Just because they’re teenagers doesn’t mean Christmas need be any less magical. Time spent with family, eating plenty of delicious festive food and, of course, the presents will bring cheer and joy after what has been another tough year.
Covid hasn’t been easy on people of any age but imagine having to navigate your teenage years during a global crisis. The pandemic has seen Gen Zers’ education disrupted, precious time with friends stripped away and their physical and mental health negatively affected.
Despite the challenges, they have shown resilience and adapted, and they smashed it out of the park with record GCSE and A-level results. All the more reason to go big and celebrate the season, especially as we will (hopefully) get to spend Christmas with our loved ones after last year’s was cruelly “cancelled”.
Buying gifts for teens, however, is not always the easiest job. We’re not saying they’re picky; they’re just tapped into the latest trends in ways that older, non-TikTok-using relatives perhaps aren’t. And there is rarely a wish list from which to work.
That’s why we’ve appointed a gaggle of teenage testers to give us the lowdown on what’s hot and what’s not this Christmas. Your Gen Z loved ones will never know you had a bit of help with your pressie shopping.
How we tested
Our testers ranged from 13-18 years old, are from across the gender spectrum, and all enjoy different hobbies and passions. We asked for their help with tracking down the presents they’d like to find under the tree or in their stocking on Christmas morning. This roundup includes the best we found for younger and older teens with varying interests.
When we tried out the gifts, we looked for quality, value for money and, most importantly, the fun factor.
The best Christmas gifts for teens in 2021 are:
- Best overall – Oxelo quad 100 roller skates: £54.99, Decathlon.co.uk
- Best for young artists – Drop of Colour the leaves set: £21, Dropofcolour.com
- Best for wannabe influencers – Joby beamo ring light complete kit: £115.38, Joby.com
- Best pampering gift – Clarity Blend ultimate pamper set: £39, Clarityblend.com
- Best game – Gibsons Out of Order card game: £22, Johnlewis.com
- Best jewellery gift – Antonia Guise Anne initials necklace: from £145, Antoniaguise.co.uk
- Best fragrance gift – Lush pansy perfume: £25, Lush.com
- Best stationery gift – HappySelf teen journal: £24.90, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for book worms – ‘Isambard and the Cato Street Conspiracy’ by Robert Guidi: £7.99, Thebrunelmuseum.com
- Best for young chefs – American Originals three in one treat maker: £29.99, Argos.co.uk
- Best craft gift – Leather Needle Thread paintable mini envelope wallet kit: £35, Leatherneedlethread.com
- Best chocolate gift – Kyoot happiness bundle: £19.50, Eatkyoot.com
- Best tech gift – Groov-e Artemis wireless charging station with LED touch light: £34.99, Groov-e.co.uk
Oxelo quad 100 roller skates
How many times have you told your teen that what they’re into or listening to was cool when you were young? Trends always seem to come back around again, and the one we’re here for – both adults and teens – is the roller skate revival. Our teens verified them as “in”, and it’s no wonder with viral TikToks and Instagram videos of the sport, including those from Ana Coto.
We all agreed these roller skates were the best we found because of the understated stylish design, which goes brilliantly with any look, the multicoloured wheels and super-smooth rolling. They are well made, perfect for both beginners and experienced skaters and super comfortable. These skates are excellent value for money and come with a two-year guarantee for plenty of long-lasting fun.
Drop of colour the leaves set
Best: For young artists
Teens might have grown out of colouring-in, but our testers loved the idea of painting their own artworks that they could proudly hang on the wall. This set comes with everything needed to create three beautiful plant paintings – two paintbrushes, A4 360gsm artist paper with outlines, guides for each design with a numbered reference to follow and numbered acrylic paint pots. This is next level paint by numbers, and our art-loving testers had enormous fun creating their own artworks.
Joby beamo ring light complete kit
Best: For wannabe influencers
It’s hard to pull our teens away from TikTok, and we might have made it even harder by introducing them to this awesome kit, but they will sure have fun. It comes with a tripod, mic and ring light – everything a young influencer needs to create professional-looking content on their smartphone.
Our testers had a ball wrapping the flexible tripod around everything you could find to create some interesting angles and loved that the ring light could be adjusted to create different tones and light levels. Could this be the tool they need to go viral? We think so.
This product should be back in stock by the end of October.
Clarity Blend ultimate pamper set
Best: Pampering gift
Give the gift of self-care to your teen this Christmas with this gorgeous pamper set. You can smell the beautiful scents before even opening the box and then inside is everything your teen needs for a cosy at-home spa night. There’s a bag of anxiety-relieving bath salts, French lavender body oil that will settle even the most hyper teen for a good night’s sleep, a relaxing lavender eye pillow and an invigorating pulse point roll-on. You’ll also find included a wellness booklet crammed with tips and tricks for boosting wellbeing. This gift is ideal for the teen that needs to catch a break and unwind.
Gibsons out of order card game
Gift this game to your teen and you’ll all be able to have fun playing it after you’ve finished your Christmas dinner. But it’s a test of how on point your mind is and it’s fast-paced, so don’t get it out if you’re feeling an afternoon snooze in a chair, or you’ll surely be the last to reach the finish line.
