Think back to when they were running around in their nappies at two years old, when the worst they could do was wet the bed or throw a tantrum in Tesco. At the time, you may have silently cursed that you can’t wait for them to get that bit older, where you could achieve a greater level of understanding. Now, your son is probably more mysterious than ever.
They’re moody but they won’t say why. They only communicate in grunts, yet wonder why nobody understands them. They spend a lot of their time swearing at the Playstation in anger, yet go back for more the next day. And manners that you ingrained into them as small children are as rare in appearance as a spotless bedroom.
But, despite being at your wit’s end, you love them more than anything else in the world, and while they may be set on being a Grinch this Christmas, you know deep down that really, they’re still excited to receive their presents from Father Christmas.
Whether they’re into gaming, reading or foam firepower, it’s hard to know what they’ll appreciate. Whatever you buy them, you don’t want to find it broken and chucked under the bed several months down the line. Luckily, if you’re finding it hard to draw out what they really want for Christmas this year, we’ve come up with some ideas that will go down a treat!
1. Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System
Retro gaming has made a comeback in recent months and Nintendo leads them all
Best for: Family gaming | Type: Games console | Educational: No | Power type: Mains
With 30 games built in, this Nintendo Classic Mini guarantees to provide hours of entertainment. Forget Call of Duty and other games that you frown at every time you walk into their room, these cartoon classics such as Super Mario and PAC-MAN won’t fail to be a hit. Plus, they're seriously addictive - perfect for keeping the others quiet while you get on with cooking Christmas dinner. While the games are a throwback to the 80s, the console has been flung into the future with USB and HDMI ports to give users a modern gaming experience- making at a fantastic all-rounder and worthy of our top position.
2. Star Wars Gifts Millennium Falcon USB LED Night Light
They’re never too old for a bedside light and this one is the coolest of the lot
Best for: Lighting | Type: Light | Educational: No | Power type: Mains
If they’re looking for ways to make their room look more like a man-cave than their childhood bedroom, this lamp will make a fantastic addition. It’s a well-known fact that Star Wars fans are loyal, so this one is likely to see them through the years and may even give them kudos points once they’ve left home and are flat-sharing, at university or otherwise. With 9 colour modes to choose from, it could even become an indicator for their mood: red for angry, purple for moody, yellow for happy - you catch our drift.
3. NERF Modulus Regulator
The perfect gift for younger teenagers
Best for: Real action games | Type: NERF gun | Educational: No | Power type: 4 C batteries, not included
You may have bought them NERF guns before but now that they've hit their teens, it’s time to step it up a gear. Get them outside with their mates and running around. They can use their imagination to invent missions, decide who’s the hero and who’s the enemy, and build fortresses. In addition to the gun itself, your son could purchase customisation kits with their pocket money in the future, so they can build the gun to fire and operate exactly as they wish. With exciting features like single, multiple and constant fire, this gun is sure to be a hit.
4. SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker
Taking water from flat to fizz in seconds, the SodaStream makes mealtimes more exciting
Best for: Making fizzy drinks | Type: Carbonating device | Educational: No | Power type: None
If you’re fed up of them coming in with cans of Coke every day, even though you’ve told them that it does their skin no good, this could be a great buy. While switching their favourite sugary drink for a measly glass of squash may not go down well, they can make it far more exciting by pumping it with bubbles. You could even buy them syrups so they can make their own sugary drinks on occasion. And, between you and us - imagine what you could do with a bottle of wine...
5. NIGHTMATCH Light Up Football
A great buy to encourage them outside on darker evenings
Best for: Exercise | Type: Football | Educational: No | Power type: None
When it’s getting dark outside, the allure just isn’t there to go out and play. Or, if they’re already outside playing, then the sun going down early means they’ll no longer be able to play football effectively. Now, with this light up football, they can go calling on their mates after school, ball in hand, knowing that they will be able to see it clearly as they kick it up and down the green. Made from sturdy materials, it isn’t the kind of ball you'd pick up for pennies from the beach shop. With pump and additional batteries included, it’s all set to go as soon as it's been unwrapped.
6. Kindle Paperwhite
Speedy reader or slow and steady, a Kindle is a great one for their present stash
Best for: Reading | Type: Kindle | Educational: No | Power type: Rechargeable battery
If your teenager is a bit of bookworm, then the Kindle Paperwhite will prove popular. Amazon is saying it’s their clearest screen to date and as pristine as reading off the page of a brand new book. With access to an endless library, your teenager can use their pocket money to purchase that latest YA release much more cheaply than if they were to go to the local WHSmiths. With features that will help them to have a greater understanding of language and words they may not recognise, the Kindle is great for improving reading ability too.
7. The Dangerous Book for Boys
Teaching all manner of ‘boy stuff’... including how to annoy your parents (sorry!)
Best for: Books | Type: Book | Educational: Yes | Power type: None
These days teenagers are generally more preoccupied with getting the next big video game rather than skimming stones across water. But actually, there’s something really cool about the skills this book teaches them. From building tree-houses to telling stories of courage, this book could make them appreciate the big old world beyond their bedroom and even encourage more interaction between father and son. The next thing you know, they’ll be zipping around the cul-de-sac in their own homemade go-kart!
8. Beats EP On-Ear Headphones
Beats are all the rage, and for good reason too - the sound quality is pretty good!
Best for: Music | Type: Headphones | Educational: No | Power type: Wired
If you’re tired of the house shaking while they listen to the latest club anthems up in their room, these headphones will benefit not just your teenager. With great quality acoustics, a deep bass to get the best out of that drop and softness for ultimate ear comfort, there’s no reason why these won’t get loads of use. Also handy is the RemoteTalk cable, which may come in useful when you need to call them down for their dinner.
9. Official Star Wars Jedi Master Bathrobe
Turn them into a true Jedi master with this awesome dressing gown
Best for: Clothing | Type: Dressing gown | Educational: No | Power type: None
If your teenager is a Star Wars fan, you may be able to prise them out of bed with this Jedi master robe. In fact, this dressing gown is for Chewbacca fans specifically, with awesome detail like his signature utility belt included. With pockets perfectly sized for them to sneak downstairs and stuff them with bags of crisps, we wouldn’t be surprised if they went into full hibernation mode upon receiving this novelty robe.
For a gift that'll put you firmly in 'cool adult' territory, why not check out our list of the best portable speakers?