By Melissa Kinsley

Let’s face it—buying gifts for teens/tweens can make any mom as surly and emotional as her teenage daughter. That twitch in your eyelid is not just caused by the simple fact that she has become incredibly picky and difficult to please. It also stems from the sheer fact that your huge outlay of cash is disproportionate to the number of packages under the tree. It’s enough to make you long for the days when she ignored your gift and played with the wrapping paper it came in.

To overcome that “reindeer in headlights” feeling, here are a few teen/tween gift ideas that cross a lot of categories and a wide range of prices:

Gadgets & Techie Stuff

Let’s just rip that band-aid off and start with the really high priced ticket items. Any gift with an apple on it is sure to get a “like” from your teen/tween.

iPhone 5
Get Face Time and Suri for $199 plus monthly cell fees.

iPad Mini
Just like it’s bigger brother but you can hold it in one hand. Although, for something that starts at $329 (Wi-Fi, 16 GB) and goes for as much as $659 (Wi-Fi, Cellular, 64 GB), I want my daughter to hold onto it with both hands. Firmly.

Music to Their Ears

If you know what bands your teen listens to, get him/her the latest CD or concert tickets. If you have no idea what they listen to, get them an iTunes card to download their favorites.Or, you can get them something to help amplify their music:

Gramophone Docking Station
“In a playful nod to the past, (the) docking station features the flared brass horn of a turn-of-the-century gramophone.” You can get one on sale for $129 at Pottery Barn or a larger one for $249 at Restoration Hardware.

Uncommon Goods has a lot to choose from all under $100. Choose from portable magnetic speakers for $24, mini wooden speaker for $45, earthblock speakers for $70 or, the hippest in my daughter’s opinion, the balloon speaker for $45.

Uncommon Goods has crocheted ones for $38-$40, or you can get your sports enthusiast head phones from Skull Candy that feature his/her favorite collegiate, NBA or NFL team for $35.95 to $299.95.

Graphic Tees

Graphic tees are always a favorite in my house. They range in price from under $15 to about $25 depending on where you get them. My daughter loves Delia’s . For the guy in your life, try or  Old Navy.

Fun Shaped Lamps

Why settle for a light that simply sits on your desk or dresser when you can get a light that decorates your room? PB Teen has bulldogs, dauschunds and flying pigs to name a few for $49-$79. Or, get Uncommon Goods’ Gummy Bears for $28.

Fun Reads

According to, Life of Pi is the best seller for teens. Mocking Jay (the final book in The Hunger Games series) is #2 and TheHobbit is #3. For the top 20 “must reads” for teens, here’s a link to Amazon.

Just for Giggles

And last but definitely not least these gift ideas made me, well, giggle.
Jelly Belly
Yes, jellybeans can be funny especially if they are BeanBoozled®. While the beans may look the same, the flavors vary drastically—Top Banana or Pencil Shavings, Peach or Barf, Coconut or Baby Wipes. For a full list of flavors, check out this link.

Facemugs from Uncommon Goods
Why hold your cookies in your hand, when you can put them in the mouth of this mug?

Shower Squid
Want to put all of personal hygiene products in one easy to reach place?  Get the shower squid from Uncommon Goods to at for $35 for your shampoo, soap and conditioner.

F in Exams
Also from Uncommon Goods for $8.50 “this hilarious book of wrong answers, celebrate(es) the creative side of failure with 250 true life responses to common test questions from grade school through high school.”

Hopefully, you found something for the teen/tween in your house and reduced your holiday induced stress.  If not, there’s always the holiday cocktail.

Related Archived Gift Posts:

Holiday Gifts for Teens and Tweens
20 Holiday Gift Ideas under $20
Personalized Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids and Teens
Holiday Gifts for the Men in Your Life
Holiday Gifts for Tweens & Teens
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