Whether it's for a birthday, graduation, holiday or thank you, giving a gift shows you're thinking of the recipient. When choosing a gift for a 20-year-old, keep in mind her likes and lifestyle -- a gift for a 20-year-old living in a dorm might be different than one for a 20-year-old in the military or volunteering in a faraway country. When choosing your special gift, consider the 20-year-old's station in life and your budget.
If he's constantly working on his short film project and writing the great American novel in his spare time, buy him a pair of vintage-inspired running shoes and a great scarf.
The Techno Geek
If she lives for her computer and the latest gadget, surprise her with a notebook computer or netbook. If she's into graphic design or heavy-duty spreadsheet crunching, a notebook is the best bet. If portability is the main focus, a netbook will allow her to browse the web, download pictures and jot notes into a very compact unit.
Whether it's visiting friends, going home for the holidays or off to Cancun for spring break, a good carry-on will take him from college to business trips. Choose a carry-on that has four-way rolling wheels, is lightweight and sturdy, and conforms with TSA requirements.
The New Apartment
If she just moved into her first apartment, give her a grown-up bar set if she entertains or a cool kitchen appliance, like a pod coffee machine. Pod machines make perfect single cups of chai, lattes, coffees and herbal teas with very little cleanup involved.
If he's serving overseas in the military, send him a care package of the latest books and DVDs, along with a selection of trial-sized soaps, shaving cream, disposable razors and shampoos. Add pictures from home and a journal for him to write down his thoughts.