Friday, December 21, 2012

What *Not* To Get Your Teen For Christmas


Here are a few suggestions about shopping for teenagers for Christmas.
1) If you get your child a car, get a used car in good condition rather than a fancy new model. I say this because a lot of teenagers are just learning to drive and are thus more likely to get into wrecks; it's a lot less expensive to fix and insure a used car than a new one. Even good kids like I was might still lack the control to handle some of the bigger, more powerful vehicles out there. My father fixed up one of my grandmother's old cars for me and my sister, and that was more than enough.
2) Don't spend a lot of money on the latest fads when it comes to clothes. With our luck, what is 'in' now will be out by the time they open their presents. That, and sizes can fits can vary among brands. What my parents used to do to solve this problem is to give us the money they would have spent on clothes for us-usually about $100-$200-and let us buy them ourselves. That way, we would know that what we got fit and looked good on us. If they didn't, we only had ourselves to blame. :) To be honest, half the fun was had in going out shopping with my sister and friends. You can't put that in a box!
3) Ditto the latest technology, at least sometimes. It's fine to get your kids an iPod or something like that, but it can get expensive if you have a child who insists on having the 'latest thing' even if what they already have still works.  Also, sometimes updates to operating systems or software are put out before the all bugs are worked out.  If you get your teenager something technological, get them something like an iPod or tablet that can easily be upgraded. After that, tell them they're on their own when it comes to apps and updates. Kids tend to find ways to keep using what they already have if they know that they'd have to pay for 'a new one'!
4) Don't buy your teen an exotic pet unless you've talked about it before and know that it's not a 'passing fancy'. I suppose you can think of pets in the same way as clothes and technology-sometimes a teen's tastes change so quickly that, by the time the gift is opened, they won't be interested anymore. My sister had a progression of rats (no, not hamsters, actual rats) that she cared for very well. I, on the other hand, would not have been as diligent because I had no attention span and was way too busy to even take care of a fish, let alone a rat! Once the 'novelty' wears off, the pet is left on its own, which isn't fair to the pet.

5) Gift cards are your friend. This is especially true when you find gift cards for online stores such as Amazon or iTunes. That way, they can load up their iPods or other devices with all the songs and apps they like without having to put forth a lot of money.

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