Xmas' Most Wanted Gifts For Teens

Posted: December 03, 1996

You've just got to find the right gift for your best bud, but the thought of Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa shopping in crowded malls with crying children underfoot has you trippin'.

To help streamline your shopping, Fresh Ink went to the mall with Idia Gamble, an eighth-grader at Bala Cynwyd Middle School. She told us what stores are hot - Warner Bros. Studio Store and No Name - and what trends were happening - body glitter and headbands, and, of course, Nintendo 64, even though that must-have gadget was too expensive to make our list.

We figured you had about $50 to spend on your friends, 'cause we know how expensive it is to be a teen (especially if you're a senior). Since we figured you had three or four friends to shop for, we looked mainly in the under-$15 range. Many of these gifts are way, way under $15, in case you're both poor and popular.

1. READING MATERIAL

We know your friends all have to read ``A Tale of Two Cities,'' or some other classic for English class. But they can also read for fun. Get them a magazine subscription, and they'll thank you. Seventeen and Vibe are two to consider. Or get your friends a book about something they're into, like astrological compatibility. He's a Scorp, you're a Gemini. Is it a love connection? ``The Birthday Astrologer'' answers that and more. Seventeen, $14.95 a year. Vibe, $11.95 for 10 issues. ``The Birthday Astrologer,'' $5.95 at bookstores.

2. ACCESSORIES

Here are just a few fun ideas that can complete your best bud's look. The Looney Tunes necklace features a Looney character on two pendants hanging from a silver chain. Very '97. The glitter glams up your girlfriend's eye shadow, or she can dab it on her cheekbones if she wants a little glitz there. And if your friends have to carry keys around, they can at least do it in style, with a tongue-in-cheek keychain like this one. Necklace, $10, Warner Bros. Studio Store. Body glitter, $2.99, and key chain, $1.99, The Icing.

3. THINGS THAT GLOW

If your friends have stars in their eyes, maybe it's because you've given them a glow-in-the-dark kit that lets them stick stars on their ceiling or walls. A neon night light is another bright idea. This smiley face should ensure happy dreams. Glow-in-the-dark stars kit, $2.50, and neon night light, $3.50, from Wet Seal.

4. HAIR THINGS

Hair can be such a pain. But with the right tools, your friends can control it by twisting it, braiding it, rolling it, pinning it up and pulling it back. Scrunchie, $3.99; Gripper hair pin, $4.99; plastic headband, $1.99; flower hairclip, $4.99, all from The Icing.

5. NAIL THINGS

If your friends have caught nail-color fever (and who hasn't?), they probably already know about Chanel's fab shades, like Vamp, which started all this nail frenzy in the first place, and Night Sky, the cool shade designed by teen-ager Anna Richey. But maybe they haven't been willing to pay the $15-a-bottle price. Hey, that's what gifts are for. While you're splurging, why not throw in a nail buffer? Chanel polish, $15, available at major department stores; nail buffer, about $1, where cosmetics are sold.

6. ANIMAL ATTRACTION

Of course, your friend doesn't believe in cruelty to animals. So give her a faux-fur bag. This little pouch is just big enough for the essentials: money, keys, lipstick and notebook (for phone numbers, duh!). Leopard is very trendy right now, and it never really goes out of style. Leopard/patent clutch, $6.50 at Wet Seal.

7. HOT SHOTS

If your friend is a guy, he might think that taking pictures is silly, but when he's away for the holidays and meets a cute girl, he may want to remember what she looks like. When he develops those shots, he'll need a frame. Kodak pocket Funsaver camera, $11.99, at the Camera Shop and other film stores; ``Far Out Friends'' photo frame, $11.99 from Wet Seal.

8. CDS TO GO

Bugs is one cool bunny, isn't he? Only he would have his face on a CD case. The vinyl exterior of this music carrier looks slick, and a hard case inside protects up to 12 CDs. The ``Set It Off'' disc doesn't come with it, but if you're feeling generous, it could. Bugs Bunny CD carrier, $20 at Warner Bros. Studio Store.

9. SPACE-Y VIDEOS

Will Smith driving a spaceship? Cool. If you know anyone who hasn't yet seen ``Independence Day,'' this is the perfect gift. If you know someone who loved it, they'll probably want to see it again. Buy it for the holidays and you get a free UFO video with it. ``Independence Day,'' $14.95 at Best Buys and other video stores.

10. GOOD SPORTS

Most of these gifts are inexpensive. But we wanted to look out for you big spenders, too. If your mom, dad or big brother or sister is a sports enthusiast, consider buying them some super shades. Oakleys look cool, and they're designed for sports. If you can't afford the real thing, you can cheat by buying a cheaper pair and sticking it in an Oakley case. We promise not to tell. Oakley sunglasses, $130, and case, $34, at Nordstrom.

11. FUNKY STUFF

Who doesn't love cartoons? A Tweety Bird alarm clock will wake your friends up on time. A Wile E. Coyote 30-ounce mug will help them snooze on a cold winter night if they fill it up with hot chocolate. They can write down everything that happens in between in a Flintstones diary. Alarm clock, $12, mug, $12, and diary, $8, at Warner Bros. Studio Store.

12. SOMETHING THAT WILL GET THEM SPOTTED

Your pals don't have to go to a restaurant to get a doggie bag. They can carry this one anywhere. It won't hold their books, but there is enough room for some pencils. And it looks good. Doggie Bag, $16 at Wet Seal.

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