One of the trickiest groups of people to buy for at Christmas has to be older children, who have got to an age where they know what they want and aren't impressed anymore just because it's shiny or makes a funny noise. Once they reach their teens, all they seem to want is tech, tech, tech. Or, clothes with labels that defy the laws of punctuation and grammar. If it's not designer, expensive, or in constant need of charging, it's not going to cut the mustard. Money is sometimes tight, though, so we've put together a list of alternative gifts, that replace the obvious with the imaginative. Because, sometimes, the best gift is one you didn't even know you wanted.
This post contains a mixture of items we've been sent, and some we've bought ourselves, and contains affiliate links.
Firstly, I would like to introduce the camera we use to make our Youtube videos. Yes, in an ideal world, we would love a GoPro, or a swanky DSLR, but we don't get paid enough for that, so this little guy does the job. The Intempo Action Camera costs an impressively paltry £29.99 and it really isn't bad quality. I've found that, with video and still photography, a lot of the issues can be resolved by investing in good lighting and better backgrounds, so you don't need to spend the earth on a posh camera, if you don't mind spending a bit of time getting the details right yourself. What's even more surprising with this little camera, is that you get a wealth of accessories to enhance your videos and photography, including a waterproof housing, and look how tiny it is!
If you do know a teenager who enjoys making their own videos, or even taking a lot of selfies, I highly recommend this gadget. We bought it recently and wonder how we ever managed without it. The Articulating Magic Friction Arm has an absolute wealth of different uses. If you are filming outside, you can attach it to anything, like a tree branch, or the inside of a car, which is especially useful if you are filming on your own, or your cameraman is a bit short. It also doubles as a selfie stick and is really handy if you want to video something from above, such as your hands in a craft or cooking video.
This next choice is one for the girls. There is one thing that beats 'designer' hands down, and that's unique and exclusive. `I was given a free voucher to try out a jewellery website, Diwah.com, which has a really inspired difference. You can design your own pieces of jewellery, using a huge selection of different trinkets and semi-precious stones. I found the whole process really fun to do. You can choose the chain, colour and length, the style of your gems and even the type of clasp to hold it all together. However, if you are not feeling particularly creative, there are many examples of finished articles that you can simply edit. Adding, removing or changing the beads, to make your own special piece, which is bound to delight any young jewellery lover. They even do gift vouchers, for the ultra-picky. Here is the necklace I created, which took about an hour and cost just £29. Not bad for something that is the only example of its kind in the world.
This next item comes from the people who created The Book of Everyone, who we worked with last year. They were really keen to show off their hilarious new creation, so they sent us one to have a look at. I originally intended to pop it in the Children's Gift Guide, but my friend Lynn, from A Slice of Lemon's Cake, assured me her 14 year old would love it and I know I would have at that age. It's called Wise Words From... and is packed full of sage advice, such as; 'If you want a kitten, start by asking for a horse'. All of which is customisable and can be swapped around or even substituted for your own pearls of wisdom. It makes an exceptionally amusing read and I thought it would be a really fun gift to receive from an aunt or uncle, or even an older sibling.
One of the biggest issues that teenagers face is waking up in time for school. No one knows exactly why, but rarely do teenagers appreciate mornings. So, you could be doing your teenage relative a massive favour with this gift. The Bodyclock Starter from Lumie is an introduction to the world of waking with light. It provides a gradual light designed to simulate a natural sunrise. Over a programmed period of time, this convinces your body to ease production of sleep hormones, and increase waking hormones, such as cortisol, providing a more instictive wake up that is far more appealing as an alarm clock than a screaming parent! It also offers a dimmable bedside light and a fading sunset feature for preparing for sleep, which could be invaluable during the stressful GCSE years.
Up to this point, all the suggestions have been lower priced, but I really wanted to include this one. The TrulyClear2, from True Company might not be cheap, but it does a few different jobs, which makes it worth considering for the beauty-conscious teenager, particularly if you have been considering an at-home treatment for a specific skin issue. The system uses light therapy to tackle a range of different skin problems and provides an all-round beauty treatment experience. Unlike some similar products, it gives you the option of different coloured light therapies, depending on the skin type, and also offers cleansing and massaging options. I have used it myself and, although it's too early to say what the eventual results will be, it's really easy to use and provides a lovely, relaxing experience.
I hope you like our ideas and, whatever you decide to settle on, I hope you find the perfect gift for all your teens this Christmas!