Hey, you, don't panic. Although the sweat might be gathering at your brow and suddenly it feels hard to breathe, realize that it's simply because you've been tasked with getting
a holiday gift for a member of Gen Z, and you don't know where to start. Well, for one thing, my aging friend, we're all human. And generally, people just want gifts that make their lives better, more beautiful, more meaningful, or easier, right? Basic stuff. It's just that Gen Z, like all Gens, have spices, twists, and trends unique to them.
Sure, these trends might seem hard to follow, or even to
understand, considering the wild influx of acronyms and new verbage Gen Z has brought into the world and online. But just for a little context, you know what is really, really freakin' cool about Gen Z? Well, according to Business Insider, Gen Z is the most ethnically-diverse, and largest generation in American history — and they are as much about social media as they are about social justice.
That's enough heartwarming information to want to get the whole lot of them some thoughtful holiday loot, no? Below, take a look at some gift ideas for the Gen Z'er in your life. You might just find them inspiring.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 An Actual Camera-Camera With A Selfie Mirror
Consider this a generational compromise,
and a holiday classic at this point. It's an adorable, retro instant camera that harkens back to the days when pictures were a thing you could hold and not zoom in on, but there is also a selfie mirror on it, because, duh. This Hello Kitty Camera is great for the holiday season, and Gen Z loves cartoons, so snap it up and flash some peace signs in some cute Instant shots with your young loved one. 2 Cool Freakin' Sunglasses
Honestly, if you give someone
a good pair of sunglasses, you're golden. Shades are cool, and that's a fact of life that will persist through the ages. Thusly, if you're in the mood to impress the Gen Z in your life, they will slide these bad boys on and feel the wind of timelessness in their hair. Just before they post them on Insta. But heck, they'll probably tag you in it, so that's good news, right? 3 Astro Poets: Your Guides To The Zodiac
Here's some truth for you. Like their mentors, the millennials,
Gen Z loves astrology. Gen Z loves Twitter. Gen Zs die for Twitter Astrology. So, if your Z is on Twitter, they know Astro Poets. These brilliant, ethereal astrology tweets blossomed into a full blown phenomenon, and finally, into a guidebook. One you should definitely get at your local book store but will probably order on Amazon Prime. However you get to it, it's worth it. Buy one for yourself while you're at it! 4 A Remarkably Small Handbag
Make sure that you can fit a phone and a debit card in there, and you're golden. The handles need barely be big enough for one's hands to scoot through the top so these little fellas can elegantly, ever-so-cooly, dangle off the wrist. Or you can get one that has a cross body strap, to underline just how minuscule this delightful bag really is against the size of a body. It's like a pocket, but a bag. You know? Anyway, small things rule.
5 A Renewable Seltzer Order
What is it that makes us love seltzer so much that people continue to consider it trendy and totally of the times, despite being a beverage over 300 years old? Unclear. But damn, it's crisp. Have a 24 pack of La Croix or Topo Chico delivered monthly to the door of your Gen Z's college dorm, once or repeatedly. It's a cost-friendly gift that brings both joy and satiation.
Or, you could do the more environmentally sound thing and just get them one of those nice seltzer makers and a sleek water bottle. Up to you.
6 Anecdote Candles
What does Gen Z and their millennial brethren love? Making weird, funny ideas into new words, catch phrases, or acronyms. TFW. I stan. IDAGF. #adulting. Get you a man who can do both.
It's our take on poetry, or something. These cute little candles here? Well, they take that idea and make it, ahem, fire. There's even one that smells like "Athleisure," apparently, for that leggings lover in your life, and of course, a candle scented "Swipe Right." What could that smell like?
7 Keke Palmer's 'Sorry To This Man' Shirt
Sorry to this reader if this seems so September, but Keke Palmer's Sorry To This Man was one of the funniest things to happen online this year. If your Gen Z (or millennial) is a MEME or GIFY lover, this will serve to commemorate the priceless moment where Palmer gave Dick Cheney some unintentional shade by not knowing who the hell he was. She later said, after finding out, that she was glad of that. Burn!
Palmer is selling them on her own website, too, so no need to worry about intellectual property rights or anything like that.
8 8.Trendy Sneakers
Every generation loves sneakers, and Gen Z is certainly no different. Get them a certificate to their favorite brand, or simply take a chance on a pair and watch their eyes light up. No, the sneakers don't have to be attractive or "make sense" to you. From a nice pair of Chuck Taylor Classic high tops, to Nike Air Max, to those massive, dad-zone
Balenciaga track shoes, there is a style and price to support every Gen Z foot. 9 iPhone Holder For A Car
No, this is not for selfies while driving. Those are still and will forever be illegal and discouraged. However! Most of Gen Z is reliant on the GPS, and it's kinda hard to safely watch the map while you need eyes on the road, especially if they've not been behind the wheel for very long. So get them a cute panda to hug their celly and keep it safe, as Waze guides them towards their not-so-final destination.
