20 Excellent Christmas Gifts for College Students in 2021

Are you picking out the best Christmas gifts for the college student in your life? 

Christmas is right around the corner. It’s a time for celebrations and—you guessed it—giving gifts! 

Children and adults look forward to giving (and receiving!) presents every Christmas. Gift-giving makes the season extra special! Nothing beats the warmth and thoughtfulness that come with each gift that is carefully picked!

Table of Contents

Why We Give

The holiday season is filled with thankfulness and reciprocity. As the year ends, people give presents to show love and appreciation to their family, colleagues, and significant individuals who have impacted their lives. 

Even if your holiday list is a long one, you won’t see a shortage of choices in the market. Always consider your receiver’s needs and wants when choosing a gift! 

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It Can Be Challenging

Generally speaking, useful and practical things, especially when gifting college students, are fail-proof options. BUT, you’d want your college student family member or friend to truly like what you give them, wouldn’t you? That is why research and planning (and budgeting, too!) are no-brainers when picking out Christmas gifts.

It takes a lot of patience to shop for that perfect Christmas gift for a college student, as well, especially with the holiday rush. Thankfully, the shopping landscape has shifted online, making exhausting tasks, such as price comparisons, easy to do in the comfort of your home.

Ushering the seasons is the winter break which, for college students, is the time to catch up with family and friends, take a much-needed break, and pretty much enjoy their free time. And, it’s the perfect time to get to know them better and figure out the gift they would cherish!

Finding the perfect gift can be tricky and, at times, complicated-especially for college students who struggle with meeting their needs. But because positive interactions with “social and academic relational groups on and off campus” influence a student’s decision to persist in college, your throughtfulness toward your college friend or family member will indeed make a mark in their lives!

The Best Christmas Gifts College Students Would Love to Get

While many would choose to do their Christmas shopping during the holiday season, some prefer getting a head start. As they say, it’s never too early to start shopping—especially for that special college student you always thought deserved the best!

Here are our 20 best Christmas gift suggestions for college students. We’re naming generic items that we’re sure they’ll love and mentioning specific types or brand choices with which you’ll never go wrong!

Wireless Earphones

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Studying in shared spaces like dorm rooms or study halls can be noisy and might cause distractions. That’s why wireless earphones are a staple for college students. They prefer going wireless to avoid the hassle of getting your earphones tangled.

Students also listen to music while riding the bus or walking home. For active individuals, switching wireless makes listening more convenient while they sweat it out. Wireless Earphones can also be used during online classes and meetings. 

Numerous wireless earphones flood the market! They come in a variety of brands, with prices ranging anywhere from $30 to $180. Apple Airpods is a popular choice among students, known for its sleek design and battery life.

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Drinking Bottle

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Simple yet very useful, a drinking bottle can be gifted to remind your loved ones always to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water daily gives our body a lot of benefits. You can be sure to enjoy hot and cold drinks while you take them with you anywhere. 

Drinking bottles come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, so there’s one for everyone. But not all tumblers are created equal. Always check the quality and look out for tumblers that are leakproof and BPA and Phthalate Free.

One brand that stands out is Hydroflask. This brand offers a wide array of stainless steel water bottles at a fair price. Drinking bottles are highly customizable, adding your recipient’s name or initials, giving it a more personal touch.

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3D Pen

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Perfect for art students and hobbyists, 3D pens bring your imagination to life. Use a variety of colored filaments to create 3D objects, doodles, and sculptures. Engineering students can even design prototypes. 

There is a growing number of choices available in the market. Consider these factors when buying one: 

  • Portability – take your pen anywhere with you. Buy one that’s compact and comes with rechargeable batteries.
  • Replaceable – make sure there are spare parts available, especially its hot end.
  • Speed – change the speed of how the filament flows depending on the part you’re working on. A slower flow rate helps fill intricate details, while greater speed is best for filling large areas.

There’s a lot of choices online, offering 3D pens for pros and amateurs alike. This can cost from $30 to $60.