The trivia game is suitable for two to six players aged 14 and over and gets you to answer the questions on a card. But there’s a twist: you don’t answer the question you’re asked, you answer the previous one. Our teens had lots of laughs with this gift as it tested their knowledge and there was plenty of friendly competition – after all, who doesn’t want to win?
Antonia guise anne initials necklace
Best: Jewellery gift
Show your teen they’re worthy of a regal piece of jewellery with this stunning necklace and pendant. The pieces are inspired by Anne Boleyn’s famous necklaces and are made from 100 per cent recycled silver gilded with 24ct gold. They’re also handmade in England and are available in two chain lengths – 16 and 24 inches. The finish on them is superb, and our teen testers would be thrilled to add their initial necklace to their jewellery collection.
Lush pansy perfume
Best: Fragrance gift
This is a cute two-in-one gift of both an exquisite fragrance and a reusable knot wrap, which doubles as a headscarf or clothing accessory. The perfume is a delicate and fresh floral wonder, loved by our teens. Meanwhile, the knot wrap is made from recycled plastic bottles and designed by Beth Mackrill, a member of Rocket Artists, a not-for-profit group of creatives, challenging the barriers around art and diversity.
HappySelf teen journal
Best: Stationery gift
Writing is known to have a positive effect on mental health, but sometimes it’s difficult to know what to put down on paper. The HappySelf teen journal solves that problem with three months’ worth of reflection, mindfulness, and gratitude prompts. The A5 journal also includes usage instructions, space for when your teen’s mind and pen run free, and motivational quotes to keep them inspired. Our teen tester loved the soft and flexible silver cover, which is vegan-friendly, the bullet-journal style dot grid sections for getting creative and the cute illustrations.
‘Isambard and the cato street conspiracy’ by Robert Guidi, published by Overspeed Publishing
Best: For book worms
For book-loving teens with curious minds and a fondness for fantasy and history, there can be no better stocking filler. This fascinating tale sparks their imagination and will have them gripped as they follow a revolutionary plot to kill the prime minister along twists and turns and ingenious inventions in 19th century London. Our teen tester devoured it.
American Originals three in one treat maker
Best: For young chefs
Buy this for your teenager and they won’t be the only ones enjoying it. They’ll be making you and the whole family all manner of treats, including doughnuts, waffles and cake pops. Our teen testers loved getting creative in the kitchen with this gift and tried out several different recipes for the cake pops. The machine is easy to use and makes goodies in a flash.
Things did get a bit messy, we blame the chefs, but the removable plates make it easy to clean. We also like that this maker is compact, which means it doesn’t take up too much room in our tiny kitchen.
Leather Needle Thread paintable mini envelope wallet kit
Best: Craft gift
Teenagers will love showing off a wallet made by their own hands, and it is sure to attract plenty of admiring comments. This gift allows them to make a beautiful soft leather envelope wallet that they can paint in any design they want. The kit comes with everything they need, including the pre-cut leather, a brass closure, leather paints, paintbrushes and scrap leather for having a go at the painting before they jump in and decorate their purse. Our testers found it simple to craft by following the step-by-step instruction video, and we were seriously impressed by the excellent quality of the kit for just £35. Unfortunately, this is currently out of stock, but you can sign up to receive an email when it becomes availble.
Kyoot happiness bundle
Best: Chocolate gift
What is Christmas without chocolate? The sweet treat is a must. But ideally, you want something for everyone, including vegans. We had a vegan among our teenager testers and they were delighted when we presented this box of Kyoot (pronounced cute) original, crunchy salted caramel and vanilla quinoa pops bars.
The 70 per cent cocoa chocolate is organic, gluten-free and free from dairy, palm oil and refined sugars, but best of all, it tastes incredible – good luck getting your teen to share it with you. We especially love that the colourful paper packaging is recyclable and the inner wrapper is compostable.
For non-vegan teens who prefer a milk chocolate taste, we’d highly recommend Lindt’s gold teddy sharing bag (£3, Lindt.co.uk). This bag of goodies is a reasonably priced stocking filler of the brand’s unmistakably luxurious, creamy chocolate in truffle form with indulgent hazelnut, milk and double milk centres.
Groov-e Artemis wireless charging station with LED touch light
Best: Tech gift
Our teens are forever losing their phone chargers, so a wireless charging station makes total sense (and it will stop them from nicking your cable all the time). But this isn’t just any old wireless charger; it’s also an LED lamp that’s perfect for doubling up as a reading or night light. Just lay your phone on the wood-effect base to charge, and activate the light and the three brightness settings with a simple touch on the frame. This gift is the perfect addition to any teen’s study or bedside setup.
The verdict: Christmas gifts for teens
Oxelo’s quad 100 roller skates were a massive hit with our teens and the clear best overall buy of all the gifts we tested. They were fun, comfortable, excellent value for money and a terrific way to get your teen active.
For teens who love to be in the spotlight on social media, we’d thoroughly recommend the Joby beamo ring light complete kit to help them take their influencing game up a level. And we must mention Leather Needle Thread’s paintable mini envelope wallet kit for its fantastic quality, crafty credentials and reasonable price tag.
For the latest discounts on Christmas gifts, try the links below:
Don’t forget to check out our other Christmas guides such as the review of the latest Asos advent calendar
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
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