But The Early Show's Holiday Gift Guide is undeterred.
On Wednesday, it sought out Men.Style.com Executive Editor Tyler Thoreson, who came up with surefire gift ideas for items costing less than $100 -- as well as a couple of splurges.
The following descriptions were prepared with information provided by the manufacturers.
FOR TEEN GIRLS
Sparkling Sage bracelets $48
These bangle bracelets have a colorful, rubberized coating. They're "feminine with an edge," as Thoreson put it. This is a brand from Los Angeles that's really up-and-coming.
Daisy perfume $55 for 1.7 oz
Anything from Marc Jacobs is a hit with teen girls -- it doesn't matter what he does, girls want it. If you want to place a bet on any brand being a hit, Thoreson says, this is it. The perfume is an affordable way to give your teen Marc Jacobs.
J.Crew sweaters -- Alpaca Cardigan $88
Gap sweater $39.50, Striped Wide Neck Sweater
J.Crew and Gap both offer quality materials at reasonable price points. Sweaters represent two big trends: Cardigans and horizontal stripes are both big this season.
Parents remember when Ugg boots were big; now every girl wants a pair of rain boots. How fabulous: a gift that's practical AND something a teenager wants to wear! You can buy these practically anywhere and at any price point. The pair on the show was made in France, and Thoreson likes them because of their classic, old-world detailing.
FOR TEEN BOYS
PF Flyers $70
Classic Vans $40
When buying for a teenage boy, Thoreson said, you can never go wrong with a pair of sneakers. Sneaker styles now are all about "reissue," retro looks. Suede is a popular material, and the styling in general is subtle, not as flashy as in the past. Gray is a big color in footwear this season.
Club Monaco sunglasses $89.99
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It doesn't matter if you're 15 or 50, you can always use another pair of sunglasses! Club Monaco is a cool brand and it's accessible. The aviator shape of these glasses is still big for fall, and it looks good on a lot of different people/face shapes.
Radiohead box set $71.99
Thoreson has been a fan of the band for 12 years, but it blows him away that 14-, 15-, and 16-year-old kids are into them now, too. He says any teen guy is going to have downloaded some songs, but many don't own the cases or some of the older stuff. This is a good price for five albums.
Seinheiser Headphones $31.86
This one is kind of a gift to parents, too: Make sure nobody but your teen listens to his music when you buy him a pair of quality headphones! Thoreson has seen a return to over-the-ear styles, which can get really pricy, really fast. This top brand offers a quality pair at a surprisingly low price.
UNISEX / SPLURGE GIFTS
Helio Ocean cell phone $199.00 (with two-year contract)
If you're going to buy your teen a cell phone, this is the one to choose. It's just really cool, Thoreson says. The keyboard slides out, which makes it good for texting and e-mailing. It also comes with a network, which allows you to track your friends' locations at all times with GPS.
Rock Band (video game) $150
This is selling out everywhere, and it's hot, hot, hot! The best thing about it is that you can play it with other people -- it's a video game that actually inspires social interaction! Up to four people can play the drums, bass, guitar and sing vocals, to a variety of rock songs. It can be played on Xbox 360, Playstation 1 and Playstation 2.