Holiday Gift Guide: Kids/Teens/Him/Her – Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Well, it’s that time of year again! This gift guide is one of my favorite posts to put together all year!

If you’re new here, these gift guides aren’t meant to be comprehensive. Instead they are a bit random…and hopefully kind of fun.

As you know, I’m very careful about what I include on these gift guides! Many, many products don’t make the cut. Everything included on these guides has been bought, tested, and loved by us (or by friends or family members!).

If you need even more gift-giving inspiration, there are many other gift guides in the archives that include some of our favorite gifts of all time!

As always, if YOU have something amazing to recommend, please do so in the comments. I love hearing your suggestions, too!

>>>All the Amazon links below are affiliate links meaning I earn a small commission if purchases are made through that link. PLEASE feel free to shop around for the best price.<<<


Printing 3D Pen: my son got this pen for his birthday earlier this year, and it has inspired some very creative projects! The filament has lasted a long time, too!

Dude Face Wipes: the perfect stocking stuffer (for several years running) for my brood of teenage boys!

ZipChip: another stocking stuffer that has been a total hit, these pocket-size frisbee/throwing devices are so fun for my boys – and they fly incredibly far!

Guitar Pick Punch: my boys love playing the guitar, so this guitar pick punch has been a super fun gift (once we set some boundaries about what should be made into a guitar pick…and what should not!).

Newton’s Cradle: Cam asked for a Newton’s Cradle for her birthday this year, and I have been surprised at how much fun this little contraption has been! I did a lot of research into the best one, and almost a year in, this one has held up (without getting twisted).

Girls’ Joggers: like mother, like daughter! Cam loves a good pair of joggers (ok, she lives in them). These joggers end up being about $10 a pair and have held up so well! Also, they are super soft and comfy.

Paper Mate Flair Pens: Flair pens are the best!! I love them…and Cam loves, loves them. She uses them for all her drawings and art projects and is gifted them for pretty much every birthday and Christmas. Best pens ever.

Moon Lamp: this gorgeous night light/moon lamp comes in a lot of different colors with a remote control. It makes a unique and fun gift! (We gifted this to one of our younger friends, and every time I see her mom, she tells me how much her child loves having this in her room!)

Sticker by Number Book: you’re never too old for a sticker by number book. We got this for a road trip this summer and have since gifted new books to several family members for their birthdays. Super fun/low mess!

Neck Light: a few of my kids have this neck light and they bring it on all our road trips/vacations and also read with it at home. The light lasts a long time (and is rechargeable via USB).

ATM Piggy Bank: this little money bank is not only adorable (comes in lots of colors), but it lets the kiddo set an electronic password (and it really works!). For a slightly more intense version, this ATM piggy bank from Lakeshore Learning is super fun. My sister’s kids have this one and love it!

Lightsaber Chopsticks: the perfect stocking stuffer or gift for the Star Wars fan in your life. These made it into several stockings around here last year. So fun!

Slippers: I don’t know if it is just where we live, but slippers are a big deal with my teens (like, they wear them to school?). My son bought these North Face slippers for himself a few months ago, and I don’t think he’s taken them off since. Lest you be concerned that we are slipper snobs, my other son has these ones. Also: wears them nonstop.

Sherpa Lined Flannel: chalk this up to another thing my boys love to wear in the fall and winter. These sherpa lined flannel jackets are so cozy and comfy (and they come in lots of patterns!).

Roadside Assistance Kit: adulting isn’t super fun, especially when you are 19 and get one of these roadside emergency kits for Christmas. But! It really does make a great gift. We gave this to my son last year when he was striking out on his own, and he keeps it in the trunk of his car for peace of mind.

5,000 Awesome Facts Book: my kids (pre-teen, tween and teens!) love random facts book, and this one is awesome! It’s accompanied us on a few road trips, and it’s often pulled off the bookshelf to peruse (and the subsequently learned facts are shared at dinner, driving on errands with mom, and other various times of the day.

Phone Holder: this is a clever little stocking stuffer for any teen (or adult?) who needs to prop their phone up for video calls, homework, lazy scrolling, or whatever the case may be. 🙂

Mermaid Nail Clippers: Cam got these in her stocking last year and loved them! They are still going strong (and awfully cute for nail clippers!).

Cutest Book: my sister showed this book to me and I immediately bought it (even though my kids are older). It’s good for them to hear in adorably simple terms how important they are. It is the sweetest book; I love it and think every kid, teen and adult should read it (often).

Tree Peek-Through Board Book: this is my go-to gift when I take a new mom a gift for her and the baby and there is another young child in the family. It’s such a simple, clever book.

