Help me find cool gifts for two hard-to-buy-for boys.
November 25, 2012 6:25 PM Subscribe
Please hope me! I am trying find a suitable gift for my pre-teen and early teenage relatives.
posted by Spinneret to Shopping (18 answers total)
My partner and I are bookish, music-loving, humanist, vegetarian.
The relatives for whom we are trying to find presents are 12- and 14-year old boys who have been raised in privilege; they have lots of stuff with little deep value, as it were. They don't read books, except under duress. As far as I know, they don't have any favourite bands or even spend much time listening to music; I know they don't play any musical instruments. They have been raised in an evangelical, conservative Christian denomination. They watch lots of TV and love violent games like "Call of Duty IV." Both play school sports -- basketball, baseball, soccer, but they don't have favourite teams outside of their own school teams -- and they are both very interested in hunting; both own guns. The older boy seems interested in zoology, but I think that interest may be peripheral to an interest in taxidermy.
My partner and I feel like we have very little in common with these kids, and we've struggled in the past to come up with presents for them that they will like and that we feel are within our moral comfort zone (e.g., not "Call of Duty IV" or, you know, actual bullets or something). I've given them what I consider Really Good Books in the past that are both accessible and action-packed, hoping that the books would activate some latent desire to read, but their response has been, "Oh. Great. A book. Thanks," and the book in question promptly gets abandoned.
I think there's a value conflict with the boys' parents at the core of this dilemma, but I'm not willing to make that a focal point or be self-righteous about my own views with this family, ever really, but especially during the holidays. In the past, we've done Heifer International donations on their behalf, but these get thrown away, and I don't feel like they really served their intended purpose -- though, yay for Heifer International!
I'd really like to give these boys something cool that they'd love, but I'm feeling a bit stuck. Nice fleece jackets? Boring, but useful. Some hunting video game? All of the current ones seem pretty mediocre. Can you give me some better ideas, or places to start?