It’s easy to get lazy when it comes to buying gifts. Perhaps it’s a result of the commercial pressure forced on us to buy everyone we’ve ever met a gift to marl every possible occasion. That’s why gift shops exist, isn’t it? Teachers get gifts on Teachers’ Day, buy someone a hat on Hat Day (yes, really… January 16th), Valentine’s Day you’ve got to go one better every year (as if you can just ignore them every other day of the year), you went on holiday – gifts for everyone in the office. Somebody was born? Start buying gifts. Somebody got married? Gifts. Somebody got divorced? Gifts. Someone picked their nose? You get the idea.

So it’s no wonder that more traditional gift-giving occasions have got caught up in the banality. Some people stack up on gifts and every time they are required to give one, reach into their stash and use the first one they get their hands on. This is how you ended up giving your sister a CD of Sci-Fi theme tunes on her wedding day, and why you got a mug from the neighbours saying ‘World’s Best Dad’ to celebrate your divorce.

Teenagers are ridiculously difficult to buy for anyway. Christmas and birthdays are times of high anticipation and disappointment as they unwrap and open board games, jigsaws, chocolate oranges, ‘learn how to paint’ books, any books for that matter. Buying these things for a teenager is just throwing money away and only has the effect of making the child despise you for taunting them with such junk. What teenagers want are things that will increase their social standing. Things that are heavily advertised or endorsed by whichever celebrities are popular in that particular month always go down well as do the latest technological gadgets.

So here are a few ideas which will leave teenagers open-mouthed in disbelief that you could buy something cool. They’ll definitely want to open your present first at every birthday, Christmas, Easter, half-term, Halloween, Midsummer’s Day and all the other occasions in the year when they have learnt to expect presents.

First up, replacing scooters and skateboards are electrically-powered modes of personal transport, such as hoverboards and e-scooters. These are sure to make their friends jealous and therefore are winning choices for teenage gift ideas. There’s a whole load of stuff like this reviewed at The Electric Rider and you might just be able to get through a whole year of gift buying if you purchase all of the featured products.

Anything you hear of that comes out with a small ‘i’ as the first letter of its name is also going to be a great choice. No matter how many versions they already have and how little they use them, teenagers just love being amongst the first at their school to show off their new iPod, iPad, iPhone, iBook, iMac, iShoes or iToiletRoll. The key here is to buy it as soon as it becomes available. Those hundreds of people who sleep outside Apple stores for the weeks leading up to a product launch do so for a reason – their kids’ self-esteem. If you wait until everyone already has one, or – even worse –  a new model has been released, it’s tantamount to slapping the child in the face in front of all their friends with a wet kipper. They will never forgive you, and may save up every penny of their pocket money (quite substantial these days) to hire a hitman to teach you a lesson. At least you will have given them the benefit of learning the value of saving.

Clothes are another real problematic buy for teenagers. It’s not so much an issue of whether they fit, or will last – they won’t be in fashion long enough for that to be a concern – but whether the child will be able to wear it without instantly having the whole school and neighbourhood laugh them into shame. For girls, anything expensive and grown-up works. It doesn’t matter if it’s actually trashy, the important thing is that the teenager has seen the brand in her favourite movies and will make her feel like she is on her way to being a TV presenter or an actress. Brands such as Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton are usually a safe bet. Don’t think about buying a fake either – your little princess will likely need the receipt to prove all of her friends wrong.