What College Kids Want for Christmas


The kids are off to college and while your house is finally neat and quiet, you’re facing a new dilemma: What to you get them for Christmas? Because many college students are on a tight budget and many are living in a dorm, often it’s hard to find gifts that fit into the new lifestyle of a college student. By combining some old standards with some new technology, you’ll be able to shop for your college kids with confidence.

Gift Cards

  • While they may seem passé, gift cards come in all sizes to fit many needs. For college kids, food is always a priority and a card for their favorite restaurant will never go to waste. Likewise, gifts for shopping at the local book store or grocery store will bring grins of appreciation to any college kid’s face. Many colleges offer cards for use on campus, either at the bookstore or the online college store, and many online stores have gift cards as well. If your student has put on the infamous “freshman 15” pounds of extra weight, a card for his favorite clothing store will allow him to indulge in some new jeans without being embarrassed in the process.


  • Take a peek at your college kid’s required reading list for the upcoming semester, and pick up copies for a welcome gift that will also save her money. Better yet, consider buying her an e-book Reader, with the reading list preloaded. A book or two on a favorite subject is always welcome, as are books that pertain to college life. While you’re at the bookstore, grab a new calendar and datebook so she can start the new year off in style.


  • Every college student is sure they need a digital camera and video cameras are a safe bet, too. A new laptop will win hugs, even if the one he has is only a year old. A flash drive or two will make it easy to keep track of homework and essays, and a smart phone will make her the envy of her friends.

School Spirit

  • Jerseys, hats, hoodies, sweats and throws with the college name and logo are always welcome by a college student. If your college kid plays a sport, check the school website for sports equipment and clothing that she might appreciate.


  • Newly independent or not, every college student misses Mom’s well-stocked cupboards. A gift basket filled with cookies, candy, hot cocoa mix and other treats will allow him to take a little piece of home with him when he returns to school. Add special snacks that you know he loves, and you’ll have a sure-fire winner of a gift for Christmas.

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  • Photo Credit Scott Quinn Photography/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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