Teens and tweens fall into one of the most difficult gift-giving categories because they are too old for toys but too young to be excited by adult stuff (like cutlery and bedding).
And while we don't understand every TikTok trend or Rick and Morty reference, the youth of today are just like the generations before them: early adopters, arbiters of trends, smart and difficult to please.
With that, we've put together a gift list that can't miss. (If by any chance they don't like their gift, blame Facebook. Teens hate the metaverse.)
Best gifts for teen and tweens (under $50)
BookTok is a big deal and one viral post can bump a book onto bestseller lists. Indigo sells a compilation of popular titles, making for a one-and-done gift that will impress the TikToker teen in your life. Titles include We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna, House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig, and A Good Girl's Guide to Murder Holly Jackson. $58.96 at Indigo.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who loves a social media trend.
Why we're endorsing it: A person can never have enough books.
Where it could use improvements: It's a set, so there's no swapping or picking titles.
Size/weight/dimensions: Four novels.
Starting a skin care routine can be a little intimidating, which is why this three-in-one, no-fuss set from The Ordinary is so easy to use. It's a cleanser, a serum and a moisturizer. This can be used day or night and suits all skin types. Available at Sephora and The Ordinary.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who needs a new skin care routine.
Why we're endorsing it: Price, ease of use.
Where it could use improvements: Does not include sunscreen.
Size/weight/dimensions: Three products (50 mL/30 mL).
(For a more advanced routine, consider this set of face and body masks, which gives them lots of new products to test out.)
Who it's ideal for: Any tween or teen who's into whimsical stuff.
Why we're endorsing it: Adorable, unique, personal.
Where it could use improvements: These lamps sell out fast.
Size/weight/dimensions: 4.5" H.
Who it's ideal for: Teens who insist they "don't need anything" but you want to get them a gift anyway.
Why we're endorsing it: Design, price.
Where it could use improvements: Nearly sold out, so get it while you can.
Size/weight/dimensions: One size.
Best gifts for tweens and teens ($50-$100)
A pair of old skool Vans crosses generational divides, can be worn with sweatpants or a dress, and will still be on trend 50 years from now. Get them in black, blue, lilac or red. There are multiple colours available, but the style stays the same. Available at Nordstrom.
Who it's ideal for: Any teen that wears shoes.
Why we're endorsing it: All gender, always in style.
Where it could use improvements: Not an all-weather shoe.
Size/weight/dimensions: Check unisex size chart.
Keep them in charge (and in touch) with this Mophi wireless charging station. It helps de-clutter the nightstand (fewer chords), and the phone lays flat when charging, which means they can't use it when laying in bed and therefore may go to sleep at a somewhat reasonable time. $59.99 at Best Buy.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone with a device that needs daily charging.
Why we're endorsing it: Convenience, price.
Where it could use improvements: Works on Qi batteries (Apple and Samsung devices); for others, check the specs.
Size/weight/dimensions: 3 mm thick pad.
Who it's ideal for: Any teen with a bunch of stuff.
Why we're endorsing it: Brand trust, quality and durability.
Where it could use improvements: This is a classic old-school design, so it doesn't have the modern touches (like a built-in phone compartment).
Size/weight/dimensions: One size.
Whether they want to stay stocked up on sports drinks or keep their skin care at a cool temperature, this mini fridge (that they can use in their room) is one appliance they will be thrilled to receive. Available at Amazon.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who wants to stay hydrated, take good care of their skincare products or store perishable snacks in their room.
Why we're endorsing it: Convenience, multiple uses, design.
Where it could use improvements: It really is mini (fits six cans).
Size/weight/dimensions: Four-litre capacity.
Who it's ideal for: Tweens and teens who like a physical challenge.
Why we're endorsing it: Fun, fitness and inventive game.
Where it could use improvements: Best played in warmer weather or in a gym.
Size/weight/dimensions: Includes the net, three spike balls and a carrying bag.
Best gifts for teens and tweens ($100+)
Sleep is essential, and laying in bed for hours is… self-care? Let's go with that. This BedShelfie is like the teen version of a bath caddy. They can put their phone, school work, or a snack on it and create a mini lounge area. $103.63 at Amazon.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who's short on bedside table space.
Why we're endorsing it: Ingenuity and usefulness.
Where it could use improvements: Requires a bed frame.
Size/weight/dimensions: 8.61 x 25.1 x 35.79 cm.
Ordering a scent for another person can be tricky (and having perfume shipped in Canada is even tougher), but this Maison Margiela REPLICA Whispers in the Library is worth the risk. With notes of pepper and cedar wood (described on the bottle as "paper and waxed wood"), it could be their new signature scent. $188 at Sephora.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who's up for experimenting with a new fragrance.
Why we're endorsing it: Luxury line, quality ingredients.
Where it could use improvements: Smaller size is sold out.
Size/weight/dimensions: 100 mL.
Headphones are one of the most in-demand items on wishlists. These Sony WH-XB91 over-ear headphones are a consistent best-seller, get rave five-star reviews from users and are currently on sale. On sale for $199.99 at Best Buy.
Who it's ideal for: Anyone who needs high-quality headphones.
Why we're endorsing it: Brand trust, price, user reviews.
Where it could use improvements: These are not headphones they want to forget at school.
Size/weight/dimensions: Thirty hours of battery life when fully charged.
Best gifts for teens and tweens (experiences)
Experiential giving is great because it reduces waste (Greta would approve) and requires two things money can't buy: time and effort. Pick up two tickets to a Canucks game, a live podcast, a concert (like Dua Lipa or Billie Eilish), and they might even let you take a selfie with them. Find events in your area at Ticketmaster.