Dollars & Sense #15: Gift Giving for Teens

You have five bes tfriends, a boyfriend/girlfriend, your parents, and your little brother/sister…and this is just the must buy for list!’  This is such an expensive time of year!’  You meant to save a little money from your paycheck, but you thought you had more time…Now it’s ten days until’ gift giving and you have no gifts! ‘ What do you do if you have little cash or no cash and many to give to?

Here are some gift giving ideas for teens:

The Do-It Yourself Gift: What are your talents? Think about how you can incorporate them into your gift.’  For example, if you are musically inclined, why not prepare a song to sing for your boyfriend/girlfriend?’ ‘ If you are good at cooking, your little brother might be more than pleased to receive a chocolate cake or a tin full of cookies just for him for Christmas. Can you sew? Take scraps of old clothing and create a new purse or an awesome scarf for your best friend.’  Or, if you have lots of old clothes lying around, use them to create a new wallet or backpack or even a new shirt.’  Or, how about a gift for your guy friend who likes metal studded belts? You can create one yourself with a simple belt and some metal bolts that you have in your garage. Your friends will appreciate the gift because it is one of a kind and comes from you! There are thousands of craft project ideas online and in your local library.’  And, they don’t take that long to make!

Services in Kind: These are always excellent gifts for parents or siblings.’  Do your parents have certain chores that they don’t like doing? Make them coupons that they can submit to you for doing that chore.’  For example, a coupon for one trash takeout or for doing one load of laundry.’  Just that little bit of help would be appreciated by your parents.

Customized Gifts: Nothing is more special than a gift that is personalized for the person you are making it for. Create a scrapbook of pictures of you and your friends; put in quotes and memories about fun times you have had. Or, create a CD or an mp3 list of all your friend’s favorite songs. Create a custom bracelet or necklace with lettering or engraving. Anything that is specific to your relationship with your friend will be cherished.

Gathered’ Gifts: It is amazing what kinds of things you can find.’  Many stores offer coupons for services or food. Most of these’ can be found’ online and printed.’  You can create a coupon booklet of coupons you have gathered for all your friends’ favorite places or services. Also, don’t be afraid to go to the thrift store.’  There are some amazing gifts that you can find that are inexpensive and will be loved by your friends and family.

The Collected Basket Gift: One of my favorite things to make for friends when I have little or no money is a themed gift basket.’  For my female friends who love doing their nails, I might take a basket and put several bottles of inexpensive nail polish, some remover, a nail grooming kit, and some nail decals in it. For guys who love watching action movies at home, I might buy a movie, put in several bags of popcorn for popping, some of their favorite candy snacks and drinks. Many of these things we have around the house anyway because we spend time with our friends or enjoy them ourselves.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming.’  Just think about what you and your friends like to do and what you have at your fingertips to use.

About Krista McKenzie

I am a Children's Specialist at the Ruth Enlow Library in Garrett County, Maryland. I work with kids from the ages of 0 to 18 and am also a reference librarian. In addition, I am member of the YALSA Legislative Committee, and the Children's Services Division of the Maryland Library Association.
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One Comment

  1. Engraved Glassware

    Usually you can also find very good options online. From ecommerce websites to the shop website itself, many companies are already displaying their products so people can have a better idea and inspiration on what to give their beloved ones. My last buy was at Final Cut http://www.finalcut.com, an ecommerce website specializing in etched crystal, glass and marble. Last Christmas I gave my parents a personalized Christmas tree ornament made of glass with our family name written on it.There are many other options for all sorts of occasions at their website, so I recommend for those who are interested to take a look.

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