Does anyone want to share what their teen might be hoping for for the holidays? Or what they might be receiving? I love to see what other kids are into, and how families handle gift giving. Any great ideas in terms of gifts or experiences?
DS18 y.o already has his - he received a contribution toward his own laptop. Now that he is in university, he was using the shared family laptop or my iPad2 a lot. He also uses it for his band, for editing their music recordings. We're at the point where it makes sense for him to have his own.
I'll also get him some clothes (I know - boring). A dress shirt, a casual polo and a nice sweater.
He'd like electric clippers - his current hairstyle is a very closely shaved buzz cut.
For his stocking, there will be a book (maybe more of Y: The Last Man graphic novels), iTunes card and new earbuds for the iPod.
DD15 y.o. is getting her own digital SLR camera - she's taken up photography lately. DH is excited because it is his passion and he is planning to take her on photo safaris with him. This way they can each shoot at the same time. She's also considering photography as a minor at school (she's a drama major, but photography is offered as a major/minor or elective at her high school).
She'll also get some new clothes - possibly another set of "drama blacks" (all black t-shirt or tank shirt and yoga pants) since she wears them almost every day during drama class and I often hear growling in the morning because they aren't clean. (Mutual Christmas present - relieving household tension about frequency of doing the laundry, who is responsible etc. etc.)
For her stocking, a book, iTunes card and some cosmetic stuff - eyelash curler, manicure set, make-up brushes.
Their "major" gifts are pretty pricey this year, but I expect that they will be enjoying and using those gifts for many years. In other years, we are much more moderate about the gifts. We tend to follow
"Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read". This year, the want and need are kind of conflated.
My kids tend to want to "do" more than "have." We decided as a family to renew our Disney passes which the kids love but know pretty much kills the gift fund. They see it as a birthday/Christmas gift but we are getting them a couple other things to unwrap too.
DD 14 is getting a replacement battery for her laptop, a couple posters she's been talking about and a 1920's style hat she looks adorable in.
DS 11 is getting a trip to Legoland before he's too old for it. We actually got two free tickets and a 2 for 1 deal so only have to buy one ticket! He's also getting a video game he wanted (and that I snagged on a remarkable one day sale for 5 dollars) and a lap desk which will help as he likes to sit in a big comfy chair to do homework.
We have a ton of family and they are the youngest kids so tend to get too much as it is. I know DD 14 is getting a Kindle from one set of grandparents and a nice Ukelele from the other set. I know DS is getting an expensive game from one and the other sets usually get him some techno gadgets (lots of remote control things.) I have an aunt with no kids of her own that loads both them up with clothing. They'll get other little things from various other relatives. It's always too much and so we sort of pull-back on our side or focus on items they "need."
DS1 (18) has asked for a set of weights, a laptop and an MP3 player. He knows he's not going to get all that, but those are the things he wants. (This is his first year at university, and he's realized that a computer would really make a difference.)
A friend is giving him his "spare" iPod, so that covers the MP3 player. DH and I are getting him a set of weights - smaller than he wants, but we can't afford a big set. He's also getting a set of quality pencil crayons (pricey!), since he wants to expand his drawing and sketching into colour. DH is also planning to find him an old Sega Genesis, because ds1 has some old games that he wants to be able to play again, and he doesn't have a system.
Other gifts in the last few years:
Juggling equipment of various kinds.
A leathercrafting kit.
A snowboard (second hand).
Lift passes for the local ski/snowboard hill.
Marvel (comics) encycylopedia.
Private acting lessons (those were for his birthday, not Christmas).
A cellphone, with three year contract (he really wanted one, but I was kind of cheating - made it much easier to keep track of him and touch base while I was out and about with the younger ones).
We tend to consider the kids' (22 and 18) computers as something we provide, but they have both treated replacement computers (due to breakdown) as combination Christmas / birthday gifts. DS2 has asked for an e-reader, synthesizer software, iPod. DS1 is a bike commuter and is getting a comfy saddle for his ride, but he's also mentioned being interested in some desktop computer components, including a really cool customizable keyboard.
For drivers who pay their own expenses, maybe a gas card or certain number of months insurance? Or GPS, AAA (or out of U.S. equivalent) membership?
And clothes? The boys used to hate-hate-hate shopping, so I'd have to buy things, bring them home, and take back what they didn't like. DS2 had already started hitting the stores a few months before leaving home this past August. Now DS1 says he wants to do his own clothes shopping. When I told him a deeply moved tear was misting my eye, he shook his head and said he had homework.
My 17yio has already received her "main" gifts - a trip last w/e to Phoenix to play FH, plus money to spend there. SHe'll likely get some stuff for her car, plus money to go play at Disney in February.
My oldest (20 next week) is getting a crock pot (yes, really - it will be helpful for him this winter, since he's out all day at classes/labs, so having dinner ready when he gets home will be nice) as well as gift cards for local groceries.