sur la table

Gifts for Teens and Tweens – so very challenging

I am writing this post after spending several hours (yes, hours) at the Natick Mall (the words Natick Collection never crossed my lips, glad they changed the name back) in Tween/Teenland. Why? I did it for you, dear reader, so that you may go forth unscathed by pounding music in overly scented and dimly lit stores (really, Hollister?). You are welcome and, thank you, my headache is better now, a full day later. Once your children are past the princess and Lego stage (you only wish it were over if you are still in it), you are required to really work at finding presents that meet your value system (supposing you haven’t bailed on your value system after those years of princesses and Legos), are age appropriate and are what your teen/tween wants. So what to do? Well, I am sure you have an idea about your own teen or tween but what about that tough-to-buy-for niece or nephew? Here are just a few ideas to help you out…

You can go full court press on electronics, Apple, Wii, Xbox and then get all of the games…

panasonic headphones at urban outfitters find by capability mom blog
Urban Outfitters

Uggs are still a wanted item

So what are the hot teen stores? Start at Forever 21 for inexpensive, well, everything. There are $10 jeans in the sale room, $6-10 t-shirts scattered throughout the store, and tons of  scarves, hats, mittens, socks – all so inexpensive and cute. The store in Natick is massive and has separate accessories area. You can get lost in there, well, I did. Got out in time to check out 344 (the outlet and regular store). Cute tanks in bright colors, Converse sneakers, great  feather earrings. On to Urban Outfitters for more great ideas – for girls – great skimmers, terrific basic tees (that I can even still wear, ahem, yes) and fun stocking stuffers, plaid shirts and hats for the guys.

capability mom blog finds cute graphic tees at deliasWhere to next? Delias for cute graphic tees and American Eagle Outfitters  for shirts and jeans – looks like everything is 40% off now, too. More stops, well, we did have lunch at that cute sushi place called Wasabi (it is a chain and has the bonus of serving the food on a conveyor belt for your entertainment – don’t worry – the food is tagged with sensors to tell the kitchen how long it has been out. A nice break and it was good to sit down for a bit. There is more! A quick look in Williams Sonoma and Sur la Table for me…I am looking for a 9 quart cast iron french (dutch? same thing?)  oven that doesn’t cost as much as my first car.

Yes, I went into the dimly-lit, over-perfumed and poundingly loud Hollister (sort of a college bar but without the alcohol). I know I am old but I could not hear even when I got out of the store. Honestly, you have to yell to be heard over the music. Well, that was my tipping point so I headed home to order books (quietly) on-line from Amazon (I had already been by the New England Mobile Book Fair and picked up a bunch there).

Steven Saylor

Rebecca Stead

If you want to do good and give a gift, pick a charity and donate in your teen’s name – there is no shortage of organizations – here are a few:

Heifer International

World Wildlife Fund

The Water Project

Not enough ideas? Head on over to Cool Mom Picks – They have a wonderful gift giving guide.

Best Hostess Gifts – Day 7 of The 12 Days of Shopping

Anne Taintor napkins, coasters, magnets, capability mom loves them allI love finding great hostess gifts, really. It’s fun and easy to create a signature gift. Anything Anne Taintor is fabulous.

Why Whine:

There is the favorite I-don’t-know-what-to-bring-or-even-if-this-is-decent-because-I-am-re-gifting-it bottle of wine – it is what you do with it. The Dollar Spot in Target is filled with great wrapping paper, cello and gift bags. anthropologie and sur la table dishtowels from capability mom Deliver the wine with a bow or personalize it with your own art work (get out the Mod Podge!), ribbons or ornaments. I keep a stash of Target ornaments and papers that I use for package decorations. Affix the tag to ribbon or write your message on the package.

Let’s Dish:

I also pick up pretty dishtowels throughout the year, holiday themed or not, you can use them as wrapping paper for wine, baked goods or tuck them into a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon and the dry ingredients and recipe for your favorite holiday treats.

Chow Down:
Choccapability mom finds the best chocolate gift - and they are mice LA Burdickolate is always a favorite and you don’t have to spend a lot but feel free to upgrade, you can also go higher end both container and chocolate to make it even more special. I have found great containers at Target, Marshall’s, T.J. Max, Home Goods and The Container Store. The best chocolate (both in presentation and taste) I ever received was from this company, L.A. Burdick, and I may have eaten this box by myself, maybe.
Plant an Idea:
Prarosemary tree from Whole Foods Market by Capability Mom Bloggmatic Mom likes to give a lemon cypress or a rosemary tree. I got one last year that I didn’t kill kept alive for three months finally succumbed to my inattention. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both have them for under $10. You could decorate it with little tiny presents or bows but they are gorgeous as is, smell terrific and you can tuck a favorite rosemary recipe in the card.

Spice It Up:

This is an item that I have long coveted – Dean & Deluca’s Spice rack. Cool, modern and a little geeky, which I love, of course. capability mom has long coveted this spice rack from dean and delucaIt is on the splurge side, so if you want to do this less expensively, pick up nice spices at your favorite local place like Sofra Bakery or you could head to Target for this cool Trudeau 16-bottle spice rack – $31.99. Still not what you are looking for? The Cheese Shop in Wellesley has spectacular food gifts and makes the best gift baskets. Also try Formaggio Kitchen – great cheese, chocolates and more in Cambridge and Hi-Rise Bakery – also Cambridge – for their own jams and a nice selection of wines (they package everything beautifully). Still not what you are looking for? Try Uncommon Goods, Black Ink or Just Next Door.

I almost forgot one of my favorite holiday haunts…Fastachi in Watertown – homemade chocolates, roasted nuts, specialty candy and nut butter (try the almond) – all prettily packaged, fresh and delicious.

%d bloggers like this: