Gift Suggestion for Tweens

I know some of you don’t want to think about Christmas shopping yet. You love the thrill of waiting until the last minute when everything’s picked over, you STILL haven’t been inspired, and you get to take the financial hit in one powerful punch. Hey, whatever gets you through the holiday season.

I’m one of those people who starts at least thinking about shopping in the fall. My goal is to be finished before Black Friday–by December 1st at the very latest. When I wait, gift giving becomes a lot more about checking off names/obligations on a list. Blech. So you’re getting this post now while shopping, for me, is still about thoughtful giving.

What do you do when they’re not into dolls anymore, you don’t know what clothes to buy, you’re not sure makeup sets are the thing, and Justin Bieber fangirl paraphernalia? No, you’re not going there.

Coke or Pepsi Girl DiaryI recently went to the school’s Scholastic Book Fair and found this: Coke or Pepsi? Girl! Diary. There’s a whole line of Coke or Pepsi? books. They’re filled with questionnaires you can ask your friends. I was drawn to them because my daughter is so fond on asking impertinent personal questions of friends and total strangers. The books seem like they’d be a lot of fun for kids to share with their friends, and for getting to know you activities for groups of kids like scouts or church youth groups.

The Girl! Diary has a lock on it, giving it instant “real diary” appeal. But instead of the blank pages that my daughter doesn’t seem to know what to do with yet, this book is filled with questionnaires and activities.

One page reads “Make Today Alternate Universe Day” and has suggestions for things you can do differently from the way you usually do them, like wear something you wouldn’t normally wear, talk to someone you’ve never talked to, etc. Then there’s a page to write about what you did differently and what happened.

Another page reads “Do Not Label Me: Check out all the labels on your outfit. Draw them here (or photocopy, cut them out, and tape them down.)” And interesting exercise in showing how much product advertising we’re doing for free.

“U as a scientific study. Chart you moods 4 one week.” And there’s a chart.

“What fictional character (human or animal) from a book, TV show, or movie would you love to be friends with and why?”

The book is filled with interesting graphics and artwork. In a way, it could be sort of a primer for How To Make An Awesome Journal. Or it could just be some fun time that gets kids reading and writing on their own.

The book is intended for 8+. It is, admittedly, a bit beyond my 7yo. But that didn’t stop her from really having fun with it and wanting some time with me to curl up and share the girly secrets contained within its pages. It’s obvious that a lot of thought went into putting this book together and it inspires a lot of thought in return.

Dude DiaryHave a boy who might be interested in a bit of self-examination? Never fear, there is a Dude Diary and Dude Diary 2 as well. One of the boys in the class was excited to tell me he was getting the boys’ version of the book.

Even though I’ve been taken to the cleaners by the Book Fair (again), I’m seriously thinking about going back and buying more of these as Christmas gifts.

While my daughter was happy to get the books she chose, this one she didn’t notice and I plucked off the shelf on the sly was the one she spent the afternoon reading and scribbling in.

If you’ve got hard-to-buy-for kids on your list, pick this up and get that shopping chore out of the way.


Filed under books

5 responses to “Gift Suggestion for Tweens

  1. That sounds wonderful Susan. I’m in the midst of still-happy shopping myself. Nieces and nephews aren’t quite old enough for this yet, but I’ll keep it in mind. I would have loved this when I was 12!

  2. What a timely post! I, too, start planning my gifts in the Fall when I have the luxury of really thinking about the person and what might best suit them. Annnnd, our school’s book fair is in two weeks! I’ll have to look for these books for my son and some of his friends ~ girls and boys.

    He’s gotten the ‘would you rather’ books before (I think they are like the Coke or Pepsi theme) and loves them. Thank you so much for the great gift idea!

  3. What a great idea! Very unique.

  4. Faith Renfield

    This looks good! I tend to not shop ahead, but this year I’m shopping for my Dad–who has no idea what to get his two granddaughters. This diary looks great. My two, 7 and almost 9, love diaries and a directed one is right up their alley. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. Forget the kids–I’m a grown up and I’d love this!

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