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.
Instead Get: A next-level iPhone camera lens
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
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
Snooze. Sure they're practical, but since when does Christmas have anything to do with practicality?
Instead Get: The nuttiest socks you can find
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
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.
All the deliciousness, none of the manual labor. Plus, you've kind of always wanted one.
5. Don't Get: A temporary tattoo kit
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.
Instead Get: Temporary hair dye
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.
6. Don't Get: Another goofy Star Wars shirt
This shirt would have been cool in like, a galaxy far, far away.
Instead Get: An R2D2 novelty toy
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 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."
8. Don't Get: Extremely reasonable winter trappings
They'll never remember to put them on in the morning.
Instead Get: Earmuff/headphone hybrid
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
This is just a big tease. Does money that can't be spent even really exist?
Instead Get: A cool experience
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
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
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.