What to Get  a Tween Fashionista

Give ‘em what they want

Tobias and I always get into a heated discussion this time of year regarding the issue of gift giving (read about Nanogate 2006). I firmly believe in giving people what they want because if I purchase something that they don’t like and they don’t use then it’s a waste of our money.  Tobias thinks the focus should be on the giving and that people should be happy to receive a gift, no matter what it is, hence my silver (instead of red) Nano.

Yeah, Christmas is about giving, but it’s also about getting and who wants to receive a bad gift?  No one. Plus giving bad gifts to certain groups, like children,  can scar a child for life. Remember that part in ‘A Christmas Story’ when Ralphie had to wear the bunny suit his aunt sent him for Christmas? Thousands of dollars of therapy because of that one Christmas gift.

On the other hand, not many of us can afford to buy our little ones Nintendo Wiis. There must be a happy medium between giving want a kid wants and giving what your pocketbook can afford.

For this year’s under $25 Holiday Guide, I received several items for children that are light on the wallet. In order to determine whether or not they would actually like the gift, I turned to the most stylish, hip, kid I know, my niece Mariah, to review the products.  She tested every product, outsourced additional testing (to her 4 year old brother), developed her own review system and even typed in her report herself.

Here’s Mariah’s picks:

Wonkazoid: It is very fun to play with.  It shoots out candy and is a video game,too.  It came with stickers that you could put on the video game.  If you pass all five levels you win.  It comes with candy and a refill.  I had Shockers candy, the other candy was Sweet Tarts.  I think my friends should buy it.  I would want it as a gift.

My rating: *****

Cost: $4.99 – $6.99 at retailers nationwide. Head to www.Wonka.com for more information.

You Go Girl Stereo Headphones:  Headphones with pink flower decorations on the outside of the ear pieces.  They are really cute and comfortable to wear.  I used them with my Ipod and really liked them.  I think girls my age would like it and I would give it as a gift.

My rating: ****

Cost: $19.99 at www.u-go-g.com

Sephora Girls Pink Purse:  Pink ‘pleather’ purse with pencil tin inside.  I loved carrying it and also putting pencils and pens in the tin.  It also included lollipop lip gloss that I really liked.  It was big enough to put things inside, but not too big.  I think that girls my age (eight) would like it.  I would definitely want it or to give as gift.

My rating: *****

Cost: From $8.00 at sephora.com What to Get  a Tween Fashionista or by calling 1-877-SEPHORA

Sephora Girls Pink Round Tote:  You can use at school, or to hold cosmetics ,or a regular purse. It is perfect for putting pencils and cosmetics in. All in all it is absolutely my favorite kind of tote besides the purse.

My rating: ***** .

Cost: From $8.00 at sephora.com What to Get  a Tween Fashionista  or by calling 1-877-SEPHORA

Healthy Mr. Potato Head:  The original Mr. Potato Head with some additional pieces.  Smaller than the original; had many movable parts, liked the roller blade part.  My brother who is four really loved playing with it the minute he saw it.  Too easy for someone my age, but I still liked playing with it.  The only problem with the doll is that you can’t purchase it a store and ordering takes several weeks, so a kid wouldn’t get it until after Christmas.

My rating:  **** .

Cost: $7.50 at www.PotatoHeadQuarters.com