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The Best Gift Ideas for Teenagers: A Blank Journal

10 Ago 2015 – 12:15 PM EDT

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If you need gift ideas for teenagers, let me tell you about the one gift that has been the greatest gift for my kids:

A blank journal.

Way back when I was a teenager, a thoughtful teacher took me out for lunch (today, that would be totally frowned upon!) and gave me a blank journal as a gift. She encouraged me to write every day and put down my deepest thoughts and feelings. I had previously captured my thoughts in a ratty notebook. I just couldn’t bear to marr the pages of this beautiful journal with random ramblings so I filled it with inspirational quotes and my poetry instead.

Today, when I read through the journal, I’m instantly transported back into my high school years and the memories that float there. So many of the quotes are so relevant today that I find myself randomly opening pages and instantly being inspired by the words.

What a gift.

I have two boys and a girl–and I’ve given each of them journals. My daughter took off with the journal idea and requested more and more journals as gifts throughout the years. She has quite a collection of journals now and shows no signs of stopping. There’s something tangible when you put the written word to paper. A computer file just can’t hold a candle to the process of physically writing out your thoughts. Even though my boys don’t embrace the concept as deeply as my daughter has, I know someday they’ll look back and appreciate the journals.

When you give your teenager a blank journal, here are some ways they could fill up the journal:

  • Daily gratitude thoughts: Every morning and every night, reflect on what you’re grateful for
  • Daily happenings: Capture the highlights of each day on a page
  • Idea journal: Write down random thoughts and ideas that you can use or develop for the future
  • Goal journal: Write down your dreams and goals–outline the steps to reach them
  • Capture favorite quotes: Gather inspirational quotes. You can pass the journal around to friends and ask them to write their favorite quotes.
  • Life lessons: Write down the life lessons you’ve learned. You can pass the journal around to friends and mentors and ask them to share their best life lessons.
  • Diary: This is the typical use of blank journals. Pour your heart out on every page.

You can find blank journals for a reasonable price at Target and Walmart. You’ll also find them online at Amazon and Etsy stores. You can even create a personalized, customized journal on sites such as Zazzle. If you’re the crafty parent, you can order blank journals in bulk and add your personalized design to the cover.
When I was a teenager, my best friend and I passed a notebook back and forth and we shared our thoughts and daily happenings. Thirty years later, it’s been a fun trip down memory lane to read this notebook. The teenage dramas that we wrote about years ago seem quite trivial in today’s eyes!