you can get gift cards to popular online retailers that will allow the teen to buy online.

3. Take an expert along. If you're completely clueless as to what the teen is interested in, it never hurts to ask! Call the parents and see if they have any advice on gift giving. If you have a teenager yourself, you can take them on the shopping trip to help you pick something that's cool. Trends change so easily that it's a good measure of protection to take along another teen expert to help you. Something that was cool a few months ago may be completely out of fashion now.

4. Go Brand Name. It's often a good idea to stick with brand-name items for teens. For many in this age group, nothing is more embarrassing for them than to turn up with a knock-off of something all their friends have. Today's teenagers are very brand conscious. If they ask for an iPod, don't get them a cheap discount MP3 player. If you can't afford the brand name of what they want, get them something else entirely.

5. Let Them Create. Get them something that allows them to show their creativity. Teenage girls may appreciate a kit that lets them make their own handbag. Boys may enjoy a skateboard embellishment kit. Personalization is the name of the game and if your gift allows them to put their stamp on the world, they'll definitely appreciate it.

6. Pamper Her. Take this opportunity to spend some time with the teen. For girls, take her out to lunch and then get manicures or pedicures at a local salon. Teen girls may also enjoy the latest new beauty products, which you can find online or in specialty boutiques.

7. Think Sports. Don't discount the power of the teen's favorite sport or team. Ask someone close to the teen which sports, schools or teams he or she follows and purchase a related gift. You can never go wrong with a sports sweatshirt, hat or other piece of memorabilia. Just make sure that you get the team correct!
About the Author
Jamie Jefferson writes for Momscape.com and Susies-Coupons.com, where she shares coupons for favorite online stores, including skin care products as well as coupons for hats and caps, popular with teens.
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