Buying gifts for teenagers is a nightmare. Where you could once be sure the latest hot toy would satisfy a delighted child, teenagers are far more complex creatures altogether. Unless you ask a teenager to write a designated Christmas list – something which may be sneered at as childish – you could find yourself struggling when it comes to gift buying.
One of the first ways to maneuver around this problem is to keep your ears open from August onward. Listen out for any hints – deliberate or not – as to what the teenager in question may like. They may mention a fondness for a particular band or movie; meaning you can buy the CD or DVD, providing they do not already have it (a quick scan of shelves should provide the answer).
However, sometimes answers are not so forthcoming, and you’ll need to be a little more cunning. To this end, around October time, indulge the teenager in a game of “what if?”. Do it idly, as if it is merely a way of passing the time, and do not press for answers. Ask what they would do with the money if they won the lottery, and then scale it down. Even if you don’t get specific answers, you should get an insight into what they really want.
If you still cannot find an answer, try not to go for the easy option of cash unless specifically asked for. Think of stores they frequent and buy gift vouchers, or give a coupon on Christmas Day entitling them to a pair of concert tickets – for the show of their choosing. With a bit of thinking and cunning, you should be able to have one happy teenager come Christmas morning.
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