Lego Dots Message Board: Cam saved up and bought this for herself this summer, and she changes the words on it a couple of times a week (it currently says “good vibes”) – she loves it and it is a colorful addition to her eclectic room.

Elephant Stud Earrings: these cute earrings were a gift for a friend who was getting her ears pierced…and she loves elephants! They are so cute that I promptly bought a pair for myself (Cam and I share them).

Panama Jack Lip Balm: my boys’ favorite lip balm (it has SPF factor, too) – makes a great stocking stuffer! The flavors are tropical and yummy (I mean, they SMELL yummy, please don’t eat it). 🙂

Big Husky Stuffed Animal: all Cam wanted last year for Christmas was a “huge Husky stuffed animal” so she was thrilled when this stuffie appeared. It comes shrink wrapped quite small but fluffed up delightfully well – it’s still a favorite almost a year later!

Bucket Hat: another big “thing” with my teens, this bucket hat has been to the lake, to the DR on a humanitarian trip, to school, and in the backyard playing football. It washes well and has been exactly what a bucket hat should be!

Ice Cream Slime Kit: this is a super fun kit for slime-making and slime-loving kids! It makes the super soft-feeling slime (I think it’s called butter slime)?

Magnetic Fidget Pen: another hit of a stocking stuffer, this working gel pen can be transformed into various different objects/creatures. Clever and fun!

Slim Wallet: slim wallets are all the rage, and this one is inexpensive but durable and nice! My son got one of these for his birthday this year, and he uses it every day with quite a bit of teen wear and tear, and it has held up great.

LED Frisbee: this light-up frisbee was gifted to one of my sons – and it was such a hit, that we’ve given it as gifts to several people since.

Mini Bluetooth Speaker: my 16-year old got this for his birthday (from his sister) and for a tiny speaker that can fit in your pocket, this thing has volume! It would be a fun stocking stuffer.

Gold Initials Bracelet: layered bracelets are so popular, and I love that this bracelet is in two separate strands (no tangling!). It fits small wrists, too…just makes the end chain a bit longer.

Sewing Machine: Cam had some money saved up from her grandparents and decided she really wanted a sewing machine. She bought this one, and it has been absolutely amazing! A perfect starter sewing machine…but honestly, sturdy and competent enough for more serious seamstresses. It has been perfect for Cam (and I love watching what she creates – her favorite is sewing rice bags to heat up in the microwave).


*There is definitely some overlap between the teen gifts and adult gifts, so peruse both lists – you might find great ideas, no matter the age!*

Box Cutter: how many box cutters is too many box cutters to keep on hand? The answer is: no limit! These mini box cutters are amazing…the ceramic blade can open any type of package. A perfect stocking stuffer (especially for Christmas morning!).

Heel Genius: I’ve been using this foot cream for over a year, and it’s amazing stuff. I have given it as gifts and recommended it to more people than I can count.

Battery Organizer: Yes, a bit more functional than exciting when it comes to gifts, I guess I’m a nerd, because I was thrilled to get this thing. Our battery situation was next-level bad, and this storage case keeps all of them perfectly organized. Love it!

Terribly Awesome Dad Jokes: Brian got this in his stocking last year, and I kid you not, it is STILL pulled out almost weekly to entertain….um…anyone who still laughs at dad jokes. I have to admit, even though I roll my eyes over it, I find myself chuckling at almost all of them. Definitely the best of the worst dad jokes are in this book. 🙂

Eye Patches: there are a lot (!!) of under eye patches on the market; I like this brand (relatively inexpensive – usually on sale). I don’t use them every day, but when I do, I definitely feel refreshed and less baggy-eyed. I have given these many times as a gift to friends, as well.

Laser Measure: I had no idea these little tools existed. This thing is amazing! I’ve been using it nonstop during our remodel, and I can already tell that we are going to get lots of mileage out of this measuring meter.

Handheld Vacuum: I have never been so excited to vacuum my car in my whole life. This cordless handheld vacuum is amazing. I’ve tried others in the past that are very wimpy, but this one is powerful enough for our messy floors and *very* messy car. The battery lasts a long time, as well. Really love this handy little thing!

Digital Picture Frame: I have learned that you get what you pay for when it comes to digital picture frames. I searched high and low for one for my parents earlier this year, and this one has been amazing – high quality AND all of my siblings and I can add photos to the album from an app on our phone even though we are spread across the country.

Atlas of Beauty: this book is one of the most beautiful, remarkable books I own. It features portraits of over 500 women in different countries and cultures with short captions that give insight into their lives. If you or someone you know is a “coffee table book” kind of person, this book is perfect.

Mini Kalimba: a fun stocking stuffer for any musical people in your life! This little keyboard is surprisingly fun to learn to play on. For a larger version (can play more songs on it), this one is exceptional.

