It’s holiday gift giving season. Shopping for young kids is usually pretty easy, but knowing what to buy teenagers can be a lot harder. And teenage boys can be especially challenging. On top of Christmas, both of my son’s have December birthday’s, which means I need to give A LOT of gifts this month. Here are my soon to be 12 and 14 year old boys wish lists. Hopefully, this will give you some ideas for gifts to get the teenage boys on your list.
Gaming, gaming, and more gaming
Most teens enjoy video games. My 12 year old son definitely fits that bill. Many teens have high ticket items like an Xbox, Play Station, or Nintendo Switch at the top of their wish list. I actually gave our Xbox to both of my boys as a joint gift two years ago. But they already have one, and I’m not buying another, so now what?
This year I am getting my gaming enthusiast a gaming chair for his 12th birthday. Ergonomics are important, and he’s been begging for a fancy new chair just like the pro-gamers use. This same son is also getting a new gaming headset for Christmas. A new controller is also high on my son’s wish list.
Then of course there is money. Buying new games in CD form isn’t really a thing anymore. Most consuls are online, and many kids also play games on laptops, tablets, and even phones. But all these platforms have some sort of online currency where you can buy new games, or make upgrades within the games you already have. If you’re gamer is into Roblox, they want Robucks. If you’re teen loves Fortnight, they definitely want some V-Bucks this Christmas. Since my son plays on an Xbox, he will be getting an Xbox gift card that he can use to buy new Xbox games in his stocking this year.
Little kids usually aren’t very excited about getting clothes for Christmas, but most teenagers love it. Both of my son’s are obsessed with Hoodies. I will definitely be buying them both Hoodies this year, but they are also asking all their relatives for Hoodies. Some kids are very into certain brands, but my sons are mainly into comfort.
New shoes are also high on both of my son’s wish lists this year. They haven’t grown out of their old shoes, but they still want a new pair. My 12 year old will be getting a new pair of Nike’s and my 14 year old will be getting a new pair of Convers. When it comes to teenagers and shoes, brand definitely matters, so you should ask the teens in your life what brand/color/style of shoes they want before buying them. A gift card to a shoe store could also make a good stocking stuffer if you aren’t sure what size you need.
Is the teen in your life obsessed with a specific Youtuber? They all have merch. I wouldn’t be suprized if there are TikTokers with merch. Often times this merch comes in the form of more hoddies, but it’s still a different category of gifts. I usually have my sons give each other merch for their birthdays or Christmas, since I never know what they want.
There is also merch associated with more mainstream media. My 14 year old is currently very into Harry Potter, and has requested lots of Harry Potter themed gifts for his birthday/Christmas. I found a lot of great stuff on Etsy, but there is also plenty of Harry Potter branded items available at big box stores.
Personally, I don’t drink coffee. Because I’m a tea drinker, we have an electric tea kettle, but not a coffee pot. My 14 year old loves Starbucks. A Starbucks gift card could make a great stocking stuffer, but this year we’re going one step farther. My son is getting a coffee pot for his birthday this year. If you already have a drip coffee pot, but your teen loves expresso, you could give them an expresso maker for Christmas. And once you have the coffee maker or expresso machine of your dreams, coffee mugs can make a great gift. There are lots of mugs with funny sayings on them that teens like, and also branded coffee mugs that fall more into the merch category. Since my young coffee drinker is a big Harry Potter fan, I found him a coffee cup that says “Expresso Patronum”.
This year, I’m getting my 14 year old a burrito blanket. It’s a throw blanket that looks like a tortilla. They also make them that look like cookies, pizzas, and other foods teens love. I know he’ll love rolling himself up like a burrito on cold winter mornings. Snuggies, slippers, pajamas, and other cozy items could also make good gifts. If you’re teens pillows are flat, you could even get them a new pillow.
Both of my kids will be getting a book in their stocking. They will also get more books on their birthdays, and under the tree. We homeschool, and I make my kids read a lot. We do go to the library, but also have a lot of books around the house. So getting a few more on Christmas just makes sense.
A deck of cards could easily fit in a stocking. Board games and puzzles can also make great gifts for teens, assuming they like board games and puzzles. During 2020, we have been playing a lot of board games, we try to play a game as a family every night after dinner. We’re starting to get sick of some of our current games, so both of my sons will be getting a new board game this Christmas. Because these are family games, they could easily be given to the entire family. If you are looking for gifts to get for friends/relatives, giving a family game to another family could be a great gift option.
If your kid LOVES art and/or science, some new supplies could make a great gift. Since we homeschool, I am getting my kids some school related items that are fun enough to bridge the gap between gift and homework. My 12 year old really enjoys hands on science activities, so I got him two different science experiment kits that both tie in nicely with what he’s learning this year. I also highly recommend Kiwi Co crate subscriptions if you want a STEM gift that lasts all year. My son’s had a Tinker Crate subscription for over a year now, but I’m still planning to wrap his December crate as a reminder that this subscription is an ongoing gift.
My older son isn’t as excited about doing extra science labs, but he does enjoy art. I got him a light board that he can use for tracing/drawing. I also got him some new paints and brushes. Earlier this year, I got my son a calligraphy set and he’s enjoyed learning calligraphy as a homeschool elective. a calligraphy set could make a great gift.
My boys also got a telescope earlier this year. This could make a great gift for a budding scientist. A high quality microscope would make an equally great gift.
One of the Harry Potter themed gifts my 14 year old is getting this year is a golden snitch lamp. My 12 year old is also getting a new light for his bedroom, but his is a color changing LED globe. Lava lamps and salt lamps are also popular with teens. Beyond lighting, posters, and beanbag chairs can also make great gifts. If your teen still has somewhat childish bedroom décor, getting an updated bedding set or even a can of paint in their favorite color to update the walls could be a hit.
Putting candy in stockings is pretty standard. But both of my kids will also have a six pack of soda wrapped under the tree with their name on it this year. I’m planning to wrap large bags of their favorite chips. Teens love junk food. I think pretty much all humans love junk food.
Every time my 14 year old son has extra cash, he spends it on junk food. In the before times, he would go to the grocery store with his friends after school every single day and buy junk food. I’m sure I’ll put some cash in his stocking this year, but I’ll also save him a trip to the store and buy him some junk food for Christmas.
If you’re getting one big gift for your teen this year, and you want to fill out the tree and give them more to open on Christmas morning, don’t overlook the appeal of snacks. A party sized bag of Hot Cheetos might now be my idea of a perfect Christmas, but that doesn’t mean my teenage son won’t be excited to unwrap one.
What did I miss? What items are on your teenage sons wish lists this year?