Help! 18th birthday present ideas needed!

(35 Posts)
singinginthelifeboats Wed 01-Feb-12 00:56:24

DPs son is 18 in March. It sounds odd but I don't know him that well - he is quite independent, often not around...DP and I don't live together either so although I think I know him pretty well through talking to DP about him, we haven't actually spent much time together. I have generally fallen back on 'tokens' for presents in the past and these have gone down well but I would like to be a bit more imaginative for his 18th. Now, of course, I could ask DP but I would like to demonstrate my fabulous ability to choose just the right present......without help!

Any suggestions? It will be a gift from me only and so I have a budget of roughly £50 I thought. He is quite sporty (rugby, skiing etc) and quite sociable. Will be off to uni this autumn.....

Please help me appear soooooo in tune with 'young people' (I have a DS but he is a bit younger) and thoughtful!

3boys1cat Wed 01-Feb-12 16:13:42

We got a caricature drawn for a relative's 18th birthday recently. You need a photo of them and some suggestions of their interests etc. Would recommend it as it's something a bit special and will last a lifetime!

Maryz Wed 01-Feb-12 19:47:26

Boys are very, very hard, but my mum had great success in buying an 18th present for my son. She wanted to give him something he would keep, not clothes he would chuck away (or money that he would drink grin).

She got him a pair of silver cufflinks with his initials on them. I can't imagine when he will wear them (though he has suddenly started wearing the occasional shirt), but he was surprisingly delighted shock, especially by the fact that she had got them specially engraved.

The caricature is a great idea. I must have a look around here to see if anyone does it.

Girls are so much easier [sigh]

eatyourveg Thu 02-Feb-12 08:11:13

I bought my son a rather posh hip flask (No more than £40) which I had engraved with his initials. Not that he drinks spirits and it was not my intention to encourage him but it was something he could keep. He loved it and as Maryz says, it was the engraving which seemed to go down particularly well.

goinggetstough Thu 02-Feb-12 10:52:08

We have done the cuff links option too. If your DPS already wears cufflinks so doesn't need anymore what about a cuff links box. We got a leather one for a friend's son and had his initials embossed on the top and he seemed to like it. Have a look on street.com Boys are definitely more difficult as you can always buy jewellery for girls.

luckylavender Thu 02-Feb-12 11:14:19

How about a Swiss Army Knife? You can get them engraved and they come in lots of different price ranges. They are timeless and useful, DS got one for his christening and I gave one to my godson at his confirmation recently.

BackforGood Thu 02-Feb-12 12:46:25

Swiss army knife is a good idea, as are the cufflinks.
Back in the day people used to give engraved tankards, didn't they ? grin but they just kind of sit on the shelf gathering dust.
Nothing useful to add blush just marking my spot really so I can crib other people's good ideas.

goinggetstough Thu 02-Feb-12 12:50:36

Just thought the modern day swiss army knife would be a Leatherman multi tool and they too can be engraved.

Maryz Thu 02-Feb-12 12:51:09

Engraved swiss army knife is inspired.

<files away for ds2 and random nephews>

singinginthelifeboats Fri 03-Feb-12 09:42:11

These are great ideas! (I have been unable to access my MN account for a couple of days - sob!)

I had thought about a hip flask - I think it would go down OK with his mother (hm.....) - I had also thought about a Swiss Army knife having been in shops selling skiing gear and seen them and I am very interested in everyone's take on that. I wasn't sure how good an idea it was but it seems that it is a very good one so I think that might be the way to go.

Cufflinks are also a good idea - if I could find some really cool ones I think they might go down well too.

Good stuff - many thanks!

Maryz Fri 03-Feb-12 09:45:07

I think anything engraved shows you care smile.

singinginthelifeboats Fri 03-Feb-12 09:46:07

You are so right that girls are easier on these kinds of occasions..... so typically DP has another son so I will store up these suggestions for future reference!

My DS on the other hand will be simple (of course!) but the budget will be bigger and so that helps....and with my DD, when she eventually gets there, I will be spoiled for choice apart from the fact that she is so un materialistic I will be forcing stuff on her!

singinginthelifeboats Fri 03-Feb-12 09:48:28

I really like the engraving idea - might have to check with DP whether the whole set of initials or just two would be good - though I do want to appear so very very clever (me? Get my ideas from MN?) and for it to be a surprise.

chipandbiff Fri 03-Feb-12 09:54:44

We just had an 18th birthday in the family, and like you, I wanted the gift to be 'just right' so I could demonstrate how cool and 'down with the kids' I am.....sad?? Me?? Oh yes!! so amongst other things we got tickets to see Michael McIntyre. <short lived smug face!>
Went down a storm.
Have a look on the ticket master website?

singinginthelifeboats Fri 03-Feb-12 09:56:54

Do I dare get these ones? They are Paul Smith!

www.julesb.co.uk/menswear-1/paul-smith-accessories-naked-662896.htm

singinginthelifeboats Fri 03-Feb-12 10:00:31

I certainly have the 'I need to show how cool and in tune with DPs kids I am' issue going on (probably should be posting this in 'Relationships' or 'Step Parenting'!)