Household Tool Set: I’m not sure what it says about me, but this tool set makes me so happy! It replaced a similar tool set I had since college (missing most of the pieces). I use something from this tool set multiple times a week, and it sure beats going out to the garage to rifle through Brian’s *super organized* (ahem) power tools. Best gift ever.

Pocket Sweatshirt: a sweatshirt with pockets?? Brilliant! I have two of these (the “spread kindness” one and the moose one). They are amazing! Comfy and cute. AND POCKETS!! They are true to size for a roomy fit (size down for a smaller fit).

Best Nail Clippers: listen, not everything in a stocking can be exciting, ok? These nail clippers are a very, very valid stocking stuffer, because they are the sturdiest little nail clippers ever.

Small Sling Bag: I bought this a few months ago and have completely ditched all my other purses. I carry it everywhere, and although small, it can fit my phone, wallet, keys and a few other necessaries. It’s super cute!

Crossbody Purse: when I do need a *real* purse (or something a bit larger), this is the one I have and love (the green color is subtle but so pretty)!

Capsule Notes: I think this might be one of the best gifts I’ve ever given (not to toot my own horn or anything). I wrote notes and rolled them up inside of these capsules and gave to Brian this year. Some notes were funny, some sentimental. He has said multiple times that it is one of his favorite things I’ve given him. It would be a fun gift to give to kids also! Lots of feel good value in this one.

Microfiber Keychain: best keychains ever! I have two of them; I schlep them everywhere, and they are holding up fabulously well. A great stocking stuffer idea!

Favorite Neckties: we have a lot of ties around here, and these are some of Brian and the boys’ favorites. The plaid patterns have been a hit, and the ties have held up really, really well!

Electric Lighter: such a handy lighter to have around – this one is flameless (and rechargeable) and perfect for lighting those candles and any other task a lighter is usually used for!

Best Men’s Joggers: so, joggers are definitely a “family thing” and these Old Navy men’s joggers are the best (and have the reviews to prove it!). True to size and super comfy.

Rectangle Huggies: it is no exaggeration to say that I wear these earrings pretty much every day. And I have for over a year now. They haven’t tarnished at all and are very, very well made. (They come in gold, too.)

Baggy Sweatpant Joggers: there is a time and a place for every day joggers, and then there are days when you want them BAGGY. These baggy sweatpant joggers define comfortable. Lightweight, they aren’t overbearing (yes, sometimes pants can be overbearing). Anyway, no surprise, I love them. Follow me for more fashion advice (haha).

Shoulder/Neck Massager: I’ll be honest, I don’t like massage-y type tools, but my family does (this massage gun is almost always in use), and I have it on good authority that this neck massager is AMAZING. We gifted it to my BIL this year and apparently it is highly sought/fought over at their home!

Portable Air Compressor: another handy tool to have on hand in the car and in the garage. It is cordless and very compact. (Make sure to check the listing to see if it is recommended for the type of tires you have on your vehicles.)

Tri-Leg Stool: this stool is incredibly lightweight and packs up super easy! It is perfect for the hiking/camping enthusiast. I use it for sporting events when I’m taking pictures because it beats sitting on the floor. I love this thing! It’s surprisingly comfy for a small compact stool.

Blank Note Cards: these are my favorite note cards! The paper is thick and high-quality, and the friendly, bright designs are perfect for any occasion.

Legendary Whitetails Hooded Jacket: I love this brand – this is a men’s hooded shirt jacket. Super warm. Super cozy. Super rugged. I have a women’s Legendary Whitetails flannel shirt that I love (it makes an appearance in the cookbook!).

Body Bliss Lotion: I am in love with this lotion! Super thick and creamy without being greasy. The grapefruit and aloe scent is my favorite!

Toiletry Bag: not only is this hanging toiletry bag functional, but it is well made and styled perfectly for men or women.

Cozy Socks: these UGG cozy chenille socks are exceptional. Perfect for the chilly months, and they come in several colors! They wash well, too.

Skin Bae/Facial Oils: I started using facial oils a year or so ago, and it has changed my skin for the better! I use Skin Bae and JoJo Bae from TDE, and my kids use JoJo Bae to help keep a bit of teen acne under control. (I think this code may work for a discount or free shipping: TDEMEL)

MicroStitch: this thing is amazing! I use it every time I need to pop in a quick stitch and don’t want to pull out needle and thread (sometimes for a low cut blouse or other times if someone has ripped the hem out of their pants on the way out the door). It is a handy tool to keep on hand!

Tons of other gift guides here if you need more gift-giving inspiration! Happy Holidays!

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