A guide to a teen’s brain: Holiday gift edition


Vassili Prokopenko

In the spirit of both journalism and the holidays, here are the Black & White’s top 10 trending gifts this season.

By Rena Van Leeuwen

No matter your stance on whether it’s more fulfilling to give or receive presents, nothing is better than a gift that provides both meaning and long-term use. So, in the spirit of both journalism and the holidays, here are the Black & White’s top 10 trending gifts this season — the perfect parental guide to the best presents. 

  1. Airpod Case Cover with Keychain 

I can count on my fingers, toes and numerous other bones in my body the number of times I’ve lost my AirPods. AirPods are not only quite expensive but, in my experience, are also easily misplaced due to the earbuds’ small size and, well, the fact that there are two of them. For the many students who are starting to drive, there’s no better way to keep track of the listening devices than by attaching them to your car keys with a colorful silicone case to prevent damage. This AirPod case also has a clip so you can attach it to anything.

  1. Speaker 

You’re hanging out with friends in one of your basements, or you’re hunched over your kitchen table, grinding away at homework. Wherever you are, a speaker is the perfect way for a teen to fill a room with music. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer blasting the newest hits, old-time classics or lo-fi tunes; the simplicity of a speaker makes for a gift that will satisfy all and go to good use. 

  1. Film Cameras

What better way to capture special moments than with a film camera? Disposable cameras have become more popular among teenagers over the past year because they can capture spontaneous moments. However, film cameras provide more permanence than their disposable counterparts — and film photography is a fun hobby to pick up.

  1. Puffer Jackets

As winter settles in, colder temperatures are in the forecast (although it reached 68 degrees in Bethesda on December 16). Puffer jackets are a fashionable way to bundle up amid the increasingly chilly weather. You can get one in any color or length you’d like — your puffer jacket will keep you warm in the cool air. 

“Puffer jackets are both cute and keep you warm in the cold Bethesda air,” senior Madeline Griffin said. “They go with basically everything and make every outfit cuter.”

  1. Pajama Pants

It’s that time of the year for high school students: sleep deprivation and anticipation of winter break has brought about dreams of late mornings sleeping in, or of relaxing by the fireplace. Every kid could use a cozy pair of pajama pants not only to lounge in at home, but also to rock at school after break when the weather outside becomes frightful. 

“Pajama pants are so comfortable,” senior Amelia Levin said. “They’re great for lounging around the house and wearing to school.” 

  1. Ugg Slippers

These aren’t the Ugg boots that were sought after four years ago, but rather the small Ugg slippers that every high school student seems to sport. Whether you wear them in your home or out and about, Ugg slippers are out-of-this-world comfortable, and getting outside becomes that much easier when you have a soft pair of shoes on your feet. 

  1. Flannels

A flannel shirt is a stylish way to stay warm during the winter. A soft blue flannel over a white shirt, for example, provides the perfect pop of color. Plus, wearing this thin, jacket-like button-up shirt may help stop parents from nagging you to put on a coat. 

“Flannels are always my go-to for the colder months because I can easily add a cute layer to my outfit,” senior Valentine Lauwers said.

  1. Nike Blazers

First it was Vans, and then it was Nike Air Force 1’s that were the most worn shoes among kids. Now, Nike Blazers seem to be starting to take the old sneakers’ place. Nike Blazers are high-top sneakers designed to provide an old-school look. 

“I really like them because they are super comfortable and very versatile with outfits,” senior Genevra Johnson said. “They have amazing colors and are customizable.”

  1. Theragun

For as long as I’ve played ice hockey — 11 years — I’ve wanted a Theragun. The Theragun is a massage device that helps to treat muscle soreness and improve recovery time. 

“The Theragun is a beneficial product for athletes because it relieves muscles that are tense from not only the stress of school but also athletic activities,” sophomore Alex Shavitz said. 

Even for people who don’t like to play sports or work out, the device can relieve muscle tension, making it of potential use to anyone.

  1. Gift Cards

When it comes time to make a wish list each holiday season, I never know what to write down. I always end up forgetting an item that I want, and later wishing I remembered to put it on my list. That’s where gift cards come in. Gift cards are the best present for teens, hands down, because they allow the recipient to get exactly what they want, yet the card is still a gift from a special person in their life: you.


The past 355 days in 2021 have felt more like 3,550. At the end of this long year, why not treat your loved ones to the perfect gift that will make them smile? 

Happy holidays from the Black & White!