Does the thought of Christmas gift buying for your teenaged son send you into a bit of a flap / tailspin / panic?! Here, take a deep breath, grab a nice cup of tea and a note pad ‘cos I have at least 20 ideas for you. Now that two of my kids are teens with definite ideas about what’s ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’ (blatant rip-off in adult language ) it’s becoming more difficult to find something other than cash or a voucher that will genuinely be appreciated and that won’t break the bank!
So I asked my son to write a Christmas wish list (note it’s not addressed to the jolly bearded fellow) and I’ve compiled a list of ideas with some added suggestions by friends and other bloggers. I hope you find it helpful too.
Read my teen girl gift guide here.
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1. A multipurpose tool. I have a son who loves to whittle sticks into sharp pointy assegais, which are useful for chasing his sisters and other monsters around the garden. This one is Victorinox (Swiss Army Knife) and is under €50. Leatherman is another good brand but quite a bit more expensive.
2. Musical instruments and accessories. He asked for a guitar stand as he recently got an electric guitar for his birthday. This Ukelele is the same brand as his electric guitar, it’s fantastic value for such a good quality piece and they offer an online course. Bongo drums are good another idea for if your home already feels like a jungle.
3. Gym equipment. Pull up bar, skipping rope, water bottle and towel. We have a pull-up bar already so I’m including this as a suggestion because it gets SO MUCH use, my teen is always on it. So much so that I’m constantly walking into his back, but that could be because the bar is on the door into the kitchen. If I were my husband I’d have put it up on the door frame into my son’s bedroom.
4. A go-pro. Once again you can pay just about anything for a go-pro, depending on your budget and what your boy will be using it for. This one is half price at the moment (around €50) and has Sony components. It’s a good idea to always read the reviews and do some research on specifications before you decide what you’d like to buy.
5. Quadcopter. You may get one of these for every male in your home so that they can have flying competitions. They are tricky to fly so they take lots of noisy practice – just perfect for when I’m away on those girls’ nights out.
6. Small science kits or collectible model plane sets. It’s unusual now to find a lad who has the patience or interest in building or experimenting with kits and sets but they are perfect for those quieter days when the tv’s been on too much and Dad is willing to join in (in order to re-live the childhood toys he never had).
7. Games for console. This would be the number one, top of the list gift for most boys these days, (but see I’m pretending to be a good mother by having it at number 8, after all those hobbies. another game for another games console). I have no clue so he has to tell me what’s the latest greatest! Apparently it’s Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo switch (at around €50 as it’s a recent release)
8. Go-karting or other fun outing with friends. Have a look for what’s on offer in your locality and plan a party for your teen. It’s not common to celebrate Christmas with your friends at that age but it could be a become a fun tradition.
9. Bluetooth speaker. You can get cheaper ones but this one is a great deal as it’s currently half price and has an amazing range of other features as well as good reviews. Definitely going to look at this a bit closer!
10. Pool table. We don’t have space for a full pool table in our house so I was impressed to find that you can get fold-away ones.
11. Virtual reality headset. There is an enormous range of headsets at any price you are prepared to pay. If you do buy one just note that he will have to have a phone and make sure the size of the headset suits the phone size. Also you will need to access films off YouTube or download apps.
12. About an interest or a hero, like Bear Grylls. You just never know when you may face your next disaster and you can never be too prepared…
13. Novelty books like the Guinness Book of World Records or Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
14. Interactive role playing books. Oh my goodness I LOVED these when I was younger and I was so excited to find they are still in print. The Fighting Fantasy series by
Clothing and luggage:
15. T-shirt with favourite band/sport/random saying. I saw one recently which would be perfect, it had ‘EASILY DISTRAC’ written on it, now if only I could find that again…However, I bought one similar to this for my husband last year because he’s into sailing but I’m still not sure whether he thought it was all that funny.
16. Dressing gown?! This one’s an odd request from a child who does not love getting clothes as a gift, is our house too cold maybe? I’ll be combing my local Penney’s or Lidl for this as I’ve found good value fluffy ones there for all of us in the past.
17. A case for travelling – cabin baggage size. Our boy took his first unaccompanied bus trip this year and he also flew to the UK to visit his cousin with his older sister. He needs a cabin baggage approved bag but it’s not a very exciting present. However, I have done this for the girls in the past and filled the bag with lots of individually wrapped smaller (inexpensive) goodies and it’s been one of their favourite gifts, maybe because they feel as if they’ve had lots and the unwrapping process takes ages.
My favourites recommended by other bloggers:
My comments in blue
18. Shower speakers so they can listen to their music in the shower, all very affordable, they loved them! (My daughter has one of these and uses it every time she showers, unfortunately) www.timeandpence.com
19. Slacklines are a great present for teens. You can set them up in the park or even a decent sized garden and always seem to attract admiring looks. (I’d never heard of these and I think it’s a brilliant idea – anything to promote physical activity and to get them out of the house and off their screens are a good option in my books). www.exeterfamilyactivities.co.uk
20. A driving experience. I bought my nephew 3 laps in a MX5 which is dual controlled with an instructor beside him. He’s going to love it! (Wow, how cool is this?! I had no idea this was an option, I wonder if our local dealers offer these too?) www.pickleandpoppet.uk
Don’t forget to have a look at my teen girl gift guide here, there are a few things there that a boy would like too, such as a Polaroid camera, a Kindle and 16+ Lego sets!
Just some notes on buying off the internet:
We buy local to support small businesses but we also order online when we can’t find what we need in our small town, or if we need gifts sent to family overseas. It saves so much time shopping from the laptop at home when you have a big family and a long shopping list!
- Check the reviews, not only the positives but also the negatives. When reading the negative reviews check that the complaint is relevant about the product and not something arbitrary like ‘it arrived late’ or ‘my son didn’t like it because he hated the colour’.
- Make sure the delivery/shipping time will reach you before Christmas.
- Factor the delivery costs into your budget.
- See if you can buy second hand or used books in good condition as an alternative – I wouldn’t recommend second hand for any of the other ideas above.
- If you live in the ROI and the product says it doesn’t deliver to Ireland, you can create accounts at either ParcelMotel or AnPost. This will enable you to have items delivered from Northern Ireland to the ROI. There is a small delivery fee.