The 2011 Smarty Holiday Gift Guide is sponsored by Toys & Co in Cotswold and Park Road Shopping Center. Find everything on Santa’s list at Toys & Co! And, they will wrap every gift BEAUTIFULLY and oh-so-expertly. They are the toy experts so they will help you source a gift if you are not sure what to get.
No, not Back-to-School season. It’s time to get ready for the holidays! And in the spirit of giving, I’ve created for you a Holiday Gift Giving Guide for the hardest to shop for on your list: the tweens and teens in your life. Behold a grab bag of stuff to feed their senses of spirit, wonder, and excitement! And vanity! And the need to be their own person! And still fit in! It’s all here.
For the Gadget Guru:
photo printer for cell phonePhoto printer for a cell phone. A really cool way to keep those quick pics forever. Include scrapbooking materials for the crafty types.
The X Mini 11 Capsule speaker gets great reviews and is only $30. (Psst, the red style is on sale for only $18 at Amazon.) You can even buy several to amp up your sound.
Accessories for the iPod and iTouch are always a hit. Choose from skins, earbuds, chargers, or external speakers.
Gamestop gift cards
Kindle Fire, half the price of an iPad with amazing functionality
Gaming systems and games. Xbox Kinect is hot. And you will work up a sweat with Dance Party.
Digital picture frame to create an ever-changing slideshow of friends, family, pets, and goofy pics.
For the Music Lover:
An iPod speaker for your bike lets you cruise to the store or a friend’s house without earbuds so you can still hear traffic.
Every instrument has an upgrade or accessory, whether straps, picks, strings, cases, rosin, cords, various pedals and effects systems, and computer software for mixing tracks. There are also websites that provide unlimited sheet music for a subscription fee.
“Beats” ear buds or full headphones by Dr. Dre
An iTunes gift card
Voice or instrument lessons
For the Outdoorsy:
The Ingenious DryCASE
Waterproof DryCASE is a “flexible, crystal clear waterproof case that allows complete use of your phone or camera while keeping it dry and clean.” You can still stay in touch on a hike or at the bus stop in all sorts of weather. Available at most camping stores.
A fishing license
Frisbee golf kit
For the Style Conscious:
Funny t-shirts from BustedTees.com. This site creates new shirts every week so your kid will be topical and ahead of the trends. Parent Advisory: some of the shirts are very explicit (and very funny). You shop there, not your kids.
Gift cards for clothing stores. Take your child shopping for their own clothes. This is a good experience to teach budgeting and decision-making. It’s also a good way to spend time with your child and get to know what they like. They’ll realize quickly that a dollar goes farther at some stores than others.
Convertible gloves, the kind that have the flap over the fingers but the tops cut out so they can keep their hands warm and still text. Let’s call them “texting gloves.”
Rain boots. Get the soft removable liners for added comfort and style.
Fun knee socks to wear with boots
Anything with owls, the hot animal this year. (Go Athena’s Path!)
New kicks. You know they need them anyway. “What’s that smell?” Impress them by getting the brand they really want.
Hair straightener / curling iron, salon-style hair products, and hair accessories
Snuggies. Kids still love these especially with a favorite sports or college logo.
Membership to any of the following: a fitness club, community theatre, museum, etc.
Classes or lessons for drawing, acting, a sports skill clinic, etc.
Pogo stick. Why not? Tweens love them and they’re great exercise.
“What Happened?” bandages from Urban Outfitters that say things like “jousting” or “shark bite”.
Electronic banking monopoly. Family game night just got an upgrade. Say goodbye to cash and hello to debit cards. Who doesn’t want to swipe?
Baking supplies. Fill a big box with pre-made mixes or key ingredients, fancy cupcake liners, assorted sprinkles and sugar toppings, fondant, unique pans and silicone spatulas. (You can order personalized silicone spatulas from Williams Sonoma.) Whenever you hear “I’m bored”, send ‘em to the box.
For Nesters / The Room Obsessed:
Bean bag. This Gamer Sac from Lovesac has great back support and an add-on drink holder.
Organizational gear from The Container Store
Room décor from IKEA, West Elm, Urban Outfitters
Keepsake, leather-bound journal for his or her most personal thoughts
Electronic, flameless candles
Books. If your tween or teen hasn’t read the Hunger Games trilogy, now is the time before the first movie premiers in March. Bundle the book set with a movie theatre gift card and mark March 23rd on your calendars for movie night.
For Sports / Adventure Enthusiasts:
Longboards, a cross between a skateboard and surfboard, are all the rage this year. Accessories include a big stick/paddle to propel yourself (seriously) and a pair of slide gloves to help you reach the street and guide yourself on turns.
Digital camera and accessories
Sports gear or a sports jersey
Tickets, be cool and buy three. One for you, one for your kid, and one for his or her friend of choice.
Skateboard lessons. Contact your local skate park for information.
Climbing gear and lessons
Snow shoes or a sled
I hope you got some good ideas. Shoot me a note if I forgot anything awesome!
Here’s an update from Jen on her take on Electronics:
iPod Nano – This is just for music. Great for your worker-outer!
iPod Touch – This is the mac-daddy and I would recommend this one. For just a little more, you get the full monty. This gadget is rigged with music, gaming, video capability, skype capability. It’s basically an iPhone minus the phone. It’s a great tool for kids of all ages starting at age 6 and up. The pros: you invest in the device, but games are free or super cheap. It’s a computer, so much at their fingertips. The cons: it’s a computer, make sure YOU SET UP PARENTAL CONTROLS!! They are fragile. Make sure you buy the sturdiest case available.
Along those lines, peep these PRESH Lilly Pulitzer iPod 4g cases – LOVE!
iPads & Android Tablets – I say save these for the teens due to the price tag and the high cost. They are incredibly amazing and a great educational tool, but they are pretty expensive. The Android tablets are less expensive than iPads. It seems to me like you need to stick with your computers too – mac owners should buy iPads and PC owners should buy the android tablets, mainly for compatibility.
Kindle & Nook – These are nice because it’s online books and much cheaper than buying a hard copy. It’s green, saves trees and you can check out e-books from your local library. Bonus! Note: consider the basic nook/kindle versus the new tablets. You may not need all of that internet access and just stick with the electronic book feature.