2015 Holiday Gift Guide for Tweens

Now that my son is 10 years old, and we’ve had the Santa talk, we’re definitely in the tween years. Most of what he wants this Christmas has to do with Minecraft, but I was still able to score some amazing gifts from brands who contacted me that I know he’s going to love. So I’m going to start this list with the wonderful books that were sent to me for review by brands that “get” me, and then we’ll continue on with things that our family will be spending money on. If it’s an Amazon link, I get a small commission if you make your purchase from this gift guide. (So thank you, if you do!)

Guinness Book(s) of World Records

We were sent copies of both Guinness World Records 2016 and Guinness World Records 2016: Gamer’s Edition. This was the first holiday gift guide pitch I got that was both relevant and exciting for me, as TJ has owned previous editions of these books and loved them. I was the same way at his age, although they only had the one edition “way back then.” World records were fascinating to me, and he reads and re-reads his older copies. It will be great to see his face when he gets the new ones!

Personalized Lemony Snicket Books

Lemony Snicket Who Could That Be At This Hour Book

We were also sent copies of a whole series of personalized books from Put Me In The Story! (From the time this is published until Sunday, 11/29/15 at 11:59 p.m. CST, you can use coupon code BFSALE at checkout to get 40% off any book!) We got all four titles in the Lemony Snicket series “All the Wrong Questions” available on the site:

PMITS has many other titles available at the tween level and also for younger kids. Star Wars, Disney, Peanuts, and The Avengers are only a few of the types of books you can choose from. While the photo above is one taken from their website, I did an “unboxing” on Periscope and saved the video on Katch so that you could look inside the books with me:

Minecraft Story Mode

At the top of TJ’s list was Minecraft Story Mode for the PS3. It is also available for other gaming systems, including: PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. There are less expensive version you can buy that provide access to one part of the story, but the “season pass” version ensures your kids (or, you know, you adults) will have access to all of the new content as it becomes available. I’ll confess that I don’t know much about Minecraft, and I don’t know why this game is so special, but I do know that it is the one thing TJ will be really upset about if he doesn’t get it.

Minecraft Transforming Gold Sword/Pick Axe

File this under “things I didn’t know existed.” If your kids insist on playing with fighting toys, they may as well be made out of foam, right? TJ already has a sword, the Minecraft Foam Diamond Sword, but why not add a sword that can also be a pickaxe? It’s fun for roleplay (for the kids, right? unless you and your significant other want to battle it out Minecraft-style when the kids go to bed) and it can encourage exercise. Yes, I’ve watched TJ go all out acting out solo sword forms and mock battles.

Minecraft Ender Dragon Plushie

Of course, TJ needs another stuffed animal like he needs another hole in the head, but this Ender Dragon is pretty cool. Be careful when shopping for these online…apparently, there are a lot of knockoffs. Don’t get fooled. I made sure to read the Amazon reviews to ensure I was linking to the right thing. The knockoffs are not made with good quality materials, and kids can tell the difference. (The huge difference in price was my first hint that something was off.)

Minecraft Overworld Saddle Pack

Minecraft Overworld Pack

This was apparently on sale at Target earlier this week, and I didn’t even realize it was the thing that TJ asked for. (You’re a hero, Aunt Meghan!) You get Minecraft figures of Steve, a horse, a pig, and some hay and grass blocks. Convince your kids to stop watching those annoying Minecraft videos by letting them act out their own.

Minecraft Minifigures Blind Boxes

Do your kids enjoy watching “unboxing” videos? I never got the point of watching videos of people opening boxes of toys you’ll never get to play with… But if the blind boxes are for you, then you get to enjoy what’s inside! So I’ll be trying to pick up a few Minecraft minifig blind boxes for TJ’s stocking so we can make some unboxing videos of our own.

The 2015 Hess Truck Fire Truck and Ladder Rescue

2015 Hess Truck Fire Truck

When all of our local Hess gas stations turned into Speedway gas stations, the first thing that TJ asked was whether or not there would be Hess trucks this year. To our great relief, they do still sell them. And they are fire trucks this year. (Sorry, parents. Lights and sirens again.) My uncle has been buying Hess trucks for TJ and his grandson Eli for the last few years, and neither boy has outgrown them yet. Hess trucks are something that will be collectors’ items in the future, but I know TJ’s trucks will not be in mint condition by the time he’s done with them!

Christina Gleason (972 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I’m a relatively high-functioning Aspie who also lives with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. I am not ashamed to admit that I am in the care of a psychiatrist, who assures me that people in therapy are often better adjusted than “normal” people who are not, because at least we know what our issues are and are working on them. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including World of Warcraft and Empire: Four Kingdoms. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead.


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