I think teenagers are some of the most difficult people to buy pressies for (difficult all round, but that’s for another day haha). Thinking creatively about their presents, aside from the never ending list of PS4/Xbox related things occupies quite a lot of my time before Christmas, so I thought I’d share a couple of lovely present ideas with you.
For a younger teen, you might be considering a new phone. And while the Samsungs and iPhones are popular, not many of us want to splash out for a phone that could well end up being left at a concert (yes, this has happened to Charlie TWICE) or dropped (we’re on three so far), so a good, stylish, budget phone recommendation might be just what you need. Enter the Acer Liquid E3, which Charlie has been testing. It looks stylish and has a 4.7″ screen and a front facing camera with an LED flash for taking brilliant selfies. The phone has only 4GB of storage but we solved that with a big Micro SD card. The screen is nice and clear and the colours are good in photos (it’s got a 13 megapixel camera) I read in a review that it’s got roughly the same pixels per inch as the iPhone 5S, which is pretty cool. It’s a standard android phone so you can download all your favourite apps and it’s very Samsung-like in many of its features.”
We were really impressed. The Acer Liquid E3 is currently available from Three with various plans (all 24 month contracts have no upfront cost and include free 0800 numbers) and that fantastic Feel at Home (roaming at no extra cost in 16 countries that includes USA, France, Italy and Australia) and All-you-can-eat texts. You can get 500MB & 300 minutes for £15 per month, 1GB data and 300 minutes for £18 per month, or 2GB data & 600 minutes for £24 per month, for instance (other plans available too).
For the girlies, you can’t beat jewellery. This beautiful, delicate necklace was sent to me by Zazzy – it’s called a ‘whisper pendant’ and is really tiny and pretty. You can basically customise and edit your own design, which is then 3D printed precious, semi-precious (or not-so-precious) metals – whichever you like. It’s a lovely idea for a teenager and it will really make a gift to treasure. I also love that Zazzy create their jewellery ethically, so you can be sure that there are no foreign sweatshops or factories involved. Check out zazzy.me, then just choose the word, font and metal you’d like it printed in. Something really special, I think.
Everybody needs a decent pair of headphones. Sam tried out these Jam Transit bluetooth headphones (usually £59.99 but on sale on Amazon at the moment for £29.99). Here’s what he had to say:
‘These headphones come in great re-usable packaging that can be used as storage or a carry case. They come pre-charged, and are USB chargeable with the battery taking about three hours to charge. It says six hours of wireless play but I’ve had much more than this from one charge – up to 11 hours. They’re easy to connect to the phone and easy to take a call when you’re listening to music too. They’re comfy and retain audio clarity at high volume. The bass is GOOOOOD and the even vibrate like speakers – I even had to turn them down! The buttons are easy to identify with shapes even when the headset is on and everything can be controlled by your phone/tablet etc. They don’t come off easily when you’re headbanging [!] and look great. They’re on, not over ear so need to be moved every now and then to prevent your ears going numb.’
Verdict? ‘Can I keep them?’
We live in fear of Sam having his beloved Macbook stolen. This incredible laptop sleeve is made from ‘tough as nails’ Tyvek, and is waterproof and tearproof, but looks like a scrappy old padded envelope. Very clever, and a cool present too. £12.50, Luckies of London (available on Amazon).
For the girls, a great quality make-up bag makes a lovely present. This gorgeous, heart print make up bag is from Caroline Gardner, whose stationery I absolutely love, and is really good quality. It’s made out of pvc coated cotton and is lovely and chunky. We love the stripy lining as well. And while you’re on the website, have a look at the scented candles. Just gorgeous.
Stocking filler smellies for the girls can be a bit predictable so I think Dr Bronner’s is fantastic. Not only is it really useful (I’ve included it in travel guides before), but the range of scents means there’s something to suit everyone (I love the peppermint one) and between now and June 2015 Dr Bronner’s will donate 20p for every 473 ml and 946 ml bottles of liquid soap sold in the UK to Compassion In World Farming.
For the boys, my stocking filler go-to is Lush Cosmetics. Charlie’s OBSESSED with Lush Dirty Hair Cream, and this year I’m going to treat him to a matching shower gel too.