We Found Out What Actual Teenagers Want For The Holidays

Sources close to teens reveal that these are the gifts they’re actually asking for.
A pair of mini Uggs, Polo cologne, a set of coffee syrups, an Xbox controller and JBL headphones.
Amazon, Nordstrom
A pair of mini Uggs, Polo cologne, a set of coffee syrups, an Xbox controller and JBL headphones.

If you have a teen in your life, you may be filled with stress about getting them something for the holidays that they actually want. While you could just ask them, anyone who actually spends any time around teenagers knows that direct communication can be a skill that comes to them later in life (that is, if it ever comes at all).

To help you on your gift-giving journey, we asked followers of the HuffPost Parenting Facebook page for the gifts forthcoming teens have asked for this holiday season and/or gifts that crushed it in the past. Like teenagers themselves, the suggestions run the gambit. From video game controllers to vegetarian cookbooks, it seems there’s something for every type of teen here. There are even some options you can enjoy as a family, a huge feat when it comes to teens.

We hope you find something good for every adolescent on your list, and if some of the options catch your eye for yourself, well, we won’t tell anyone.

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The most-suggested gift teens have asked for wasn't even a physical gift — it was a fun experience. On Facebook, parents LaTisha Osborne Spice, Heather Holleran, Michelle Tanzola, Jill Spainhour all report taking happy teens to concerts, sports, movies, amusement parks or museums.

StubHub is a ticket site that lets you look for all sorts of cool events in your area. You can even get your teen a gift card, so they can choose their own event.
On Facebook, parents Jill Spainhour, Nicole Weick, Metta Ann all said their teen boys are asking for cologne. This is one of those clever parenting trick opportunities: You can pick something you don't mind smelling so that you do not live in a home smelling of Axe.

While none of the parents listed a specific cologne, we did our own homework to find two beloved, non-offensive scents that feel appropriate for someone with a learner's permit: A solid stocking stuffer option, Adidas Moves is a fresh scent that reviewers say is not not overbearing, and the packaging feels sporty and not over the top. For a splurgy option, Ralph Lauren Polo Blue is a timeless classic. It's a crisp scent featuring citrus, sage and suede, with one review saying it helped a younger teen with his social confidence.
Spotify premium and a portable Bluetooth speaker
Facebook follower Laura Henson Leven, who didn't give her teen's specific age, said they are asking for Spotify premium with no ads, and BuzzFeed publisher Dao Nguyen said her 16-year-old loved getting a portable speaker to take their favorite playlists and podcasts with them on the go.

We love this JBL portable clip speaker that comes in fun colors and has up to 10 hours of playtime between charges. It's waterproof and dust-resistant, so it's great for taking on bike rides, to the beach or to soccer practice and has an easy clip, so your teen may be less likely to lose it. (Here's hoping.)
Or a pair of over-ear headphones
Facebook follower Metta Ann said her teen is asking for over-ear headphones. In a world of wireless earbuds, these are now a "retro" style and may be more comfortable for teens who don't like stuff in their ears.

We love these JBL over-ear headphones that give solid sound quality without totally breaking the bank. They run for 50 hours between charges and can fold up, so they're easy to pack in a backpack.
Nordstrom, Amazon
Nike clothing
Two different parents, Jill SpainhourI and Kristin Stew, said their teens are asking for Nike clothing, namely hoodies and Nike Pro shorts. If your kid plays a ton of sports or just likes to be comfy, it's a quality brand they'll recognize. Plus, they're pretty neutral items that will easily fit into any teen's style. It's hard to go wrong with a basic hoodie.
A six-pair pack of Nike socks
For her four boys between 15 and 20, Christine Anderson Skluzacek gave Nike crew socks their own mention. "Nike socks always go over with teen boys!" she said.
Xbox accessories
Sabrina Soros Kareha, a mom to a 17- and 19-year-old, and Jill Spainhour said their teens are asking for Xbox accessories, specifically a headset and a new controller. These can be great presents for grandparents or aunts/uncles to buy, as they're less expensive than the gaming console itself and are pretty universal. In other words, you may not know what kind of games your teen likes to play, but you know the Xbox headset will work with the Xbox.
DoorDash gift cards
Another Jedi mind trick that appears to be a present for a teen but is also kind of a present for you: Sabrina Soros Kareha suggested DoorDash gift cards.

"That way if they don't have the car or it's too late to drive, they can still get junk when they're in the mood for it," she said.

