What Teens Want for Christmas in 2021

What Teens Want for Christmas in 2021

Buying gifts for teens can seem impossible, especially since they probably aren’t writing letters to Santa anymore. We’re here to help you build stronger connections with the teens in your life, so we’ve put together a list of gift ideas that are cool enough to impress without breaking your budget.

Make sure to scroll all the way to the trending gifts where you’ll find links too! We don’t receive any kind of compensation from your purchase.

Gift Ideas by Personality:

 

The Perfectionist
  • A laptop/tablet or fancy planner
  • Jewelry organizer or grooming kit
  • Self-Improvement lessons – voice lessons, golf lessons, photography webinar etc.
  • Organize their room/closet/car or create a space for them to stay organized at home.
 

The Encourager

  • Candles, decor, a backpack purse
  • A splurge item that they would like but wouldn’t ever buy themselves
  • A spa gift card so they can take care of themselves
  • A family cookbook or recipe box
 

The High Achiever

  • Clothes (think something nice that will help them stand out – a jacket, fancy shoes, etc.); Birchbox Subscription
  • A nice wallet or custom jewelry
  • A shopping spree
  • A day helping them accomplish a goal – training for a 5K, washing/cleaning out their car, etc.
 

the individualist

  • Unique graphic tee or tote bag with a fun saying
  • Record player and a few of their favorite albums or a Spotify subscription
  • Tickets to a concert or an art museum
  • A book of letters and memories from loved ones
 

The Researcher

  • Kindle or audiobook subscription
  • AirPods or a video game console
  • Movie tickets or a planned trip to tour something they are interested in (national parks, Hall of Fame, Presidential Library)
  • Spend a day learning about something they love. Let them educate you for once!

 

The Loyalist

  • Weighted or super cozy blanket
  • Clothing that supports their favorite team or interest
  • Take them to a new restaurant or coffee shop that they would love but might never pick themselves.
  • Write them a letter that mentions all the ways you see and appreciate them.
 

  • Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera
  • Weekender bag or fun luggage
  • A fun weekend away! Try an Airbnb gift card to give them a budget.
  • Surprise them with some quality time! Let them skip a day of school and just be together.
 

  • Nice watch or Fitness tracker
  • Something that they have mentioned that would be helpful or a gift card to their favorite store
  • Tickets to a concert or show that they would enjoy
  • Quality time – plan a day just for them. Be intentional about telling them how much you respect and appreciate them.

 

The Peacemaker

 

  • A coffee maker and a travel mug, a t-shirt quilt of their favorite old shirts
  • Something that supports their favorite habit (guitar, tools, nail polish, etc.)
  • A new book and gift card to their favorite coffee shop so they can go spend the day by themselves
  • Is there a project they have put off? Dedicate a weekend and help them finish anything they started but didn’t get around to completing.
Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Marketing & Development Director

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.

The Power of Validation

The Power of Validation

Do you ever get defensive in a conversation with your spouse or loved one because they just aren’t validating your feelings? Why can’t they simply acknowledge the frustration you’re feeling before swooping in to fix everything?

No? Is it just me?

If I am upset and someone tells me to “stop acting that way” and move on…those are fighting words! I think most of us can think of a time when a situation could have been made better by just having someone empathize and make space for what we are feeling.

So why do we not extend this same principle to teenagers and kids?

Take my 4-year-old for example. He is smarter and more capable than I often give him credit for. But he also has a wide range of emotions and regularly has trouble managing them in appropriate ways (sound like any teenagers you know?). As a parent, it is easy to ask him to be quiet, or stop crying, or quit yelling, or calm down. But what he really needs in that moment is for me to first validate his feelings.

In my house, it could look something like this:

Toddler: *crying because he has to go to bed*
Me: You are upset because you don’t want to stop playing. I understand how that would make you sad. But we have to go to bed so that we can have the energy to play tomorrow! What is the first thing you want to play with when we wake up in the morning?

After the situation has been diffused and he has calmed down, it is much easier to ask the question, “What is a better way for us to act next time we are upset?” I don’t know about you, but positive conversations rarely happen when we are in the heat of the moment. Your kids, teenagers, or spouse is probably not in the mood to be reasoned with if they don’t first feel heard and understood.

Here are a few reasons validation is so important:

It models healthy ways to talk about emotions. You can name their emotion and give them the chance to agree or name a different emotion. Verbalizing feelings is a skill that will benefit them far after they leave your house or classroom.

It reiterates that feelings are not a negative thing. We don’t want teenagers to feel like they are ever being punished for their feelings. Emotions aren’t negative! Often this negative connotation is put on our young men, but every gender and age deals with different emotions every day. We are not trying to correct emotions, but we can accept feelings and then work on better ways to react to them.

It builds self-confidence and trust. When you acknowledge feelings, you are communicating with your teenager that you are trustworthy. You see them and love them as they are – feelings and all! When they can put voice to their feelings, it will also build confidence. They know what is going on in their own mind and can work on tools that will help them express feelings in a way that is both truthful and empowering. When they control their reaction to feelings instead of letting emotions control them, it is a powerful thing!

This is a practice that I am still working on. I am not always perfect at this, but when I take the time to validate feelings first, I have found that some arguments are avoided and tantrums are shorter.

Validating feelings is not a miraculous trick. It won’t stop all disagreements or emotional outbursts. However, I do hope that it will lead to better understanding. I hope it will build trust between yourself and the teen (or child, or adult) that you love. I hope it will help you start positive conversations around emotions so that everyone involved can grow.

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Marketing & Development Director

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.
Red Ribbon Week & Trending Shows

Red Ribbon Week & Trending Shows

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Summary:
In honor of National Red Ribbon Week (00:19), Chris and Karlie talk drug trends, drug use among teenagers, and ways to celebrate Red Ribbon Week. Plus, get our honest review of the recent release Dear Evan Hansen and the remake of The Wonder Years (11:14).

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

Have a question?
If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

About Us:

Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.

Follow Us

Ep. 26: Dating & Suicide Terms

Ep. 26: Dating & Suicide Terms

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Summary:
What should you do when your teen starts dating? We’ve got some food for thought on how to help teens make responsible choices without overstepping. Also in episode 26, we take a look at suicide terms, what they mean and how you can help. Then stay tuned for upcoming movies and shows to watch with your teen.

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

Have a question?
If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below or email podcast@teenlife.ngo.  We would love to hear from you!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.
Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.

Follow Us

Ep. 23: Trauma Triggers & 9/11

Ep. 23: Trauma Triggers & 9/11

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Summary:
Unhealed trauma can keep anyone caught in a vicious cycle. Chris and Karlie talk about what it means to be “triggered” and how the trauma cycle works (00:30). Then, as we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we talk ways to honor the memory of the lives lost and the heroes who saved so many (11:50).  Also, did you know TikTok has suicide prevention resources? We’ll tell you where to look (18:59).

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

Have a question? If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.
Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.

Follow Us