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Holiday Gifts for your College Student

By CollegiateParent

Whether you relish hunting up the best Black Friday deals, or prefer strolling the shops of your own downtown as snowflakes fall, 'tis the season. Here are surefire ways to put smiles on the faces of the ones you love.

Gift cards they'll actually use:

☐ ZipcarUber or Lyft

 Ticketmaster gift card to see a concert

 Audible audiobook subscription (from Amazon)

☐ Local coffee shop or restaurant in their college town — many places have e-gift cards now, making it easy to give!

Electronics they'll love you for:

☐ Bluetooth speaker like the UE Boom or the Bose SoundLink Micro

 AirPod wireless headphones

☐ Noise cancelling headphones

 Portable phone charger/power bank

 Smartphone picture printer, such as KiiPix

Cozy, weekend essentials:

☐ Onesie pajamas are a hot commodity this season, and Kohls has some great options

☐ Slippers they could also wear outside the house, like these durable ones from L.L. Bean

☐ A throw blanket or a robe to stay warm while they binge watch Netflix study

 An easy brunch cookbook (college students LOVE brunch)

 Wax warmers are great candle alternatives for students living in a dorm

☐ Quality hot chocolate or coffee to drink out of their new mug!

Stocking stuffers they'll savor:


☐ 10-foot phone charger

 Coffee mug with a family photo (or better yet, one of the pet)

☐ Nice pens or office supplies

 PopSocket phone grip

☐ Poo-pourri Toilet Spray (no, seriously)

 Sriracha To-Go Bottle Keychain

Gifts they won't even think to ask for:


☐ Hydro Flask Water Bottle or Yeti drinkware

 School gear like a new sweatshirt or a warm hat

☐ Spikeball or Kan Jam – active games to play with friends (they work great at tailgates, too!)

 A fun game like Bonanza, Balderdash, Game of Things, Cards Against Humanity, or What Do You Meme?

☐ Eno or Kammok Roo Hammock – perfect for campus hangout


We polled college parents and students to find the best gift essentials for 2018. CollegiateParent is not affiliated with, does not endorse, and will not receive any form of compensation from these brands in exchange for being featured in this article.

For more than a decade, our print and digital resources have connected parents and families to their student's experience, providing the insider information you need and want. All our products — classic and new, print and online — are inspired by our commitment to answering your questions and strengthening relationships between families, students and campus/community resources.

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