All you ho-ho-hosiery givers, keep this in mind: The only way your teen will appreciate socks and underwear this year is if they are used to wrap an iPod.
Finding the right gift for a tween or teen can be as difficult as dealing with their mood swings -- especially because the 12-18-year-old consumer is both savvy and extravagant.
"It's all about indulgence," said Marshall Cohen, chief analyst at consumer and retail market research information company NPD Group. "Teens are technologically savvy and have all the gadgets. Their sense of style is the only thing that separates them."
The Nintendo Wii ($250), which has a "nunchuk" attachment that can become anything from a baseball bat to a sword in a player's hands, is this season's obvious must-get gift. But many teens will have figured out a way to get their hands on one well before winter break, Cohen said.
Looking for alternatives? For the young ladies, iced-out cell phones are a good call.
"Girls love our phones," said Gina Smith, owner of Crystal Icing, a company that adorns just about every gadget and gizmo in Swarovski crystals. "Ever since we did Paris Hilton's [T-Mobile] Sidekick, people have been going crazy for us."
You can either send Crystal Icing your teen's phone or have them make a customized faceplate, which takes about two days and costs about $150-$500. Options are endless, as a team of graphic artists works on figuring out a way to make just about any image translate onto a phone.
"We can do laptops, pens. Anything," added Smith, who says winter is definitely her busiest season.
Glitz is just one corner of the market. There are plenty of "wow" gifts for adrenaline junkies, aspiring rappers and techie teens.
For instance, you can send your hip-hop king or queen to a private DJ lesson ($105) through signaturedays.com, or hook up your surfer dude with an underwater MP3 player ($150 at RedEnvelope.com).
And yes, you can't go wrong with a new iPod. When you purchase the special-edition (PRODUCT) RED iPod Nano, $10 goes to fight AIDS in Africa (starts at $199). And you can also get it engraved for free.
Trying to get your kid to read ... for fun? Younger teens may enjoy the New York Times bestseller "Secrets of the Alchemist Dar," which is a fantasy story that provides clues to a real-life treasure hunt, making it a gift that can really keep on giving.
"There is $2 million worth of jewelry that still hasn't been found, said "Secrets of the Alchemist Dar" spokesman Allen Wolpert. "Older children like the story and [teens] get engaged by the clues and treasure hunt."
For stockings stuffers, cosmetics company Philosophy sells whimsically packaged holiday toiletries that are packaged with empowering messages.
"All the writings on the bottles are geared toward better souls and inspiration. We want teens to get the message that they are beautiful and don't have to change who they are," said a company representative.
If this whole process seems overwhelming, fear not. Experts say gift cards are extremely welcome presents.
"The best thing you can give a teen is a gift card to their favorite store. Everyone wants to go on a shopping spree on someone else's dime," said Cohen.
University of Miami freshman Nikki Haber says gift cards are definitely cool with her.
"If somebody doesn't know me very well, I'd rather have a gift card then get something I absolutely hate," she said.