I'm not much help, but I am in the same predicament, so I wanted to sympathize.
DS is turning 18 soon and he's in his last year of high school. He has his own band (actually 2) who play gigs in clubs around town. Parents aren't really invited to these events though. For a celebration, I suggested we rent a venue and his band could play for family, friends, a few former teachers and coaches, etc. He rejected the idea - although they do have a club date for the night of his birthday.
Gifts are really stumping me. Most of his "wants" were satisfied at Christmas. My (rejected) ideas so far:
-The traditional watch seems obvious, but he doesn't like to wear one.
- A laptop computer seems like a good idea, but he will be traveling for a year before he attends uni. Given how quickly computers are updated, it seems better to wait and get him whatever newer version is available then.
- His phone is only a year old, so replacing it seems wasteful.
- A better digital camera for his travels, except he doesn't use the one he has now, even when we are on vacation
I feel like I'm not being very creative with possible gifts.
My last idea is to pay for a studio recording session for his band. They have been self-producing their CDs, and I know he'd be thrilled. I don't know how to find a studio or what cost is reasonable though.
As it turns out, we are going to New York city for spring break, so I did get tickets to a show for one of his favourite bands. He is very excited about it and says that's all he really wants. I'd like to do something a little more memorable though.