The Best 2021 Holiday Presents for Our Preteen, Teenage, and College Aged Grandchildren and What They Want As Presents for The Holidays 2021

In 2014, I wrote a post, “What Our Grandchildren Want as Presents.

Then I did not have college aged grandchildren or teenaged grandchildren. It is hard for me to believe that I have a grandchild in college, much less grandchildren in high school and middle school.

Much of what I wrote in 2014 holds for 2021. However, Le Bron sneakers have given way to specialized limited edition coveted and astronomically priced Nike sneakers, that run from $350 to $750 to $3,000 a pair! Yes, this is sticker shock for all of us grandparents. My long (we never say old) dear friend has a teenage grandson also. We discussed this phenomenon. Her grandson told her these sneakers become a collector’s item and quickly increase in value. I was as surprised as you must be. Take a look at this CNN article, “How collecting sneakers became a multi-billion-dollar industry,” by Megan C. Hills, July 5, 2021.

According to a magazine geared to collecting, Collectors’ Weekly, about “Collectible Nike Shoes,”  where the first pair of sneakers on the page is selling for $24,500 and has 154 watchers:

Nike has deliberately created a vibrant secondary market for its shoes by offering new designs in several colorways and limiting the total production, thus encouraging fans to collect and trade the scarce products. The company also regularly brings vintage designs out of its vault and reinvigorates them with slight tweaks aimed at modern buyers.”

This trend is not limited to Nike sneakers. Take a look at this week’s “drop” of a brand new model of a coveted astronomically priced pair of Italian sneakers for girls and boys, men and women on their website. Golden Goose sneakers in adult sizes start at $500 a pair. I never looked at the price for the children’s Golden Goose sneakers. 

2Read on the Golden Goose website, the “Story Behind Golden Goose, We Are Iconic,” how the modest creators make works of art of each “handmade shoe [is] individually distressed by the sneaker makers who attentively details each shoe to create the vintage aesthetic and ultimately create the “perfect imperfection” with the best quality.”

What do we as grandparents do about this trend and our grandchildren only wanting these astronomically priced limited edition Nike or Golden Goose sneakers for the holidays 2021? It is a dilemma, and not an easy or pleasant one. It makes me think of my father talking about bread costing 5 cents a loaf and my talking about how bread cost 25 cents a loaf when I was a child. Am I so out of touch as to what sneakers cost in 2021?

I tried to discuss this potential gift rationally with our teenage grandson. I took this as a teaching moment that one must have the excess funds to even think about investing in sneakers as a teenager, and saving for college is a more important use of funds. When I was met with college funds are being saved, and the special edition sneakers will not be around for long and are only greatly increasing in value faster than other investments. I then tried again, saying that if it is what you want to wear in the meantime, you are still growing, and may only be wearing the sneakers for a few months. When I was met with is that is the intent, and then you sell them on the secondary market, I was stumped. I suggested that if a pair of specialized limited edition astronomically priced Nike sneakers was the only gift our teenage grandson wanted for the holidays 2021, he should ask everyone for cash, combine the cash we and others intend to allocate for a holiday present for him, and buy his one pair of sneakers as his only Holiday gift 2021, hoping that in a few months, he can actually have more cash when he resells this pair he outgrows to buy the next pair.

I guess entrepreneurship has to start somewhere. I rationalized that I am the grandmother, all joy and no responsibility, so let his parents deal with this crazy trend and its impact on responsibility and values.

It all comes back to CASH. Our preteen, teenage and college aged grandchildren want cash as a gift at the holidays, for birthdays, all the time for any occasion or reason. From my oldest college aged grandson, I have learned to use Venmo to send him immediate cash and immediate access to cash. Venmo is an app, a digital wallet, that makes money easier for everyone from students to small businesses. Think of it as a social app for paying. You can send money to friends and family without needing cash or checks. Of course, there is a tutorial on how to set up and use Venmo. As a grandparent with a college aged grandson wanting me to have a Venmo account, of course, he set Venmo up for me on my electronics. We will Venmo (now it is a verb) cash for his holiday gift so he can buy what he wants. I just hope it is something that lasts more than a few hours.

For the preteen grandchild, all I get asked for is cash for Robux. This was another education for this grandma. Roblox is an addictive on line game that has captured our preteen grandson, and millions of others. In order to advance in the game you need to purchase Robux on the website. You go to in a web browser. If you’re not already signed in, you click Log In at the top-right corner of the page to sign in now. Of course, he signs in on his account for me to add Robux as visit presents or holiday presents. If you don’t have a credit or debit card, you can use cash at any store that sells Roblox cards and buy different denominations of Roblox gift cards as gifts. The Robux Gift Card can be purchased online on the Roblox Stores or Amazon. Gamers can also get discounts on Amazon.  A $1 Roblux Gift Card will give you 80 Robux. The gamers will be able to possess 80 Robux by getting a $1 Robux Gift Card. A typical Roblox gift card is $10 or $25. There is even a Wikihow page on how to do this all.  I still do not understand what this gets you or what it means. I do understand that it makes my grandson very happy to be given Robux.

According to Code-A-Kid, even younger children can start playing Roblox:

Roblox is still an online platform and game creation engine that allows kids to play, create, code and publish their own 3D video games. So if you’re unsure about plopping them down in front of a Roblox game, don’t worry; as long as you’re vigilant and know what to watch out for, Roblox is a fantastic learning platform for 7-year-olds. In fact, we’d argue Roblox is one of the best ways to introduce coding for kids.”

See, “7 Best Roblox Games For Kids in 2021,”| by David Dodge, April 3, 2020.  The article explains Roblox, has a parent guide, and offers private lessons. My preteen grandson even has a Roblox YouTube channel. Of course, I subscribe and give him as many “likes” as I can.

This grandma wishes I could be creative with our preteen, teenage, and college aged grandchildren, and cleverly find a physically tangible 2021 Holiday gift they want, other than just cash. What I believe they think makes me a clever grandma, and I hope beloved and appreciated, is to understand they want CASH as a 2021 holiday present with





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