The holiday season is upon us and as everyone bustles about, the quest for the perfect Christmas gift ideas begins. Choosing the perfect gift for a student can be a challenge, as their interests and needs are constantly evolving. However, there are a few tried-and-true gifts that are sure to be appreciated, no matter what their major or lifestyle.
I have embarked on an extensive online quest to uncover the most affordable and thoughtfully curated gifts.
Dorm Life Gifts
College students spend a significant portion of their time in their dorm rooms, making it their primary living space. Therefore, gifts that make the space more homey, comfortable, and functional are a great gift idea.
Here are some popular dorm life Christmas gift ideas:
- A cozy comforter or throw blanket to keep them warm on chilly nights
- A Keurig coffee maker or mini fridge to eliminate frequent trips to the communal kitchen
- Noise-canceling headphones or a white noise machine to help them concentrate on studying
- A gift card to their favorite store or restaurant so they can buy something they really want
- A subscription to a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu so they can relax and unwind
- A set of string lights or even some art will help them personalize their space
I know it sounds boring, but students are always looking for tools and resources that can help them succeed in their studies.
Some thoughtful gifts that can help them achieve their academic goals include:
- An app like Notion helps them stay organized and connected
- A subscription to an online tutoring service or study guide
- A gift card to the campus bookstore so they can buy textbooks and other school supplies
- A planner or calendar to help them keep track of assignments and deadlines
- A noise-canceling headphones or a white noise machine to help them focus
- A gift subscription to a language learning app like Duolingo, Memrise, or Babbel
Most students love technology, so a tech-related gift is sure to be a hit. Additionally, technology plays a crucial role in the lives of students, facilitating learning, communication, and entertainment. I am sure the student you are buying for already has the basics such as a phone, laptop, tablet, headphones, etc…
Here are some FUN tech gadgets that are highly recommended for college students:
- Nintendo Switch
- Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook
- Face-Tracking Phone Mount
- Digital Picture Frame
- Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
- Rechargeable Finn The Duck Nightlight
Relaxation And Self-Care Gifts
College can be a stressful time, so it’s important for students to find ways to relax and de-stress.
Downtime is essential for students of all ages. Encouraging scheduling downtime from school and activities can help students avoid burnout and stress, which can lead to mental health problems.
Some popular gifts that can help them promote relaxation and self-care are:
- White noise machines to help block out distractions and improve sleep quality
- A subscription to a meditation app or yoga studio
- A gift certificate for a massage or other spa treatment
- A massage gun is a great way to relieve muscle tension and pain
- A set of essential oils and a diffuser
- A comfortable robe or slippers
- A light therapy lamp can help to improve mood and sleep quality
- A weighted blanket or other relaxation tool
College is a time to explore new things and experience new cultures. Rather than giving a material gift, you could give a student an experience. This is a great way to give them something to remember for years to come.
Here are some Christmas gift ideas that can encourage students to get out and explore:
- A backpack or hiking gear
- A gift card to a local bookstore or music store
- Tickets to a concert or sporting event
- A subscription to a travel magazine or website
- A gift certificate for a language learning course
Board Games Gifts
Board games are at the top of our list when looking for Christmas gift ideas as they are a great way for college students to relax, socialize, and have fun. They can also be a valuable learning tool, helping students to develop important skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication.
Here are some of the best board games for students:
- Settlers of Catan
- Ticket to Ride
- Blank Slate
- SORRY (Despite its age, I was surprised to find that many of my college peers had never played SORRY before. The game sparked some surprisingly intense rivalries among us. And right now it’s only $5…you can’t beat that price!)
Personalized gifts are great because they show that you put thought and effort into choosing a gift that is unique. They also make the recipient feel special and appreciated.
Here are some ideas for personalized gifts that they will love:
- A custom-made piece of jewelry with their initials or birthstone
- A personalized mug or water bottle with their name, photo, or a special message
- Something that is monogrammed, like a tote bag, blanket, or scarf
Homemade gifts are always appreciated and they show that you put extra thought into your gift. They are also a little more personalized, unique, and budget-friendly.
Some thoughtful homemade gifts that can express your love and support include:
- A batch of their favorite cookies
- A care package that reminds them of home
- A knitted scarf or a homemade no-sew blanket
- A handwritten letter or card
- A photo album or framed photo of you and the student
Gifts That Give Back
If you’re looking for a gift that makes a difference, consider getting a student a gift that gives back to charity. Remember, even the smallest act of giving back can make a significant difference in the lives of others. By choosing gifts that support worthy causes, you can show your appreciation for your loved ones while also contributing to a better world.
Here are some gift ideas that “give back” and support worthy causes:
- Plant a tree in their name
- Gift a subscription to an educational app
- Donate to a wildlife conservation organization
- Donate to a charity that fights poverty or hunger
- Donate to a mental health organization
- Donate to a local food bank or homeless shelter
Drumming up ideas for the perfect Christmas gift can be hard but no matter what you choose, make sure it is something that the student will appreciate and enjoy. After all, the holidays are all about giving and receiving joy.