12 Things Your Teen Definitely Doesn't Want For Christmas

12 Things Your Teen Definitely Doesn't Want For Christmas

Everybody's favorite annual consumerist bonanza has already taken the nation by storm, so if you're a parent of a teenager (and haven't gotten your shopping done yet), cue your annual gift-giving panic about what to get that hard-to-please person. Whether they're deep in the sullen depths of adolescence, or totally past their "awkward phase," teens are a notoriously difficult demographic to shop for. Allow us to make it easy: Here are 12 gifts we promise your teen doesn't want -- and 12 sweet alternatives we think they'll like a lot more.

1. Don't Get: A Facebook points gift card

Your teen may have gone gaga for Farmville circa '08, but Facebook is basically the retirement community of the social media world. Not even Mark Zuckerburg pretends that Facebook is still cool.


This awesome iPhone-attachable clip-on camera lens will seriously up your teen's Instagram game. Or just help them take better pictures.

2. Don't Get: A goldfish


It's just going to die...

Instead Get: A flying shark

flying shark

This inflatable remote-control aircraft will never die of old age, though sharp objects could bring it to an untimely end. Either way, it will be much less tragic than flushing Nemo down the toilet.

3. Don't Get: Boring-ass socks

tube socks

Snooze. Sure they're practical, but since when does Christmas have anything to do with practicality?


If you insist on gifting your favorite teen the world's dullest of undergarments, they've got to be some seriously rad socks. Shop Jeen has a few that make us feel strong feelings about things.

4. Don't Get: A gingerbread house kit

gingerbread house

Hypothetically, building a gingerbread house doesn't sound like a lofty architectural feat. Still, your teen's probably too lazy to assemble the entire graham cracker abode, meaning you'll be left with disappointment, crumbs and seriously overpriced frosting tubes.

Instead Get: A popcorn maker.

popcorn maker

All the deliciousness, none of the manual labor. Plus, you've kind of always wanted one.

5. Don't Get: A temporary tattoo kit

savvi glitter 4 girls

Sure, you're terrified that your teen is going to get inked up once the clock strikes their 18th birthday. Still, a temporary tat is a Chuck 'E Cheese prize -- not a persuasive alternative to your teen's dream dragon tramp stamp.

hair flairs

Here's a cool way to let teens express themselves without looking like a walking gummy bear factory explosion come graduation. These Hair Flairs temporary hair dyes are easy to apply, and won't stain clothes. Teenage rebellion's never been more harmless.


This shirt would have been cool in like, a galaxy far, far away.

Instead Get: An R2D2 novelty toy

r2d2 trashcan

Snag an R2D2 garbage can, and your kid will always come home for the holidays. If the price seems too steep for a trashcan (it kind of is) or if expecting your teen to throw trash anywhere other than the floor seems laughable, this R2D2 car charger or talking R2D2 bank are less pricey alternatives.

7. Don't Get: A DVD box set

dvd box set

DVD box sets: Not current enough to be cool, not obsolete enough to have nostalgia value.

Instead Get: A Netflix subscription.


They'll cry happy tears, and then disappear for a week to binge-watch "Breaking Bad."


They'll never remember to put them on in the morning.


They'll never forget to grab their headphone earmuffs (or dare we say it -- hearmuffs?), which simultaneously blast their favorite tunes and keep their ears from freezing off.

9. Don't Get: A bank bond

money on string

This is just a big tease. Does money that can't be spent even really exist?

Instead Get: A cool experience

pilot lesson

Make Christmas a little less consumer-minded and gift your teen a memorable adventure. The company Xperience Days has an enormous collection of classes, lessons and adventures in major cities across the country. Offers run the gamut from paddling excursions to piloting lessons.

10. Don't Get: A Water Pik


Gifting this tooth cleaner will get you one seriously closed-mouth smile.

Instead Get: Radically yummy dental care

bacon toothpaste

Or perhaps cupcake toothpaste for your favorite sweet-toothed adolescent:


Moral of the story: When giving the gift of good hygiene, make sure it comes in tasty flavors.

11. Don't Get: A monogrammed door sign

john hinde

Unless Owen still enjoys finger painting, he probably won't be too fond of this sign.

Instead Get: A Grown-Up Version


It's basically the glamorous older cousin of your classic childhood monogram sign. It's pricey though -- For an equally out-of-this-world monogram gift that won't break the bank, we recommend these:


12. Don't Get: Tupperware


It'll store their food and keep it fresh, but they'll still cry on Christmas.

Instead Get: An iPhone wristlet


The best storage device you could possibly get a millennial. Never again will your teen sacrifice an iPhone to the toilet bowl.

There are a lot of god-awful presents out there, but an equal number of spectacularly rad gifts for your teen. Heed our advice, and your teen will be positively jolly come Christmas morning.

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