With the holidays right around the corner, parents and friends are always in search of the right present to gift to their teenage kids or peers. Gift-giving is truly a struggle, but when done well, the act can create stronger relationships.


Why gift-giving is an important love language

Did you know that there are different love languages? In the book “The 5 Love Languages,” author Dr. Gary Chapman puts into perspective the different ways in which people express and receive love: physical touch, quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, and gift-giving. The one love language that definitely catches our attention during the holiday season is gift-giving. 

AISB Counselor Ms. Vera, who specializes in the way people communicate in relationships, explains that “Gift-giving is really a way to communicate that you care about someone and that you take into consideration what you know about that person, how well you know them, and what you think they personally enjoy.”

As a gift-giver, you really put time and effort into your relationships and you’re able to think about how you truly appreciate the bond that you have created between each other. While as the receiver of the gift, you know that someone has taken the time to think about you and wants to express that they genuinely care about you.

But the actual true significance doesn’t just come from the gift itself, but from the gesture you perform when simply thanking someone through an act of kindness, “an universal expression of affection.”

It’s not an essential act of love, but during the holidays, it reinforces that you have a relationship worth celebrating. Ms. Vera adds that, even if it’s something small like a note or a piece of chocolate, “When you receive a gift you feel a warmth that you can feel in your heart, and it just lifts your mood.” 

Now for the Gift Ideas

A happy 9th grade advisory, after a holiday gift exchange.

Now that we know how important gift-giving can be, let’s look at some of the most-requested presents among AISB high schoolers. (Please note that prices greatly vary, so choose what’s in your budget.)

1. Mini Fridge

A mini-fridge that can be stored in a teenager’s room gives them so many possibilities. It can be used for storing snacks, skincare, and drinks, in an easy-to-reach place.

2. Weighted Blanket

You may have not heard the term “weighted blanket” before, but it’s exactly what it sounds like: a heavy blanket that helps sleepers, especially people with anxiety, to stay in place and have a better sleep.

3. Portable Charger

This is an essential item for teenagers these days. And while it might not sound like the most creative gift, a portable charger prevents a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

4. Airpods/Bluetooth Headphones

Every teenager lives off of music, and earbuds are a perfect gift to give, because they’ll truly use them every day at home and at school. They are essential.

5. AirPods/Earbuds Case

An AirPods case lets you personalize the way your earbuds look so that you’ll never lose them or mix them up with other people’s. (Examples above.)

6. Bluetooth Speaker

While teenagers love to listen to their music with earbuds, we also love to blast music too—especially during Christmas time when all the festive songs are in style. I particularly love blaring “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey. A true classic.

7. Charging Hub

A charging dock that lets you charge all your devices at once: phone, smart watch, and bluetooth headphones.

8. Amazon Alexa

Have you ever heard of a smart home? Or a smart room? An Alexa allows you to connect your own lights in your room, and turn them on simply with one command: “Alexa,” making your life so much easier.

9. Gift Cards

Gift cards are the one present that gives someone the freedom to buy what they want. From restaurant gift cards to in-person and online stores, gift cards are always a safe option.

10. Nintendo Switch

After launching the first Nintendo in 1983, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) has come out with more and more consoles. The newest one, the Switch, lets you take your gaming console on the go while also enjoying unmissable games.

11. Polaroid Mini Printer

Instead of having to buy a polaroid camera and end up missing favorable memories while trying to get the perfect picture, having a mini printer lets you print any photo from your camera roll at any time and place.

12. Bathbombs

A burst of sudden rainbows in your bathtub…who wouldn’t want to see such a fascinating thing? Anyone who loves baths will like a pack of colorful bath bombs. I personally love the ones from Lush.

13. Useful Everyday Objects

A hairbrush, hair elastics, deodorant, a phone case, toothpaste, candy, small pieces of jewelry. There are always little things that people wouldn’t mind getting because they’re convenient freebies from other people instead of having to buy them on your own.

14. Shoes

While we’re still teenagers and our feet are continuing to grow (at least some of us), a pair of new shoes is something we’ll be able to appreciate every day, whatever we do. Sneakers are always appreciated, and brands like Vans are pretty popular among most teenagers right now.

15. Subscriptions

A yearly subscription to Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, Disney+, Amazon Prime, HBO, or any other online platform will make sure whoever you bought it for will think about you every time they watch a new movie or TV series.

16. Clothes

Every single person, no matter who they are, always needs more clothes. A hoodie, sweatpants, or jacket are perfect options for a cold winter like there is in Romania. And if you want to play it safe, loungewear is the way to go.

17. Sports Equipment

From sports clothes, new sports shoes, a smartwatch, and even a healthy assortment of snacks, a lot of these gifts will be appreciated by those of us who try to start the new year with healthy intentions.

18. Drone

Many of us are starting to travel again, and a drone, such as the DJI Mini 2 (pictured below) which is perfect for beginners, is the first step to taking incredible aerial shots.

19. Electric Scooter

There are many reasons why so many people are starting to use electric scooters as transportation. They’re pretty light-weight, convenient, and fun! And while there are many you can rent on the street, most teenagers would love to have their own.

20. Instruments

New hobbies are a great way to improve your mental health; and what better way to do it than learning how to play a new instrument? It could be anything from a small ukulele or a recorder, to a guitar, violin or a keyboard.


Hopefully this list helped you come up with some ideas for the special teenagers in your life. And if you have questions or additional present ideas, drop a comment below!

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