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Christmas Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys and Young Men

Updated on November 11, 2011

It's no wonder that teenage boys are some of the hardest people to please when it comes to buying Christmas gifts. They're a junior version of men! Even if we find something they enjoy, there's no guarantee they won't change their minds between the time we find an appropriate gift, and the day they're scheduled to open it. Below are some ideas to help give something memorable that won't cause that teenager to wrinkle his nose in distaste.

Sweetening the Money Pot

What teenage boy doesn't want cold, hard cash for Christmas? Heck, I'm neither a teenager nor a boy and I even like that gift! But anyone can stuff a crisp bill into an envelope. When giving cash as a gift, I like to include something a little extra. For instance, my local craft store sells these miniature, clear plastic paint buckets. I like to put the cash in the middle of the bucket, and surround it with the recipient's favorite type of candy. (Chocolate doesn't really work great for this, because if it melts then the money...well, you get the idea.) Finally, add a bit of curling ribbon and a decorative gift tag for a personal touch. Tada! You've just turned an otherwise generic gift into something extraordinary!

Getting Creative with Gift Cards

Gift cards to a teenage boy's favorite store allows him to choose his own gift, saving the worry of whether or not he likes what you selected. Some people balk at the idea of giving a gift card as a gift. What if it doesn't get used? Some gift cards expire, or decrease in value over time. Those are perfectly legitimate concerns! But if a gift card is truly what the teenage boy on your list desires, try sprucing up the package a little. Last year I found decorative, Christmas-themed boxes at my local store where everything costs one dollar. They were about half the size of a shoebox, and perfect for my idea. I taped the gift card to the inside of the lid while filling the box itself with individual servings of their favorite edibles -- peanuts, caramel popcorn, potato chips, candy, gum, and beef jerky to give some examples. Because I had six boxes to make and the same store sold many snacks in quantities of six, it cost under $20 for everything. Not only did each of the teenage boys on my list get the gift card to his store of choice, but he also had a box of snacks to enjoy over Christmas vacation.

Let Them Eat Fruitcake

Okay, I wouldn't really feed anyone fruitcake; not even the snarkiest of teenage boys. However, a miniature stocking filled with a few fast food gift cards and a candy bar can be a teenager's best friend. One year I gave each of my teenage nieces and nephews an inexpensive ornament from the Christmas shop in the mall, then used a paint pen to personalize each with their first name and the year. But I also gave them each the biggest, most giant chocolate candy bar available in my local grocery store. All in all I spent about $5 per kid, but they loved it. The chocolate wasn't something their parents usually indulged in and the personalized ornament helped provide a lasting memory of what turned out to be a lasting Christmas -- despite the tightening of my purse strings.

What success have you had with gifting for teenager boys? Or teenagers period? What's the best gift you remember getting as a teenager? Answers to these and other comments are welcome in the spaces below. Thanks for reading, and good luck with your shopping!


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