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Figuring out what to get a teenager for Christmas can be a real head scratcher. But this list of tried and true ideas from a mom of 4 teens makes it easy.

It’s hard to believe it, but that little boy you used to snuggle with has grown into a tall teenager!

Where does the time go?

Of course you want to get him the perfect gift. Something that shows how much you love him.

But how can you manage that?

He hardly wants anything at all.  And the few ideas you’ve managed to wiggle out of him are well above your budget.

What do you get a teenager for Christmas?

It’s a tough task…but not an impossible one!

Let’s explore a few ideas that are just right for your beloved teen this year. 

(If you can’t tell, I have 3 teenage boys and a teen girl of my own. And these are the gifts my kids and their friends want the most.)

What To Get A Teenager For Christmas

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Tech Gift Ideas

Technology is an obvious first stop, since most teenagers are obsessed with it.

Non Smart Phone

Maybe your teen is “the only person on Earth” who doesn’t have a smart phone.

The truth is, more and more parents are looking for old flip phones for their kids…even teens.

(It’s just too easy to get in trouble when you have unlimited internet access.)

The good news is that you can get your child a Gabb phone… with no access to the internet.  It allows phone calls and texts.  You can even decide if they can text photos or not.

And best of all (for them), it looks like a smart phone.  So your child doesn’t have to be embarrassed about using it.

Get your Gabb phone and/or watch here.

Another option for parents who are thinking about getting their kids a smart phone is to subscribe to Bark.

Bark is our favorite way to keep tabs on our kids without constantly grabbing their phone to read through every message.


One of the most requested gaming systems is the Nintendo Switch.

You can get it along with the super popular game, Animal Crossing (games usually cost $60) here.

Or grab it from Walmart for the same price.

(These have been really hard to find lately, so make sure you grab it when you see it in stock!)

OR if you think that’s just too much money to spend, the Switch Lite does nearly everything the Switch can do at $100 less.

Popular Switch Games, According To Teenagers

Splatoon 2, Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield, Mario 3D All Stars, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Mario Maker 2, Animal Crossing New Horizons

Affordable Techy Ideas


Wireless Earbuds

Portable Power Bank

Bluetooth beanie

Sporty teens will love this fitness tracker watch.

Non Tech Gift Ideas for Teens

Honestly, I think some of us are just “tech-ed” out.  These things to get teens are good for people who would like to see more of their face. 😉


Every teen wants a strip of these lights for their bedroom.  

This set of lights is bluetooth and can run with their favorite music!

Funky Socks

Always fun!

Here are a few fun sock styles:

New Shoes

Vans are popular.


Sporty and non-sporty kids alike seem to like skateboards.


Finally, these kids are old enough to enjoy getting clothes!

Here are some ideas:

Passes To Fun

kids at Cedar Point

Why not get them a pass for roller coasters near you?

How about tokens for the batting cages?

Or some time at a local basketball court?

You could also try:

  • movie tickets
  • escape rooms
  • skiing
  • ice skating
  • roller skating
  • car racing

It’s A Blanket!  It’s A Hoodie!  It’s…

…a Catalonia oversized sherpa hoodie!

If you have a teen who likes to walk around the house wrapped up in a blanket (like I do), this is the perfect warm and comfy gift!

For The American Ninja Warrior Fan

You’re not going to turn your couch potato into a ninja with this gift.

But if your teen loves the idea of making it on one of those reality shows of obstacle courses, give them the chance to try their own!

This backyard obstacle course is a great gift kids who like to move!



Hydro Flasks might be pricey, but they’re still all the rage.

A Yeti is great for the guy who wants to take his coffee to school.

axolotl stickers

And don’t forget the stickers.


Get them a CD… if you want to teach them a history lesson about music. (My poor Gen X heart!)

These days they probably want a subscription to a service.  This article has a good breakdown of options.

Activity Books

dot to dot

Not just for little guys anymore. Lots of teens find these things soothing.

Try an intricate dot to dot book.

Or a fun sticker puzzle book (pay attention to the little details!).

New Drivers

lego car

Teen drivers are always happy to get things for their cars.

Try these ideas:

Yes, you can actually make your teen happy with a real gift this year!

Any of these teen gift ideas will make them come out of their rooms for the holiday this year.

By the way, if that teen has been looking for ways to earn some extra cash, send them this list of ways to earn money for teenagers.

What awesome gift for a teenager was a hit at your house?