On a cold winter night when you're heading to bed, you don't have to do dishes, drive anywhere or hear complaints about how there is "no food in the house" and your teen gets nachos — win, win.
Cute earrings
Parent Lisa Katzenberger said her 13-year-old daughter is asking for earrings. As a non-teenager with a bunch of piercings on my ears, I like the brand Rowan, which makes high-quality but pretty affordable earrings out of hypoallergenic material with no nickel, brass or zinc. In my experience, you can leave them in for weeks, while showering, sleeping, working out, etc., and not have any irritation or tarnishing.

The smaller studs and hoops are great for double holes (or wherever else on the ear) and tend to go with every style. I don't take mine out and wear them to both yoga and fancy dinners.
ValenciaOwly on Etsy, BestTeeCoUS on Etsy
Anything T-Swift
Lisa Katzenberger and Laura Henson Leven both said their teens want "all things Taylor Swift." But don't get stuck only looking on official merch websites; Henson Leven's insider tip is to check Etsy, which we completely stand by. How cute is this Eras blanket and book-themed crew neck?
Coffee flavor sets
If your teen is all about complicated TikTok coffee drinks, they may love a gift card to a local coffee shop. Yet Nguyen said a total gifting win was getting her 16-year-old a flavor syrup sampler set to make fun drinks at home. They'll love getting to play barista and you'll love not having to give them money for coffee.
Real matcha and electric frothers
Nguyen also said she's successfully gifted her teen both real matcha and a frother to blend up the trendy green tea beverage and foam other hot drinks.

Golde is a BIPOC-owned family business creating superfood-fueled products like delicious matcha blends. We love this set that comes with Japanese-made matcha and a rechargable frother. However, you can also snag a stocker-stuffer frother (i.e., one for under $10) on the big A.
FloraCustomsStore on Etsy
Boba cups with big straws
If your teen also likes tapioca pearls or bubble tea, they'll love this glass tumbler made with a wider straw that fits boba, like Nguyen’s did. This one from Etsy can even be personalized. We also found an insulated, leakproof option on Amazon that has tons of 5-star reviews.
All sorts of Uggs
Jessi Cremers said her teen asked for Ugg slippers, and Desiree Fletcher said hers specifically wanted mini Uggs. Either way, most teens would be excited to snag a pair of these trendy and warm winter shoes. They're a hot commodity, so they're often sold out in many stores, but we've found that Nordstrom has a pretty strong selection of sizes and colors.
Comfortable pajama pants
Carrie Mergens and LaTisha Osborne Spice said their teens love getting comfy pajama pants for the holidays. While you can always spring for a novelty pair, we love these cotton jogger-style pants from Target that are available up to a 5XL.
Small kitchen appliances
If your older teens are preparing to leave the nest, know that LaTisha Osborne Spice said one of her kids is asking for small kitchen appliances they can take with them to college or a new apartment.

We love the Instant Pot brand's air fryer not only because it's compact and colorful, but because it's super easy to use and can air fry, bake, roast and reheat.
A mini fridge
Amber Conniff said her teen wants a mini fridge for their bedroom. This may also be something of a parent gift: less late-night noise in the kitchen rummaging around for snacks and more restful sleep for you.
A vegetarian cookbook
Nguyen said her 16-year-old previously “loved” the gift of a vegetarian cookbook. We like "The Weekday Vegetarians," which is a realistic cookbook made for making family dinners. If your teen is trying to cook for the whole house, they'll find some easy crowd-pleasers here.
A Kindle Paperwhite
Lisa Katzenberger said her 13-year-old asked for "good" books, emphasizing the good, and Andrea Carlson Mendoza said her teen is asking for a Kindle Paperwhite e-reader that's easy to carry with them. If you're not sure what counts as a "good book" to a 13-year-old, a Kindle lets them pick whatever books they want and gets them off other screens.
Big-ticket Lego sets
Legos are always kind of expensive, but by golly, adult Legos bring the tiny building blocks to a new level. For a big ticket gift, Laura Henson Leven, who didn't give her kid's ages, says her teens have asked for higher-end Lego sets, with this typewriter being a big hit.
Intricate craft sets
If you have a teen that loves long projects and intense crafting, Nguyen suggested this tiny house set, saying, "I loved doing them with my teen over the Christmas holiday. Truly a 'bonding' activity." Nguyen warned that it means hours and hours of gluing tiny things together and does not come with said glue (but you can buy some here).

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