What to Buy for the 15 Year Old on Your List

What to Buy for the 15 Year Old on Your List

As kids get older, it gets harder to shop for them. What do you buy when they give you a blank look when you ask “what do you want for Christmas?” (Bonus: when your kids’ birthday is three weeks before Christmas, the looks are exponentially blanker, not just twice as blank.)

Well, a wallet full of cash is always welcome, but where’s the fun in that?

But a wallet is a good idea. A decent leather one. How about with a few low-value gift cards so you don’t blow your entire budget on a few pieces of plastic? I’ll bet the neighborhood coffee shop, the locally-owned sporting goods store, and the small bookstore that you pass on the way to the grocery store all have gift cards.

How about an electric razor? At least in my house full of boys, hair is starting to unevenly sprout on faces, and it’s not a bad idea to trim it away every so often. If I didn’t hate being a slave to hair removal on my legs, I would say it’s not a bad idea for your teenage girls, but I do hate the inherent sexism of girls being expected to banish their leg hair, so really, I’ll leave that up to you, girl moms.

Clothes can be a good option too. I loved getting a new Outback Red outfit from The Limited when I was a teen. Or Esprit. Or something from Express. How about a safari-themed t-shirt from Banana Republic? A Coca-Cola rugby shirt? GUESS OVERALLS?!?! Okay, maybe I’m showing my age here, but the point stands. A somewhat fashionable outfit that your grandkids will mock in 30 years is sure to be a winner!

Meanwhile, I’ll be perusing the stock of track pants and plain t-shirts at Costco for my teens while also shelling out an ungodly amount for team soccer jerseys. Ah well. We can’t all have fashion plates.

If you’re lucky, your kids might also ask for books. (Mine definitely won’t.) If so, a Kindle could be a great gift. The Libby app lets you read e-books from the library on your device for free!

And of course, we can’t forget the products put out by Apple. My kids have new AirPods and the Apple Watch on their wish lists (though really what they need are AirPod cleaning kits, gross) but if they have “new iPhone” on their list, I recommend looking at secondhand sites like Swappa.com for slightly older models. Unless $1200 phones are in your budget, in which case, more power to you!

I was delighted when one of my sons actually said he’d prefer experiences over things. Last year we got a family gift certificate for a local escape room. This year (don’t tell) they’re getting tickets to a Saints game.

Now, I have a lot of Facebook friends with 14-15 year olds, and they gave me a ton of ideas that never would have occurred to me.

Oculus thingy
Art supplies
Lego sets
Game systems and accessories
AirPod case
Sports gear (soccer balls, tennis rackets, ping pong table)
Fitness equipment (weights, yoga mat, membership to the gym you go to)
Funko Pop figures from their favorite movie or tv show or game
Shoes (Nike, Uggs, Birkenstocks, Crocs)
Disposable cameras (these are more shockingly expensive than you might expect)
Experiences like thrift shopping, concert tickets, memberships
Musical instruments and accessories

And if all else fails … cold, hard cash.

Pam Kocke
My name is Pam, and I live in Algiers Point with my husband George and my identical triplets Linus, Oliver, and Miles. I work from home as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. I enjoy reading and photography and sewing (and blogging!)


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