Gift Guide

Tween opening a Christmas gift.
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What 21 Tweens Want For The Holidays

We asked so you don't have to!

Halloween 2020 is in the books and you know what that means: we've moved immediately and fully into holiday season. And for those of us with 9 to 12-year-olds in our lives, that leads to an important thought: what to get a tween for the holidays. I can speak as the mom of a 9-year-old boy that the only thing harder than figuring out what gift to get a child this age is accepting the fact that my 9-year-old is considered a tween because he's still my teeny tiny baby you guys, OMG how did this happen?!

Existential crisis aside, it really can be a challenge. As the name suggests, tweens are just between stages. They're still kids, but not little kids. They're not quite teenagers, but find the siren-song of adolescence irresistible. They're still into toys... except not always. And sometimes they want gifts that are too mature (or expensive!) for them. And God knows they're no help at all. Any time I ask my kid what he wants, nine times out of 10, I get an apathetic shrug and an "I don't know."

Don't worry: I'm here to help. Asking what my kid wants this holiday season might be like pulling teeth, but asking other kids went a little bit more smoothly, and it's given me some ideas. Fair warning: top picks this year appear to be high-end electronics and live baby animals, so get out those checkbooks, folks...

Alex, 11

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"A P.C. and Funko Pops!"

Ronan, 11

"Video games, loot boxes for Overwatch, camping gear, new clothes, and money!"

Kaylin, 10

"An iPhone! And a credit card, too, because all my friends have one!"

[Kaylin's mother has stressed that she will not be getting either, and also that she's pretty sure Kaylin is confusing a debit card with a credit card.]

Evangeline, 9


"A hover board, nail polish, new hair accessories, books, and to grow taller."

Sully, 11

"A skateboard. A good one."

Noah, 11

"Under Armour socks, hoodies, and tights; a kayak; Madden 21; and an iPhone."

[He said "iPhone" laughing, because he says he knows that he doesn't have a prayer.]

Richard, 11

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"The Diagon Alley LEGO set, video games, a PS5, and a kitten."

Wyatt, 9

"LEGO sets, a Nintendo Switch Lite, video games for the Switch, Battle Bots, Pokemon cards, and a puppy."

Ben, 12

"Running shoes, a drone, and an iPad and an Apple Pencil for drawing."

Penelope, 11

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"A hanging egg chair for my room and a skateboard."

Ein, 12

"My Hero Academia posters for my room, books, and more hoodies."

Lily, 9

"Furniture for my new room: a desk chair, new bedding, and comfy chair for the corner."

Eiryn, 9

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"Roblox gift cards and a puppy."

Jonah, 10

"LED lights for my room, more Gulpin plushies*, more legendary Pokémon plushies, Roblox gift cards, and lots of soft blankets."

[ Gulpin is his favorite Pokémon, according to his mom.]

Taevin, 12

"A paddle board, Bey Blades, and some video games for the Nintendo switch."

Genevieve, 11

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"Robucks* and a laptop**."

*money you can spend in Roblox

**"She's not getting a laptop." -Genevieve's mom

Sam, 11

"LED lights for my room, new bedding, and scrunchies!"

Rex, 9

"A pro scooter, hockey rollerblades, a new mountain bike, and a drift bike."

[I had to look up what a drift bike is and now I, too, want one for Christmas.]

Alysia, 11

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"Nintendo Switch, a TV for my room, and AirPods."

Vivi, 11

"A Mac Book and a puppy."

["This will be a sad Christmas, apparently. On brand for 2020." -Vivi's mom.]

Lilly, 10

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"LEGO Friends sets, horseback riding helmet, and puppy. Also a unicorn."