Beyond the Gift Card: 6 Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens


We all know the holidays are about more than gifts, but we do love to buy something thoughtful to show our loved ones we care. Some people are harder to shop for than others,  and many times those people are teens – especially if the teen in your life is not your own child. Then it can feel so much harder.

Many teens have no problem telling their own parents what they are hoping to receive (especially if it’s spendy!). But when Aunt Erin or Grammy come looking for gift guidance, the well of ideas seems to run dry. At that point, the gift card becomes the most logical option. And it’s a good one! But if you don’t want to give the teen in your life a gift card then here are some holiday gift ideas for your teen.

1.Carhartt and Dickies are popular brands for both boys and girls clothing.   Try a long sleeved tee- shirt with the logo down the arm or a classic beanie. 

2. Is your teen a Starbucks lover? I discovered a delicious, cheaper, caffeine free and no sugar option in SoulChai. Served and available for purchase at St. Simon and Prince Coffee shops in Portland, this spicy chai is delicious. The Rooibos option is caffeine free and you control the sweetness by adding the sugar yourself. 

3.  If your teen has Apple AirPods, carrying cases are a popular choice. A carrying case can help prevent losing them and even if they already have a case your teen can switch ’em depending on their mood. There are countless brands and styles out there to choose from. 

4. Who doesn’t love astrology? These Zodiac necklaces are cute personalized little gifts for the jewelry lover in your life. Etsy has many popular and affordable styles for all the teens on your shopping list. 

5. Silly little coffee table/bathroom books make for easy laughs when boredom strikes. Books like these are sure to bring a smile to your teen’s face. We keep these out for people to peruse and they never fail to get laughs from my kids and their friends. 

6. Lastly, (or should this be first?) don’t forget about experience gifts! Spending time together is one of the best gifts you can give. Stretch your teen’s mind by trying out a play at Portland Center Stage at the Armory  or catching a show at one of the Portland5.

Remember how much easier it was buying gifts for your kids when they were younger? You could recapture some of that holiday magic this season by taking a break from shopping and going sledding together. It will bring out the little kid in everyone.  It will also be more fun now that they are older and remember to use the bathroom on their own before getting themselves dressed!