I’d like to think this is a gift guide with a difference!
First of all, anything I have suggested here I have bought my teens through the years or I know of friends who have bought their boys similar. Secondly, none of it has been sent to me to be promoted, so any companies I mention here I have actually used or bought from them over the last 7 or 8 years.
I also think that teen boys are much harder to buy for than girls ( probably because I don’t have girls but I would imagine with clothes, perfumes and makeup and jewellery most things can be covered and they are so expensive too so a designer item could certainly be covered as a main Christmas present!) and I appreciate I could totally be wrong about this, but I have only experience in buying for boys in this house and so I think that is where my expertise lies.
I also do not like giving my boys money! That’s just a personal choice I make and I also think they like it that way. Any family members who buy for them instead give them money so they always have cash to put towards something more expensive in the sales. We also aren’t the type of bargain hunters that go out first thing on Boxing Day to buy stuff in the sales either (again our personal choice). Therefore, I like to buy my boys things I know they want as a main present and then fill it out with the usual extras like, underwear, t-shirts, books, cd’s or films etc. That way we all still enjoy a chilled out morning with everyone opening their pressies etc as we did when they were little – and again they love it that way!
I will say that most of these items on the list are for older teens but some can easily be used from the age of 13 upwards depending on what your son is into at the time (and I appreciate it would depend on the maturity of the child).
#1. A gaming chair or a good quality recliner chair and footstool.
Neither of my 2 boys ever had a gaming chair as they sit very low to the ground and if their games console id on a desk then it would mean looking up at the monitor and therefore less comfortable. Both my boys however have had good quality recliner chairs (one had a fabulous footstool which meant he was literally laying down!). These can work out expensive but i do think with these items you definitely get what you pay for. My eldest had one which was around the £80 mark initially which lasted him until he went to uni! My youngest had a more expensive one with a footstool for around £120 from Amazon as he is more particular and likes to properly lounge while he’s gaming or watching telly.
#2. Good quality wireless headphones (if they like their music) or a decent gaming headset if they like their gaming and talk to their friends online.
My eldest at the time loved his music and also played keyboard which he could also use his headphones for! (you can thank me later for that little nugget when your kid is learning piano/keyboard). So at the time we bought a good set from HMV, not quite beats, but more bass heavy ones which he loved and they were about £80. My youngest is not bothered about the quality when listening to music or gaming as long as he has in ear headphones he can use on his phone he is happy. However, as they tend to lose these or break them easily by stuffing them in pockets and bags etc I normally get something either from Amazon or HMV for around £6-10 depending on what is on sale.
#3. Young Driver driving lessons.
Both my son’s have at different times been given these to try out and both loved them. They are pricey at £30 for 30 minutes, which doesn’t seem very long but because of the intensity of what they are doing it definitely is long enough and I guarantee you they will love it and come away thinking they can properly drive. Young Driver have centres across the country and also offer skills days, parties and even a Bentley lesson (if your son is a petrol head this could be right up his street!). Something like this also helps get them away from computer screens and into real life which is also a bonus.
#4. An electric guitar and amp/ or a keyboard.
Lets face it most teen boys go through the ‘wanna be a rock star phase’ and either of these are perfect starters in that direction. My eldest started with a keyboard and even when to piano lessons for a while for the basics but he learnt most of his playing from good old Youtube tutorials. After a few years he showed an interest in the guitar so we bought him an electric guitar and amp just from Argos ( this is where a good pair of headphones will come in very handy!). Although he is now 20 he still has his keyboard and guitar with him at uni and also invested in a reconditioned base guitar last year himself………..so for that interest alone both of those gifts worked out brilliantly.
#5. Concert tickets.
So before you shout at me, yes I realise these are very expensive nowadays but remember back when you first started to go to concerts with your friends. There is nothing better than seeing your favourite band play live! One of my all time favourites was seeing Robbie Williams play Knebworth – the atmosphere was fantastic and I enjoyed that courtesy of a very good friend of mine and will never forget it. I also took my son to see Bon Jovi play at Hyde park which he absolutely loved as did I! For my eldest’s 18th birthday he had tickets to see Muse (one of his fav’s) play at the O2 with a friend the day before his actual birthday!! Yes they are expensive but if they love a band or artist that whole experience will stay with them forever, so definitely worth the money if you can stretch to it. Again when they get the tickets on Christmas Day they may not being going until later in the year and it gives them something to look forward to.
