Holiday Giving for Teens in a Global Supply Crisis
The gift giving season for the holidays is in full swing. Unfortunately, many families are finding this year’s shopping to be more difficult than usual. The pandemic has caused inflation to climb and wreaked havoc on supply chains around the world. As a result, finding affordable gifts in time for the holidays will not be easy. Today’s blog offers some gift-giving tips that will bring a smile to your teen’s face without overspending or stressing over shortages.
Create a budget.
Try to remember that the point of gift-giving is to show our appreciation for that person. Putting ourselves in debt or trying to impress someone with how much we give them misses the point and will likely disappoint us. Instead, create a reasonable budget by writing down everyone on your gift-giving list, and setting a spending limit for each person. Consider possible gift ideas before you go shopping. Then force yourself to stick to the budget – if you overspend for one person, that means you must underspend for someone else.
Try second-hand shopping.
There’s no rule that says gifts have to be bought new. “Vintage” items are for trendy with teens currently, so use that to your advantage! Treasures are all around us in thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets, vintage boutiques, online resale sites and Buy Nothing groups. You can find really unique or gift-worthy items at prices well below retail. Consider your teen’s interests and consider whether an “antique” exists. For example, if your teen is a writer, consider getting an old-fashioned typewriter, or if your teen loves music, consider an old-fashioned turntable. Consider having a vintage clothing item altered to create a one-of-a-kind look.
In addition to saving money, you are helping our planet. Second-hand shopping reduces somewhat the movement of ‘stuff’ from one side of the world to the other and the extraction of natural resources required to produce new products. It also saves some items from landfills while they can still offer utility or joy.
Try making something yourself.
You can find instructions online for a variety of homemade gifts that are useful and meaningful. Consider these ideas:
- Create a DIY kit. If your teen likes making something (candles, hot sauces, cookies, etc.) get all the materials they need, print off some instructions off the internet, and put it together in one themed gift box.
- Photoclip string set (put fun clips on a string of lights for them to hang photos in their room)Purses or tote bags (use old sweaters, towels, jeans or curtains)
- Photo collage letter (search online for how to create a photo collage of your teen’s friends/activities on a wood letter – either their first or last name initial)Coupon booklet (include things you know your teen will like such as a trip to the mall, a family night with the movie of his/her choice, and getting out of a chore – but be sure to budget for any items that may cost money, such as a “free tank of gas” for the driving teen)
- Photo frames (spruce up an old frame by distressing it, adding some scrapbooking elements and including a picture of your teen with the family or their best friend)
- Earphone holder (decorate a mint container)Candles (candles are not hard to make – search online for instructions)
- Tie-dye t-shirt
- Vase (you can upcycle a glass water bottle or jar into a vase with just a little bit of paint and creativity)
- Denim pocket quilt (take the pockets of old jeans and stitch them together into a quilt that looks neat and holds treasures – if you don’t have a lot of jean pockets, you can make a smaller quilt to hang behind the door for your teen’s cell phone, change, Ipod, wallet, keys, etc.)
- Jewelry (use thread, safety pins, Scrabble tiles, beads, and more)
- Art for their room (there are very simple ways to create eye-catching art that matches your teen’s décor)
Instead of stressing about inflation and supply chain shortages, outsmart the times with some creative thinking. You can give more meaningful gifts to your loved ones while avoiding these problems with homemade and vintage presents.