Gift Giving Tips for Teens
By: Julie Prairie When our triplets were babies, they enjoyed playing with the boxes, wrapping paper and bows more than their actual gifts. As the years progressed, they loved getting new Little People sets, Thomas the Train tracks and eventually numerous Lego sets. As we have entered the tween and teen years, gift giving has changed dramatically. The days of pouring over giant toy catalogs have slowed, except for drooling over the $500+ Lego sets! We’ve always tried to stay ‘reasonable’ when it comes to gift giving. Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read has usually been a recipe we’ve followed. Our kids use their own money to buy gifts for their siblings and they often team up together to get a larger gift for one another. We’ve let them set the spending amount and it’s fun to see what they select for each other. A few years ago, we decided not to get our kids one big gift and go skiing together in the Black Hills as a family. Our annual family experience is now their request each year and we’ve enjoyed the time together on the slopes and, of course, the hot tub! Tips for Gift Giving: Pay attention during the year to the things they mention they would like or need. Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be done in the few weeks before Christmas. If you went on vacation or attended an event or concert, purchase an item without them knowing (or order one later) that can be given at Christmas. Make a list. Not just of things they’d like to receive but also of things that are helpful. What type of gaming console do they have? What are their favorite colors as well as clothing/shoe sizes? Create a gift that’s personalized. It’s always special to receive something with your name on it. Snag their phone or iPod and create a photo album of their year! Give an experience. A concert, a trip, a night at a hotel for swimming, tickets to their favorite sporting event or even just a visit downtown can all be memories to be cherished for years to come. Give to others. We have loved making the Operation Shoe Box gifts for kids, as well as donating gifts to the Children’s Home Society. One of the greatest gifts we can give our kids is teaching them the blessing of being generous to others.