(DISCLAIMER: None of the products below are sponsored, these are all real suggestions from real military teens.)
The Holiday Season sure snuck up on the world this year, and if you're like us, you've been so busy contemplating the fact that 2020 is almost over that you haven't even thought about Christmas gifts yet! Not to worry! Bloom has curated a gift guide for you to bless the military teen in your life! Here are some things we think (almost) every adolescent brat should have.
1. Stress Ball
This is a MUST for all teens, military and civilian alike. Being an adolescent is TOUGH, and being a high schooler is even TOUGHER. Stress balls help us relieve our stress because, for some reason, squeezing the life out of some poor piece of rubber is quite relaxing. Even if your teen isn't really into that type of relaxation, they can still chuck it at a sibling's head to relieve stress too!
2. Soundproof Headphones
Whether you are traveling the world or simply trying to get things done at home, soundproof earphones are the key to calm! Great for road trips, plane rides, and family outings (just kidding)!
3. Unit Merchandise
Wearing a parent's unit insignia serves as a reminder of unique experiences and the places one has been. It also helps a teen take pride in their unit family and gives them something to remember down the line!
4. Duty Station Souvenirs
Christmas-y (or not Christmas-y) mementos of one's time in a specific location can help a teen remember their many homes fondly in the future. Something handmade or unique to a place would be a nice touch to any gift, especially for families moving in the near future.
5. Bond Touch Bracelets
If you're a parent and you hate your child's partner or your child is single, go ahead and skip down to the next item. For the lovebird in your family, these Bond Touch bracelets allegedly send a vibration to a significant other with a matching bracelet, no matter where they are in the world! Long-distance dating has become the norm for a lot of military teens, so this gift can help add some warmth to the relationship. (We are not sponsored by or affiliated with Bond Touch.)
As Sally said in A Charlie Brown Christmas, "If it seems too complicated, make it easy on yourself: just send money. How about tens and twenties?" Because our world revolves around money (and because college is freaking expensive) you can't go wrong with a simple cash donation!
7. Pen Pal Starter Pack
This is probably the simplest yet most profound gift on this list. Military brats often struggle to stay in touch with friends, so a Pen Pal Starter Pack is a great way to get the conversations started. Purchase some blank cards, fun stationery, envelopes, and art supplies and give them to the military teen in your life to make it easier for them to send thoughtful notes to far-away friends.
8. Scratch Map
For the kid who's lived all over the world, a Scratch Map is a cool way to keep track of all of the places they've been! If you've traveled a lot, you can celebrate your accomplishments with a striking visual. If you haven't, you can formulate some goals and plans!
9. Personal Charging Station
A military teen's phone is their lifeline to their friends, family, and every single place they've ever lived. Help them keep their lifeline in good health with a personal charging hub! With some models, they can even charge those fancy AirPods if they're "cool" enough to own them!
10. Alone Time
The necessary dosage of alone time is different for everyone, but with all the holiday hubbub, it's easy for teens to get stressed out. A little peace and quiet, even for a little bit, would be very nice.