Buying Christmas gifts for college students can be a blast, but when you’re not sure what to buy your friends and family, it can also be tricky. Luckily, when shopping for college students, there are a few universal things almost all of them want, need or may appreciate. Find my list of best Christmas gifts for college students below.
11 Christmas Gifts for College Students
When there’s always a “latest and greatest” in the tech industry, it’s easy to find a gadget your college student doesn’t have. While some of these accessories may be unnecessary additions, others can be quite useful. Some tech accessories I recommend are a portable charging battery, pop socket, phone case, portable speaker and any of these clever looking tech gifts.
Receiving a package in the mail is one of my favorite things. Signing your college student up for a subscription box can be a fun way to keep on giving year-round. When a package arrives every month, you get to experience the thrill of opening up a present month after month. Some popular subscription services include Rocksbox, Ipsy, FabFitFun, Birchbox and POPSUGAR Must Have. I personally really want to try FabFitFun!
Assuming nothing has changed from when I went to college, the large majority of students roam around in comfy, casual clothes. Even if your college student isn’t going to class in leggings and an oversized sweater, loungewear is still great to have for early mornings in the dining halls, sorority movie nights and sick days.
I recently discovered nuyu, a New York-based clothing line created specifically for collegiate women. They carry varsity jackets, leggings, sporty bralettes, crop tops, crews and hoodies, along with other items. You can shop their essentials line or find your college in their spirit wear collection. My two favorite pieces are the Biker Leggings and French Terry Top.
Okay, so maybe all 20-somethings in college won’t want, need or appreciate stocks, but ask them again in five to 10 years, and I bet you’ll get a different answer. Most students are probably thinking more about paying for their textbooks than making investments, but this is a present that will set a good example, and if you find a good stock, maybe even help them in the future. It’s a learning experience and a present you can feel good about giving.
Although it doesn’t seem like the most original gift, it’s one that is sure to be appreciated. Instead of making a gift card a student’s entire gift, make it a stocking stuffer instead, or incorporate it into a unique DIY present that gives it more personalization. Your gift card could be for anywhere from the movie theater for a fun Friday night activity to a restaurant, because those dining points don’t always last.
It can be hard to make your dorm room feel like home, so no matter what year in school your college student is, fun picture frames, cozy blankets and pillows, hand-crafted (with love) decorations, plants and candles can all spruce up even the most complete of rooms.
Maybe I’m silly, but I love a shiny new water bottle. Having your own refillable water bottle is especially helpful in college. That way you can easily fill up your bottle at any water fountain you pass by on your walk from class to class. Not to mention glass or any other material refillable water bottles help reduce plastic use.
Photo Album/ Scrapbook
When I was in college, I really liked SMASH books, a scrapbook company that encourages gluing and doodling to your heart’s content. Essentially, it’s a less formal version of a scrapbook. You don’t HAVE to worry about the fancy paper, stickers and clean lines. Smash that zoo ticket on the page with some glue and call it a day. They’re great products for students who want to keep memories with them but don’t want to put in the time and effort it takes to actually scrapbook. A good ole fashion photo album would do the trick too!
Planner & Other Class Essentials
Christmas falls in the middle of the first and second semester. Find out if she needs new notebooks, notecards, post-it notes or other classroom essentials. Office supplies may seem like a practical present, but as a gift, you can spoil your college student with stylish options instead of the traditional staples. Christmas also falls just before the start of the new year. If your 20-something is using a yearly planner instead of an academic planner, they’ll need a new planner too. My favorites planner options are from Day Designs, May Designs and Erin Condren.
I think it’s safe to say all college students get the itch to travel at least every once in a while (if not more often), but it’s not always in the budget. Gifting your college student with a spring break trip or summer vacation could be a highly-appreciated, exciting gift! Plus, there are plenty of ways to travel cheap … Because this certainly isn’t the lowest cost gift option.
Where do I even start? The possibilities are endless with the gift of books. If your college student is a reader, this one is easy. Buy a book in her favorite genre! If she isn’t, books can still make a great present. With graduation and the “real world” right around the corner, I highly recommend self development/personal growth and professional development books. Two of my favorites are The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay and Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg (Pssst! Full list coming soon to the blog).