The word tween is a relatively new one. It literally means ‘in between’. In this case, in between child and teenager (with teenagers of course being between kids and adults). Tweens are aged 9 to 12. I am currently the proud owner of two of the male of the species and they are REALLY FLIPPING DIFFICULT TO BUY FOR.
It’s fun buying Christmas presents for babies and toddlers, isn’t it? So many cute little things. And little 5 year old girls, they’re fun to buy for too… Teenagers – you can buy them cool clothes in adult sizes and maybe some make-up.
But tweens?! Tween BOYS?!
What the blinking flip do you buy for them?!
My boys like the usual technology and games, but actually I suspect they like them a bit less than most boys of their age. After all, my eldest is the boys whose birthday presents came straight out of the 1950s
If you ask tween boys what they want for Christmas, they will usually grunt something or say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t care’. If you SUGGEST something that they don’t want, they will be very happy to say what they don’t want, but they won’t give you an alternative of something they actually DO want.
So you look round the shops for inspiration. And there is… Nothing.
They’re too big for toys, but too young for a lot of stuff aimed at adults.
Boys keep growing and they’re hard on clothes. Maybe some clothes would be good? So you look in the shops… Same problem. A lot of shops don’t stock above a 9-10 and even those that make them up to teenage sizes (thank you Next!) don’t actually have them in store, so you have to order them.
Guess what, clothes manufacturers?! There is an awful lot of growing to do between age 10 and man size! So where are the clothes for these tweens?
I’m a big fan of family Christmas cards We’re not a crafting type of family, I like proper SHOP-BOUGHT cards (sorry, I know that’s almost blasphemous to admit). Cards that say ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ or ‘husband’. But cards that actually suit the sons and daughter and husband I have at home. Again, the son cards are either super-cute babyish Father Christmas, snowmen and reindeers or for grown men. There is a huge gap in the market there for older kids. Yes, I could go online and order them from Funky Pigeon or wherever, but that takes a while and frankly the whole Christmas shopping lark is time consuming enough as it is.
So when I’ve wandered round the shops, looked online, talked to my kids and thought deeply about the whole Christmas shopping thing and STILL not come up with a solution, guess what happens?
The grandparents and uncles and aunties ask what they can get for them.
Because you can bet your bottom
dollar quid that if their own parents don’t know what to get them, nobody else is going to know. So suddenly I’m left with an even bigger puzzle – working to budgets of varying sizes for two boys who have no idea what they want and a whole world of retailers who have no ideal solutions.
Do you have tween boys in your life? What do you buy them for Christmas? Is technology really the only answer?