When did holiday shopping get so tricky?

Karissa Harenda, Co Editor-in-Chief

Every year around the holidays, gift shopping becomes more of a leap of faith than a confident purchase. Will the rambunctious toddler love your gift? Will it be buried in the back of the closet by the old-fashioned grandparent? Or will you need to keep the receipt handy when it comes to that diva of a teenager you are trying so hard to impress? There is no doubt that it is definitely a challenge to find the perfect gift for a certain age. In fact, most families are beginning to lack imagination and creativity when it comes to gifts, and are resorting to the “gift” of money, particularly gift cards. Christmas traditions are being ignored and families are losing that “Christmas spirit” as gifts are being given as plastic. Goodbye to those mass piles of decorative, shiny wrapping paper. Goodbye to the anticipation of relatives anxiously waiting to see what you received as the family circles around the tree to unwrap. Moreover, there are four stages that have caught many people in a bout of confusion for the holidays and are the main reason that families are beginning to go with gift cards. These stages are the four common age ranges that are the most difficult to shop for.

The “Don’t Care What this is because it Looks Cool” Toddler Stage

          Toddlers are probably the easiest to shop for because of the fact that most are willing to accept anything as long as it provides them with something to chew on, bite, or crash into other things with. However, not only do you have to find a toy that’s fun, you want one that’s safe, easy to set up, and won’t drive the parents insane. You also want the kid to play with it for a long time. Entertaining a toddler is probably one of the most difficult and time- consuming things to accomplish.

The “This isn’t my style” Teenager Stage

          Children who are very fussy or picky about their things tend to be the tweens- teenager stage, around the age of 12-17 years old. Teenagers are probably the most particular about gifts and are ever so hard to please. Because they are approaching the adult stage in their lives, most teens work diligently to leave their childhoods behind and strive for a slightly different outlook on things. Basically, teens are beginning to explore their new-found freedom. Every teen has a unique style, hobby, and attitude. With that being said, they are difficult and are probably updating their Christmas lists as often as their Instagram accounts.

The “Cleaning Your Room would be a Great Present” Parent Stage

          Because parents are so caught up in buying gifts for their children, they often tend to forget about themselves. So when it comes to asking your parent what they would like, the answer is almost always, “nothing”. However, most parents will resort to ordering their children to do certain chores around the house in place of a gift.

The “I Don’t Need Anything Because I’ve got it all” Grandparent Stage

          Many people don’t get to see their grandparents too often and aren’t really provided the opportunity to get to know them any better than they already do. Therefore, gift ideas become more of guesses than they are confidence. Many grandparents give the excuse that they already have everything they want, so what’s left? Some grandparents will even accept anything in order to be done with the whole “present exchange” thing, only to go home and throw the gift in the closet along with the previous year’s gifts.

Even though these ages present the biggest obstacles for gift shopping, there are still many gifts to please everyone. Once you find the right gift, you will be more than pleased with yourself. Good luck!