10 A Set Of Charcoals
Not lumps for the stocking, I'm talking drawing materials! Get a nice drawing pad, some charcoals and/or pastels and if you're feeling extra generous, maybe a figure drawing class. Something tactile and experiential is always appreciated, and any activity that gets the focus outward and into the present moment is a good thing. Drawing a naked body, or heck, a nice vase, with some chalky pastels or tight charcoals is a lovely, messy experience that might open some serious artistic horizons.
11 A Piece Of Unique (And Maybe Fancy) Jewelry
When it comes to accessories for Gen Z, it's about being flashy and subtle, cheeky and earnest, over-the-top and just-enough, all at the same time. That combo is the mark of an adornment that will have a Gen Z's friends double tapping.
Depending on your budget, something like the 14 K gold rosary layers above, which could be worn in faith, irony, or a combination of both, is beautiful and cool and might stick with them into old age, you know? Plus it will pair well with the sneaks. And if you want to save some coins getting something like kooky cherry drop earrings
from ASOS, well, that's another good bet. 12 A Dance Class
It doesn't have to be intimidating, like Advanced Pointe, or anything. But as a computer generation, one thing necessary for happiness is to get back into the body. To feel, and breathe, and move! So encourage such a practice by getting your Gen Z into a beginners' Jazz class, or something even more free-spirited like
a Dance Church type situation, which is all about dancing your little heart out to extreme tunes. Anything that will get them into the limbs and out of the heads equals a good thing. 13 Glitter Face Masks
Combining two of Gen Z's great pop cultural interests, face masks and glitter, will have astounding results. These are always worth a snap or four, for the glitter, as well as the inevitable peel off. There are many to choose from, but this Glow Job by Too Faced is a favorite of many. Plus, the name gets a giggle point. Their skin will shine with more than just the dew of youth.
14 'No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference' By Greta Thunberg
The climate activist voice of Gen Z, is, indeed, Greta Thunberg. Order her book, tie it up with a bow made of old shoe laces (not a joke) and adorn it with reusable straws. Gen Z is serious about climate change, because someone has to be, and furthermore, it's a powerful generation filled with activists looking for change! Perhaps accompany this book with a note that says, "So, there's a lot wrong with the world. How do you want me to help?" is the greatest gift of all.
15 Any And All Cartoon Inspired Apparel
Gen Z? A very pro-cartoon bunch. It's great. It means a sartorial experience filled with color, curve, and personality. You can simply get lost online looking through The Simpsons, Betty Boop, Hello Kitty, or Mickey Mouse themed shoes, sweatshirts and bags. So choose their favorite cartoon, and get shopping! You might get excited and over do it (socks, bucket hat, sweatpants) but then again, over-doing it on fashion is not really something Gen Z is too concerned with, my friends. Go wild.
16 An Extremely Fuzzy Jacket
They may seem young to you, but they still love to be cozy. Maybe more than most generations, and good on Gen Z for that, IMO. A teddy-bear inspired, super-duper fuzzy coat that is just a little bit oversized is going to go over well, that is, if they don't already have one. But hey, who said they didn't need another one in maroon?
17 Low Impact Undies
If you have the type of relationship with a Gen Z where it would be appropriate to buy them undies and socks, well, then, it's a classic gift. But make it responsible, organic, and low-impact. Trying to find something
gender non-binary is often quite appreciated as well. 18 OK Boomer Mug
OK Boomer continues to be some current meme fuel and refers to miscommunication and misunderstanding between Gen Z and the Baby Boomer generation. AKA the modern version of kids vs. grandparents.
The fight sort of sounds like this today: You don't see the reason for non-binary bathrooms? OK Boomer. You don't understand why kids these days aren't going out and knocking on doors to get jobs? OK Boomer. Don't totally believe the planet is dying or at least not enough to stop going to Starbucks three times a day? OK Boomer. You get the idea.
It's a play-it-safe gift, but if your Gen Z'er doesn't have them, they probably want them — they just don't want to shell out the cash. That's where you come in, OK, Boomer? (Just kidding.) No, but really these teeny little wireless earphones in a rechargeable case are a much coveted item for anyone with an iPhone. Plus, "Hey Siri" is always on, meaning you're also getting them a friend.
20 Personalized Personal Care Brand Subscription
Could be shampoo, vitamins, makeup, period care, you name it. Gen Z gets real with the personalized personal care subscriptions. It's a healthful, solid, much-appreciated gift that they can detail themselves. Baze Vitamins designs a supplement packet just for the taker, for example. It's a great gift.
There you have it, folks, Just a few ideas to kickstart the shopping extravaganza that will be your Gen Z gift giving. Just think of how many times you're going to be tagged on their Insta with some of these gifts.