Who would dare try to pry into the mind of a teenager?
We would, that's who.
We wanted to know what teens have on their wish lists, and a noncommittal shrug wouldn't do. So with a little bit of pressing, we got the answers parents are looking for from members of Angle, the J-W's teen advisory board. And we broke it down for budgets of all sizes.
"Oh boy, I can feel the greedy American child brewing up in me," says Southwest Junior High School ninth-grader Noah Nunn.
Well, we asked for it.
Candy was the most requested stocking stuffer among the group.
"I would cherish a stocking full of different gum flavors and bunches of Tazo tea bags," says Katie Guyot, a ninth-grader at West Junior High School.
For a budget of up to $25, many students were interested in CDs, with requests ranging from pop artist Owl City to death metal. It might be best to take a peek at your teen's iPod to see which end of the musical spectrum they fall into before heading to the store. Other lower-priced items on many girls' lists included necklaces, socks and items from Bath & Body Works.
As potential budgets slid up to $50 gifts, clothes were on many a list. Brands included Nike, American Eagle, Abercrombie, Aeropostale, Hollister, Victoria's Secret Pink and Ugg.
Now, parents, here's where things get tricky. While students were eager to put clothes on their lists, they don't necessarily want you to buy it for them.
"Parents don't always have the best taste," Amanda Schaller, a Southwest eighth-grader, says.
Enter the next most popular requests, especially if the giver has a budget of $100: gift cards and cold, hard cash.
"I would want it to go into a savings account to be used when I can think of an amazing use," Katie says.
However, if you're afraid you and your son or daughter might clash on what that "amazing use" might be down the road, you could try a techno gift such as a camera, iPod Touch, iPod Nano with a camera or iPhone. Not tech-savvy? One student asked for a hamster.
Although the economy hasn't quite gotten out of its slump, we couldn't resist asking the kids to shoot for the moon. And Noah might have taken that literally - he requested a mega laser cannon.
But that wasn't the only odd appeal for an unlimited budget.
"If money is no object, donate it to the school so we can afford paper and stop having to copy off of overheads - that, or buy me glasses. I'm nearsighted," Katie says.
Other students asked for "trips to fabulous places," as Southwest eighth-grader Bailey Sullivan puts it, such as Greece, Italy or Hawaii.
Bailey has something in mind for an upcoming trip.
"When we go to SeaWorld San Antonio, I would love to get to either do the beluga whale or sea lion interaction," she says.
So, although our sounding board was able to come up with an ample shopping list, at least one member says she wouldn't bring on the drama if every wish wasn't fulfilled.
"I tend to be happy with everything that I get," Bailey says. "My wish lists are usually just things that I like and would like to have, but it won't be tragic if I don't get them."