#6. Theatre tickets.
So if your teen is into his drama and performing then buying them tickets to one of the big shows will be well appreciated. Now neither of mine (although my youngest acted for a while) were into theatre shows as such, however my eldest wanted to go see Rock of Ages when it played in London (more for the music to be fair) but it actually was a really good enjoyable night and he still remembers it now! So have a look at what’s on in your local theatres or if you live within travelling distance to London then literally there is an amazing choice – again when they get the tickets they then have something to look forward to.
#7. An unlimited cinema card or a gift card for your local cinema.
This is aimed at the film buffs which my youngest most definitely is and always has been! I am trying to get him to review a film a month on my blog as he literally picks everything apart, knows actors, directors, producers and filming styles etc. At just 18 his all time favourite films would include, Shawshank Redemption, Split, Titanic, Jaws to name a few. One of his all time favourite actors is James McAvoy who he feels is desperately underated!!
Anyway, I know Cineworld do an unlimited card for just £17.90 a month! So your teen will only have to go twice in a month to get their money’s worth and I think they also get 10% of snacks and drinks too! Me and my youngest go to the cinema all the time so when he had one of these cards this was perfect as he could also go and see films with his friends at no extra cost. Also because it can be paid monthly there is no major outlay before Christmas ( and lets face it the monthly price works out less than most of their phone contracts!)
Or if you just wanted to spend a particular amount then most cinemas offer a gift card where you can buy a particular amount and they can pay for it with the gift card as they go until it runs out. When they were little me and my close friend would buy cinema gift cards for each others kids and then we would use them to meet up at our local cinema to go see a film together- so they got to see a film and also got to see their friends at the same time!
#8. An upgraded TV or games monitor.
Ok so I appreciate this one is a little controversial with some parents as they wont want their teens on screens all the time and I totally hear you. However, when they are older 17 and 18, there is a level of privacy that they want whilst on games talking to their friends or watching films etc or even just when they have their mates round. So a tiny little portable telly probably wont cut it at this age! So they may be looking to upgrade to a bigger screen or like my eldest who has literally built a games computer, every so often he upgrades a monitor to a better resolution one, or more memory etc. So this one is aimed at the older boys definitely.
#9. A NOWTV gift card for 3 or 6th months viewing.
Again aimed at the older teens but unlike you or I who may love to sit down at home and binge watch either a series or a film to chill out, teens like to watch on the go. So maybe if they use a bus or train to get to school they can have it streamed on their phone for travelling to and from home, or if they have a part time job they can watch something on their lunch break etc? The bonus of this is it literally wont break the bank and you can also buy Nowtv gift cards in most supermarkets.
#10. Proper driving lessons.
Ok, so not all teens want to have their first lesson on their 17th birthday. Some don’t do it straight away. Neither of my 2 boys had a lesson on their 17th birthday as they weren’t that interested. So if you have a teen who’s 17th birthday is after Christmas, or they just haven’t started lessons yet why not get them some vouchers for a reputable company to start them off? Again it’s something they can look forward to after the Christmas holidays. You can also fill out their pressies with books, cd’s etc that will help them with their theory test.
There you have it. There are a lot more I could add to this list, A trip to Warner Bros Harry Potter Studios for a start for any Potter fans (even at 18 my youngest still wants to go back as they have added the Forbidden Forest since we went last!), also personal grooming gifts such as a 1st razor is a good gift as some boys wouldn’t naturally approach you and ask for one ( and there are some 16 and 17 year olds with more facial hair than my husband!) and possibly wouldn’t go and buy one for themselves either, but would probably appreciate that embarrassment of bringing it up being taken away!
Hope that is helpful to some of you. I know as our kids get older that super special feeling of excitement on Christmas morning isn’t there…………instead of getting them to stay in bed you are having to drag them out of bed for a start!
What have you bought for your teen boys in the past and what are you buying them this year?