Still searching for a holiday gift for your millennial child? You can stop scratching your head. Here are some trendy ideas gathered from young adults and Kansas City, Mo.-based millennial marketing expert Jeff Fromm to help you out.
Many millennials would rather spend money on experiences than "stuff." Not only do they want to grab all that life has to offer, Fromm says, but they want to share it, too. For this generation, "if it's not on Instagram, it didn't happen," he says. Beyond the usual concerts and sports events, Fromm suggests gift certificates for action-packed outings such as escape rooms, where friends are locked in a labyrinth and scheme how to break out. If they like to get dirty, try a physical challenge such as a Tough Mudder obstacle course. For exercise and dance enthusiasts, there's Daybreaker, an early morning, alcohol-free electric dance party that gives both a workout and a literal jump on the day.
If your kids are coffee-loving foodies, put a French press coffeepot on your list. Some like it hot, but many prefer iced coffee year round. One millennial wanted a "fancy iced coffeemaker" and a bagel-making kit because it's "a fun way to make the foods that I never thought of making at home." Our sources mentioned time-saving gadgets such as slow cookers and blenders, both economical (no need to spend $8 on a smoothie) and efficient. Along the same lines, another millennial asked for plastic bento-style boxes to take lunch to work.
Several millennials mentioned that they'd be happy to receive Netflix, Hulu or HBO subscriptions. One suggested packaging it with a gift certificate to a local pizza place that delivers for "those Friday nights when I'm too tired to go out and want to watch a movie and eat pizza." Another idea is subscription boxes, ranging from $10 to $200 monthly, which bring a new gift for as many months as your budget allows. Examples of popular clothing subscriptions include the personal styling service at Stitch Fix and designer fashions at Rent the Runway. Beyond clothes, you can have everything from soaps, cosmetics and crocheting packages to craft beers, video games and books delivered monthly.
The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa in Iceland, the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt and the Great Wall of China top the list of coveted travel experiences in a Contiki survey. Few parents may be able (or willing) to foot the bill for their kids' exotic vacation, but gifts of frequent-flier miles or hotel points can help offset trip costs. For some parents, taking a family trip is a gift that everyone gets to enjoy, both in terms of a vacation and time together. Fromm, the parent of a 20-year-old son and 24-year-old twin daughters, is taking his family to Thailand for the holiday. "We asked them what they wanted, and it was travel. The girls picked the place, and we're all going along for the ride."
Mary W. Quigley, a journalist and author, has written two books about motherhood and work. A New York University journalism professor, she is the mother of three adult children and blogs at Mothering21.com