Holiday Gift Guide – Tween Edition

November 18, 2021

I’m Tanya.
I’ve learned that a little bit of intentionality goes a long way in accomplishing the goals we set for ourselves. This blog is meant to equip you with just that - simple tips, tricks, advice, and encouragement that help you live an intentional life. 
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I so dreaded the tween/teen phase around Christmas and birthdays b/c I thought they would be hard to shop for, but I’m actually finding that the past couple of years I have had a lot more gift ideas for my oldest daughter than I do the other kids. This seems odd, considering we are obviously done with toys, but I pay attention to the things she talks about throughout the year and save those ideas for later.

Here’s a quick tip: they don’t need everything when they ask for it. My daughter has been wanting a new lunch bag for the past 6 months. I could have gotten it for her immediately. I have the money. It’s practical. But, it was good for her to wait. It was good for her to have make-do with what she had (a lunch bag from when she was much younger). And it was good for her to realize that she didn’t NEED it – she just wanted it. But I know she’ll be delighted when she opens a more adult-looking lunch bag at Christmas time (shh, don’t tell!).

So…here are a few things that I’ve gotten for my daughter in the past couple of years and I hope they’re helpful as you purchase for the tween girl in your life as well!

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  1. West Elm Blanket – My kids, from oldest to youngest, love a cozy blanket to cuddle with. Honestly, I do too! This blanket from West Elm is the perfect weight to take in the car on a road trip and would easily fit in their duffle bag. It’s also sustainably sourced!
  2. Pottery Barn Teen Lunch Bag – Here’s the lunch bag I got Avery. The hardest part about purchasing something for tweens is that you want them to like it now AND in high school (b/c I personally don’t think a lunch bag needs to be replaced every 2 years). I tried to pick one with neutral colors and patterns that wouldn’t look too little kid-ish!
  3. Handmade Bible Case – You’ve maybe seen my bible cover on a photo here or there, and I’ve had several people ask where I got it from. I found Mamabooclay on Etsy several years ago and I just adore my bible cover that she made. Last year my daughter started asking for her own and I thought it would be a great gift idea from her Grandpa and Grandma. These bible covers are custom made to your exact bible, so you pick out the style, fabric, and send her the measurements of your bible, and then she makes it for you. This was a great gift and I think it will be one she keeps for many, many years. 
  4. Olive and June Nail polish – Last year I invested in the Olive and June Pedi kit for all my girls for Christmas. Their nail polish is non-toxic and has excellent reviews. We got the tools and I purchased a soaking foot bath off of Amazon and we’ve been having the best time with it since! 🙂 We all love getting our nails done and this is truly a quality at-home system. I used to love getting my nails done occasionally at a salon, but I honestly hated the time wasted and I couldn’t justify the cost. I haven’t gotten a mani or Pedi in over a year and it’s been a fun thing that we can do together at home. When I take my time, I can get my manis to last at least a week, and my pedis last as long as any salon pedicure! They have such a large selection of beautiful colors. It’s been well worth the investment. 
  5. She’s Worth More Necklace – I love Able b/c of their fair trade stance, and I love this necklace because it’s a tiny reminder of truth that my girl can carry with her every day. She’s not a frilly girl but she does love small simple accessories like her mama. 🙂 
  6. Jenessa Wait Journal – I don’t think there is a product of Jenessa Wait’s that I don’t love, 🙂 but her journals are just beautiful, and I love the thought of my girl seeing a sweet message on her nightstand when she goes to bed and wakes up each day. This past year I encouraged Avery to start journaling – it’s such a healthy practice to process our feelings and pray with intention! She’s enjoyed it and I think this would be a lovely gift for any tween, teen, or adult!
  7. May Designs Custom Wristlet – As girls get older, it’s nice to have a small bag of toiletries that can be easily moved from a backpack to a cinch-pack to a duffle bag depending on the day and what’s going on. We did not purchase this exact item (the zipper pouch we got is no longer available) but this is similar in size and has worked really well for my daughter. I let her pick the design, but if you know your daughter’s tastes, it would also make for a fun surprise. 🙂 
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