If your holiday shopping list is a giant question mark when it comes to what to get the teenagers in your life, you're not alone. It's well-known that teens are impossible to buy for, so we rose to the challenge and scoured the internet in search of gifts for the most difficult people on your list. And guess what? We found so many good ones — and none of them are gift cards.
Read on for our favourite holiday picks for the young adults in your life.
1. Arborist Provincial Toque
Perfect for the teen who plans to travel out-of-province for university, these provincial toques allow them to take a piece of home with them.
Where to get it: Drake General Store, $29.95
2. HP Sprocket Photo Printer
We're all guilty of it — taking a million photos only to have them sit on your phone or your external hard drive, never again to see the light of day. Give your junior photographer the ability to print images directly from their phones and photo sharing apps with the Sprocket Photo Printer by HP. We love that the printer uses ZINK (zero ink) technology so you don't have to worry about pesky cartridges.
Where to get it: Walmart, $159. 98
3. Scratch Off World Map
Your frequent flier will appreciate being able to log their travels on this scratch-off map of the world. Gently scratching off the surface reveals brilliantly coloured countries underneath. As North Americans, we really love this particular map because the Canadian provinces and territories, as well as the U.S. states, are individually outlined.
Where to get it: Amazon, $41.98
4. Crazy Aaron's Liquid Glass Thinking Putty
In a throwback to the days before Fidget Spinners existed, we're putting Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty in our teen's stockings this Christmas. But rest assured, this crystal clear putty is way more technologically advanced than the stuff we used to transfer comics with when we were kids. When left to its own devices it will flow into a puddle, and when handled, it turns cloudy. It only becomes completely transparent again when it's no longer in use.
Where to get it: Mastermind Toys, $19.99
5. Jane Austen Socks
If you've got a Pride and Prejudice fan in your house, then these literary-inspired socks are a must!
Where to get it: Uncommon Goods, $11.51
6. DIY Macrame Kit
The crafty teen on your list will love this kit that comes with everything they need to make a retro-inspired macramé plant holder. Plus, it's available in a selection of contemporary colours.
Where to get it: Etsy, $42.50
7. Fjällräven Kanken Backpack
Up the ante with their school gear this winter with a sturdy, streamlined backpack by Fjällräven. The iconic Kanken pack comes in a number of colour combinations and your kid will appreciate its details, like the removable seating pad in the back pocket when it comes time to pile on the bleachers at the next school game.
Where to get it: Fjällräven Canada, $94.99
8. Polar Piece Onesie
They're never too old for a onesie, and you can prove it by wrapping up a jumpsuit by Canadian company Polar Piece for your comfort-loving teen this holiday season. All of their clothing is 100 per cent made in Canada, and their signature jumpsuits are available in both kid and adult sizes.
Where to get it: Polar Piece, $159
9. Renegades by Marissa Meyer
No holiday is complete without receiving a great new page-turner. Add the latest by bestselling author Marissa Meyer to your teen's stocking for a gift they won't want to put down.
Where to get it: Amazon, $19.30
10. Girl Power Mittens
These cozy mittens will serve as a daily reminder to your girl that there are no limits to what she can do.
Where to get it: Simons, $29
11. Champion Hoodie Sweatshirt
Unless your head is buried in the sand, you know that Champion has made a huge comeback, making the classic sweatshirts as popular now as they were in the '90s when we wore them. Your teenage kid likely really "needs" one for Christmas.
Where to get it: Urban Outfitters, $74
12. Magic Sequin Journal
Speaking of trends, two-way Magic Sequins are huge right now, so this journal is sure to be a hit! Swiping the sequins up and down to change their colour is highly addictive.
Where to get it: Chapters/Indigo, $19.95
13. Nintendo Switch Console with Super Mario Odyssey
This one's a splurge, but if you came of age during the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES era, you might feel inclined to let your teen in on the excitement of conquering Bowser on the company's latest console.
Where to get it: Best Buy, $499.99
14. Peace & Love Earrings
Help your teen spread more of the good stuff around with these fun earrings featuring hands making the signs for "peace" and "love."
Where to get it: Uncommon Goods, $25.62
15. Build Your Own Pinball Game
They'll be the hit of his dorm with this mini, elastic band-powered pinball machine. And while they might not admit it, your kid will love tapping into their childhood days to customize it with ramps and obstacles.
Where to get it: Uncommon Goods, $63.97
16. Unicorn Pencil Holder
A fun addition to your teen's bedroom décor. We're smitten with this fun holder complete with a rainbow selection of pencil crayons (making up the horn).
Where to get it: Well.ca, $24.48
17. Lego Boost
Lego Boost is equal parts toy and technical feat — perfect for the younger or preteens on your list who still appreciate a good old-fashioned surprise from Santa. The new release from Lego lets your budding engineer or developer build their very own talking robot and write code to control its behaviour.
Where to get it: Chapters/Indigo, $199.99
18. Lumee Two Case
Ensure their selfie game is always strong by stuffing the Lumee Two Case in their stocking. Developed by a professional photographer, the case features a built-in LED light that always casts a subject in flattering, picture-perfect lighting.
Where to get it: Chapters/Indigo, $69.95
19. Lush Cosmetics Intergalactic Bath Bomb
Pamper them with this fun, mint-scented bath bomb that fills the tub with a current of pastel colours and sparkles.
Where to get it: Lush, $7.95
20. Personalized Amp Doormat
This amp doormat is perfect for your musical teen's dorm room or even their bedroom at home. But the thing that makes this gift really fun is that it can be personalized with your family name in the iconic "Fender" script.
Where to get it: Uncommon Goods, $44.59
21. Pandora Silver Stackable Ring
They'll love this sweet bow ring that can be worn on its own or stacked with the rest of their ring collection.
Where to get it: Pandora, $70
22. F in Exams by Richard Benson
Being a teenager is no joke and the added pressure to do well in school can be overwhelming. Remind them that mistakes are a part of life by slipping this hilarious account of test answers gone wrong under the tree.
Where to get it: Chapters/Indigo, $11.87
23. Apple AirPods
Never having to untangle the finicky cords on their earbuds again might be the best gift they get. These wireless earbuds by Apple are also a great gift for athletes who listen to music or podcasts while they train.
Where to get it: Apple, $219
24. Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker
This one is really a gift for parents tasked with getting their teen up and out the door each morning. The Sonic Bomb alarm clock is so loud it will demand your sleepy kid's attention, but our favourite feature is the "bed shaker" attachment that can be slipped under their mattress to literally shake them awake (when you've given up).
Where to get it: Amazon, $39.99
25. Amped & Co. Peace Sign Neon Light
Take your teenager's bedroom from drab to fab with the addition of this cool neon sign.
Where to get it: Drake General Store, $85
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