Going back to the Jules B website to see what other risque stuff I can find..... The shop isn't far from me so I can phone and see if they have things in stock you see

Mine turns 18 in March too. He has asked for a) a suit of armour or b) a blacksmiths course.

I think these might be specific to him though ;)

I think I'll probably get him a fob watch engraved.

Is he into travelling? Doing a gap year or anything? You can get these fantastic world wall maps where you scratch off the countries you've been too.

notonthehighstreetdotcom has some great personalised gifts; got DP some cufflinks engraved with the coastline of where we have our holidays.

singinginthelifeboats Fri 03-Feb-12 10:07:46

Oh I would so like to buy someone a blacksmiths course (and a suit of armour!)

Your DS sounds fantastic - the watch option (and a very very expensive watch option) has already been taken I'm afraid

He isn't taking a gap year (that I am aware of) but he does travel - I shall have a look for those kinds of gifts

No, my DS is a complete weirdo. He seriously has it in his head that the blacksmith thing will be a good way to meet girls confused

Is yours off to Uni? Maybe some nice shot/wine/beer glasses? Or a 1994 vintage of wine/port/whisky?

Maryz Fri 03-Feb-12 14:32:06

Can I suggest as a step-parent that maybe it would be better not to go down the drink route (shot glasses/flask).

I know my kids would like them, but I also know that I would be a bit upset if anyone gave such a thing to ds1 (because he has some addiction problems). So it might be better to check with the residential parent if these types of things would cause offence to be taken (better to avoid offence if at all possible).

Also, I assume you have checked what his parents have given him? I tried to make sure that there weren't doubles of "things to keep" for my son, so one watch, one pair of cufflinks. Again avoiding conflict.

FriskyMare Fri 03-Feb-12 14:37:14

Bought for my nephews 18ths silver cufflinks, good quality leather wallet and one of those photo frames that "plays" photos iyswim. All appreciated.

BackforGood Fri 03-Feb-12 15:55:23

I don't like the cufflinks you linked to, but that could just be me personally - I'm not sure it's the 'right' gift for an adult to be giving a young lad - it would be better to get some with something that shows you know him personally - a football or his club emblem, or a music clef or a chess board or some little motorbikes or whateve he is in to. Naked ladies smacks a bit of "I'm trying to be down with the yoof" to me. No offence - just my opinion.

singinginthelifeboats Sat 04-Feb-12 17:16:29

No offence taken - the cufflinks were a VERY tongue in cheek joke - I would NOT have bought them in a million years. Though I do like Paul Smith stuff on the whole - I'd probably go for a scarf if anything! DPs son does do the 'dinner jacket' kind of stuff from time to time so I might save the idea of cufflinks for nextXmas - there were some really nice, not very expensive (and tasteful!) ones on the Notonthehighstreet website.

I am, on the whole, set on the idea of a Swiss Army knife - DP will approve being an outdoorsy, camping kind of person and so is his son. I know what DP is buying him and I suspect his ex will buy something quite large so I am safe re 'doubles' so far. Good point re checking the approval of the ex though - it is a bit of a minefield but, again, she is a very outdoorsy person too so I think she will be OK.

duongo75 Tue 26-Feb-13 10:28:23

hey there,
not sure if you've found a present already, but i recently bought a personalised tankard from a site called www.myredpacket.co.uk.
here's the direct link
www.myredpacket.co.uk/section.php/715/1/personalised-pint-tankards
They seem to have a good selection of 18th gifts
www.myredpacket.co.uk/section.php/218/1/18th-birthday-gifts-and-presents

redcrop Tue 26-Feb-13 22:32:08

Hi not sure what kind of things he may be into or whether you have bought the present but up to the 31st March you can buy a deposit for the Reading Festival for £50. I bought this for my Son (16) at Christmas and he was over the moon although he now needs to pay the balance! which is not cheap approx (£150.00)
but luckily he works so has been able to afford it.

But very cool present!

HTH xx

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