The holidays provide us the perfect opportunity to show our LGBT teens that we support and love them. We know this is important year round, but far too often the most joyous time of year can trigger feelings of depression and isolation in people. During this season, we need to go the extra distance to make sure our teens know we are there for them emotionally and physically. However, gift giving for teens can be difficult and impossible at times. To help us overcome the teen gift dilemma, we have put together a guide for the best Christmas gifts for teens and ease some of our shopping burden to allow us to focus on spending time with the family.
Please scroll through the best Christmas gifts for LGBT teens:
A personal journal.
This holiday, give our kids the chance to write down their thoughts, emotions, concerns, struggles, and dreams. Being a teenager is already awkward and confusing in its own right and adding another layer of conflict can make these years even harder. A journal will give them a healthy outlet to reflect and discover who they are as a person and make sense of their feelings.
A sentimental trinket.
As much as we hate to admit it, our teens will soon be leaving our nests for college, careers, and new horizons. Take a moment over Christmas to give a special and reassuring gift like a compass, map, a small vial of dirt from the backyard, heirloom jewelry, or a local snow globe. This will remind our sons and daughters that no matter where they go in life, we will always be here to love and support them. While our teens might find it a bit cheesy, down the road they will fondly remember this special moment.
Over the years, flowers have become a meaningful way to express how we feel about someone. Take the time to send a special message to our sons or daughters this holiday by sending a bouquet or flower arrangement. We can let the power of flowers send a message of our support. To add more meaning, choose flowers and colors that represent love, faith, and perseverance. As an added bonus, flowers and plants have been shown to reduce stress and improve happiness in people. Contact your local florist or order some blooms online to help create the perfect bouquet for your teen.
Inspirational books or movies.
We’ve already established how trying the teen years can be, so we need to make sure we help our LGBT teens find positive role models and encouragement from outside sources. Find stories that feature strong characters that overcome adversity and hurdles to succeed in life. Some inspirational choices to keep in mind, are as follows: Far From You by Tess Sharpe, What’s Up With Jody Barton? by Hayley Long, or The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky . And don’t forget the classics like The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. Just make sure to tailor your choices to meet their interests and needs.
It’s no secret that music can get us through rough patches in life and help us express complicated emotions. Go old school and make a mixtape or burn a CD of your favorite inspirational and empowering songs. If you know your son or daughter wouldn’t appreciate your tunes, give them an iTunes or Amazon gift card so they can download and build their own musical playlists.
The holidays are the perfect time to squeeze in some extra one-on-one time with our kids. Take in your favorite holiday traditions like looking at Christmas lights or baking cookies to reinforce that you accept and value your child as a person and part of your family. Every teen needs to know they have at least on adult committed to being in their corner to cheer them and to be there to pick them up when they fall. Make it a point to spend time together and create memories.
Unfortunately, our kids often struggle to fit in or find good friends at school. Help them meet new friends by giving or providing access to lessons, sports, classes, and youth groups to expand their social circle. Consider paying for a painting, acting, martial arts, or other interesting class as a gift for Christmas.
We have all heard that laughter is the best medicine. In studies they have found that laughter can decrease stress hormones, boost our immune systems, and releases endorphins. As parents, we should encourage laughter in our children on a daily basis. Consider taking everyone out to a new funny holiday movie, buying a hilarious family game, or watching their favorite comedian on stage this Christmas.
What suggestions or ideas can you share for the best Christmas gifts for LGBT teens?
Guest post by Hilary Smith.
Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary Smith is a free-lance journalist whose love of gadgets, technology and business has no bounds. After becoming a parent she now enjoys writing about family and parenting related topics.