24 Best Christmas Gifts for College Students (by a College Student)

It’s that time of year again! Christmas day will be here before we know it. Shopping for presents can be fun IF you know what you’re looking for. Everyone has that one hard-to-buy-for family member. Check out out this gift guide with holiday shopping ideas for any price range and cross that hard-to-buy-for college student off your shopping list.

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This is my fourth year of college, so I have a pretty good idea of what people in my demographic want and what we don’t. Here is a college student gift guide from a college student who wants to make gift-giving a little easier for you this holiday season. Many people my age have a ton of mugs, water bottles, and socks. So if you’re looking for some gift ideas they’ll actually use, I’ve got you covered.

Christmas Gifts for Any Student

Experiences: In a world where everything is digital, I have grown an appreciation for the gift of experiences. Give them an annual pass to a nearby amusement park (and maybe a buddy pass to bring college friends), a gift certificate to the nail salon, or an Airbnb gift card if they’re a traveler with an adventurous spirit.

Gift Card: This is a spectacular gift that fits any price range and budget. Whether it’s a practical gift card like for a gas station, Uber, or Amazon, or a fun one like the cheesecake factory or their favorite store, they’ll appreciate not having to spend their own money!

Money: This one may feel a little too easy, but if your college student is paying for their own tuition, they’ll greatly appreciate the versatility of this gift! (Mom, if you’re reading this, take note) Don’t feel too much pressure to give them a one-of-a-kind gift; sometimes, we just need some cash.

Coffee: If your college student is anything like me, they spend a lot of money on coffee. They’ll appreciate a Keurig, K-cups, pour-over kit, or gift card to their favorite coffee shop for many mornings to come.

University Merch: The chances are high that your favorite college student has at least some sense of school spirit. Years after they’ve graduated, they’ll still cherish an ornament, crewneck sweater, or a giant quilt with their school logo! Most colleges have an online gift shop you can order from! Just picture them in the winter weather bundling up in some University pajamas or fleece sweater from you.

Bluetooth Speaker: a portable Bluetooth speaker is essential for any college student studying on the lawn, hanging out at the beach, or getting ready for game day. Any college student will definitely use this speaker.

Bluetooth Speaker from Amazon

Bluelight Blocking Glasses: Young adults spend a lot of time in front of screens. Wearing blue-light-blocking glasses prevents eye strain and may help improve sleep. You can find some adorable ones on Amazon!

Subscription Snack Box: I don’t know a single college student who doesn’t get excited when the mailroom emails them that they have a package! A subscription snack box is a gift that keeps on giving and can be sent right to their door, which means you don’t even have to bust out the wrapping paper! If they’re a foodie, this gourmet gift box will be well-loved.

Art Supplies: If you know a crafty college student, they will love some new art supplies! Whether it’s a loom for blanket making or an adult coloring book, it’ll keep them occupied for a while! They may even get started on Christmas Eve!

Christmas Gifts for College Girls

Monogram Necklace: Gold necklaces with her initial are a trendy accessory this year and make a simple gift.

Professional Computer Bag: As she journeys into adulthood with internships and interviews, a fashionable yet professional bag with a laptop sleeve is necessary.

Holiday Gifts For the Sports Enthusiast

Desktop Cornhole: This one is pretty self-explanatory. When it’s too cold to go outside, this game will give them a break from studying.

Desktop Cornhole from Amazon

Over-the-Door Basketball Hoop: This is another small gift and fun activity they can use in their leisure time!

New Sneakers: Whether they’re the freshest Air Force 1’s, running shoes, or shoes specific to the sport they play, everyone loves a nice new pair of shoes.

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Gamer

Nintendo Switch: If they have a TV in their dorm and don’t have a Nintendo Switch, any gamer would love this one! Trust me; they’ll be ecstatic to pull this one out from under the Christmas tree.

Video Games: Along the same lines, a safe gift for a college student is a bundle of video games. Amazon has a ton of options.

Game Control Holder: This one was too fun not to include! Not only is it practical, but they’ll love having it out to show off to friends.

Darth Vader Control Holder from Amazon

Christmas Gifts for the Stressed College Student

Funny Socks: It wouldn’t be a complete gift guide without goofy socks. I love these “do not disturb, I’m studying” socks, and to be honest, they make watching Netflix look and feel a lot more productive.

Self-Care Products: A great way to de-stress after a long day of classes is a relaxing self-care routine. With a few skincare products and a face roller, they’ll be able to unwind in no time! Save on all of your luxury skincare and beauty gifts with Beauty Pie. By becoming a member, you’ll enjoy discounts and amazing bargains on high-end skincare, haircare, body care, makeup, and more! They even have a gift guide for men!

Certificate for a Free Massage: This one is easy and unique! Locate a massage business near their school and purchase a certificate for them to redeem next time they need some stress relief.

Essential Oils and Diffuser: This gift idea is an excellent alternative to making a dorm room aromatic without burning a candle. Since most schools have a no-candle policy in on-campus housing, diffusing eucalyptus or lavender may help them de-stress, and I love using peppermint oil for headaches! Anthropologie has a ton of cute and sleek diffusers!

Gifts for the College Student Who Goes to School Far From Home

Luggage: The holidays are a time of continuous travel for many college students; a durable luggage set is practical and thoughtful! They’ll use and appreciate high-quality travel gear for many years.

Toiletry Bag: Along the same lines as getting luggage, most students won’t think to buy themselves a toiletry bag, but it sure does come in handy! You can order a monogrammed one for a personal touch!

Homesick Candles: This company sells candles ( and oil diffusers if the dorm has a no candle policy) with scents that remind them of home! It’s a great gift to use when they’re feeling a little homesick.

Homesick Virginia Candle from Homesick Candles

Get Shopping

With one of these ideas, your favorite college student is bound to get excited about their Christmas gifts! Which idea was your favorite? Create a group on Family App and share all of your shopping ideas!

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