You spend all this time and effort on finding the perfect gift for your teen girl only to have her be embarrassed by the gift. Packaging and presentation is everything with a teen girl. It is to young, the wrong brand or just embarrassing for some unknown reason. This is a frustration every one would like to avoid so I have created a list of the do’s and don’ts of Christmas gift shopping for teen girls so you don’t embarrass them and I have added a few gift ideas to
NO UNDERCLOTHING. It does not matter if she was in the store with you, picked up some cute underwear and said “I love these, can I have them”. Underwear and bras are out as gifts, even if they are Christmas themed. Other then you pulling out that black mail photo of her as a baby in the nothings to show to everyone there is almost nothing else as embarrassing to a teen girl then to open up a box of underwear or a bra in front of family and friends. If you want to give her some nice underwear or even her first training bra, or her first real bra don’t wrap it up as a Christmas gift. Go to one of the nice bra shops in the area, get a gift card and give her that in a card. Make sure that it is a real undergarment shop that will measure her properly for a bra. The sales people should also explain to her what bras are best for her, not just trying to sell the most expensive one. Let her know that she can pick her bra or underwear. This is a cool adult gift, not a kid’s gift and she will know the difference even at thirteen.
You should not give her any shaving products ether. It can just be embarrassing to be reminded that she is changing. She may not want people to know she has started shaving. The Braun “soft perfection” or the Remington “smooth & silky ultra plus” shavers are great adult gifts, not so great teenage girl gifts.
Make sure the gift is age appropriate. So you both know she still collects dolls or still enjoys “kid” games and activities, but that does not mean she wants any one else to know. She is a teenager now and does not want to be seen as a child anymore, even if she is one. These means no “little girl” gifts even if you both know she likes them. If you are buying make up, don’t get it in the toy section any more. Get a make up kit or selection from the make up counter. If she still loves dolls, give her one that is a collectable.
She is going to be sensitive to the age on the packaging, the one that says for 8 and up. It does not matter that you need to be at least 8 to be able to play the game or make the craft. She may love making jewelry but if the packaging on the kit says for 8 and up all she sees is that it is for an 8 year old. Some times the pictures on the box is of young kids playing the game or doing the craft, again this gives the impression that it is for children. Solution, look at the packaging before buying, if it looks like a kids’ gift don’t get it. If it is a craft kit or project kit then find out what is in it and then buy that and put a kit together yourself. This makes it more of an adult gift and a lot of the time you can find a lot better selection then what was in the kit.
At the same time you don’t want to be giving her something that is too old. You don’t want to be giving her Granny jewelry, clothing or the gift baskets made up for older people. It is hard to know what is going to be seen as being to old. Rule of thumb, if you would give it to your Mom, then it probably is not a good teen girl gift.
Name brand important or not important? Clothing, you need to know if she just likes the style or is it the brand she wants. Peer pressure is tough on teen girls. If she has been begging for a pair of pants because every one else is wearing them, you need to know if it’s the brand that is important or the look of the pants. Even the best teenager in the world can sometimes feel embarrassed because they don’t have the name brand that is popular, but a different brand of clothing. Sure it is just as good, and some times just as expensive, but it is not what everyone else has. We all went through this as teens, we just have forgotten how important it is to fit in at that age. This is something that can be resolved by talking with her before buying. Or the universal solution, a gift card so she can pick out what she wants.
Jewelry avoid plastic and costume and give her an adult piece of jewelry like a sterling silver chain with a nice pendant, maybe with her birthstone. A nice necklace with glass beads is also a good choice as long as it does not look like some thing for a little girl. Look for pieces that are advertised on teens or adults. Go with real stones not glass or plastic in rings, necklace pendants and earrings. You can often find some very nice sterling silver pieces that are in the same price range as some of the kids costume jewelry. When looking at a piece of jewelry ask yourself, would an adult wear this. If the answer is no, don’t buy it.
Sometimes even getting her what she wants can embarrass her. That music group she is always listening to may be seen as a kid’s band, not a teen band. So you go out and get her the poster or CD and then she is embarrassed when she opens it up. She may love the gift but is embarrassed because other people now know she listens to them. This one is very difficult to gage as you don’t actually know she does not want other people to know she likes that group, TV show, game or collects Yugioh cards, dolls, or my little ponies still.
On the other hand there are some things out there that I would never think to give to a teenage girl because they are definitely marketed to little girls. I have seen many teen girls with Dora backpacks on the bus. Some how, in this area at least, Dora is in with the teen girls. There are just some items or themes that seem to cross over from childhood to adulthood. It is still cool to like fairies, Winnie the Poo, Tigger, Piglet and other characters even when you are a teen.
When in doubt give her neutral gift and gift cards so she can buy what she loves when no one is around. Here are a couple of neutral gift ideas.
MP3 or MP 4 player or iPod or accessories for them like a docking station, portable speakers, iDog, iPod speaker lamp, iLounger Chair - Pink.
Digital camera and digital picture frame
Portable DVD player
LeadSinger Wireless Remote Duet Microphone for Karaoke
Hair styling products like a straightener iron or curling iron
A purse or bag that is marketed to adults, even if it is pink or cute it should be in the tenor adult section of a store. It should not be made of plastic.
Toys and games marketed to teens and adults like Scattergories, Pictionary, Taboo, Scene it and all its variations, touché, Hannah Montana DVD Game, CSI Crimescene Investigations, 1 vs. 100 Electronic Tabletop Game, Park & Sun CLUE DVD Game, Anti-Monopoly Board Game, or the deal or no deal electronic game.
Make up and perfume packaged and marketed to teens and adults like the cosmetic pleather train case make up kit for $14.98 at Wal-Mart. The top model blockbuster gift set is out, but the beauty by design blockbuster gift set is great. They are both $19.98 at Wal-Mart, they are both make up but the packaging is way different.
Jewelry such as the secret treasures boxed watch gift sets. They come in a jewelry box, and she gets a watch and matching pendant for $19.92 at Wal-Mart.
Craft and art supplies. If you know what she likes then just buy the “raw” materials she uses. Kits can still be a good gift as long as it is not being marketed to children. You can buy bags of assorted glass bead, wire and tools needed to make jewelry, or all the paper, stickers, pens, and glitter stuff used for scrapbooking and make up your own gift kit. Though the Girl Crush Jewelry Maker seems to be marketed to teen girls.
Gift cards and gift certificates make things easy. You can let her pick out what she wants. You can even give her a specific gift using a gift card. Things like a teen make over day, or spa treatment, or let her take her friends (or boyfriend) out for a nice dinner. Gift cards open up a lot of options and can prevent embarrassment. They are just not as fun as unwrapping an actual “gift” that you can use or play with right then.
Written by: Lori-Lee Craig