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Bluetooth Speaker

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Listen to your playlist wherever you go. Bluetooth speakers are great for students to use when hanging out after school, outdoors, or staying in with friends. Most smartphones are Bluetooth-enabled, so pairing with a Speaker won’t be a problem. 

Choose a Bluetooth speaker that provides exceptional stereo sound and clarity. Look for one that is compact, waterproof, and has long battery life. JBL is a trusted brand that offers quality speakers with different sizes and colors to choose from. Its price can range from $50 to $200.

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Mini Fridge

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Grab a snack in the convenience of your room. Given its size and design, a mini-fridge is perfect for students staying in dorm rooms. It can be used to store your favorite snacks, drinks, and chocolates.

A mini-fridge can also be used to store your skincare products, such as face masks and serums. This is available in various designs and colors, ranging from $40 to $70. 

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Fitness Tracker

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The holidays are about family dinners and get-togethers. The result? Many students gain weight and increasingly become self-conscious. It inspires many of them to set fitness goals and reach those by working out at the start of the new year. 

Giving a Fitness Tracker will help them reach their goals! This will monitor your heart rate, calories burned, and steps taken. Even better, it can track your sleeping patterns, so you can start sleeping better.

Find the best fit for that important college student in your life by checking and comparing different brands online. Prices start at $20 and can cost as much as $250, depending on its feature and material.

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Bedside Shelf

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Bedside tables can hold personal items such as clocks, lamps, and books. Unfortunately, most dormitory rooms have limited space. Bedside tables might not even fit inside. That’s why compact products, such as clamp-on bedside shelves, are perfect holiday gifts for college students.

Bedside shelves can be used to place personal items like a watch or phone and books and tablets. You can choose from different designs and colors. Its price can range from $30 to $45, depending on the material used. 

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Bluetooth Tracker

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Losing or misplacing valuables can be both time-consuming and costly. College students may have experienced misplacing their wallets or keys, especially with their busy schedules and schoolwork. Spare them the fuss of losing things and gift a Bluetooth tracker this Christmas. 

Bluetooth trackers are usually paired with your device to make finding missing items easy and convenient. Apple’s Air tag is a crowd favorite with its sleek design, while Tile Pro offers a wide choice of colors with its slim design. Its price ranges from $29 to $35. 

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Charging Dock

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Having multiple chargers and cables for your devices can be a fuss. Wires are sure to entangle and may look messy on your bedside table. Gifting a charging dock will allow its user to organize their charging station with style.

The charging dock is a great choice to give for tech enthusiasts for the holidays. With this, you can charge your mobile phone, Bluetooth earphone, and smartwatch in one place. Charging docks are available in different materials: plastic, wood, bamboo, with many colors and designs to choose from. 

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Scented Candle

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College can be very stressful, especially with all the academic deadlines and exams. Students would certainly want to relax after classes or while doing their homework. With that, a scented candle is a perfect holiday gift to create a calm room atmosphere, and it makes a great display. 

Scented candles are available in different colors and jars. Shops, such as Diptyque, offer a range of fragrances, from fruity to floral scents. For safety, candle warmers can be used instead of lighting the candle. 

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Phone Holder

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Having a smartphone is an essential part of everybody’s life. Students use their phones to connect with friends, conveniently check e-mails, and do online research. Students could certainly use a phone stand while having classes online or making school reports. 

Phone holders come in all shapes and sizes, made from plastic, aluminum, or rubber materials. There are phone holders that are adjustable and flexible, which are perfect to use while lying in bed. You can choose from several designs online and at your favorite retail store. 

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Reusable Utensils

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Using reusable utensils is recommended to avoid using plastic utensils and minimize waste. It also guarantees cleanliness since you’ll be the only one handling them. This Christmas, encourage your loved ones to go green by giving them a set of reusable utensils. 

Reusable utensils are easy to bring along by keeping them in your bag or purses. Utensils sets may comprise the usual spoon, fork, and dining knife, as well as reusable straw and chopsticks. It’s available in stainless steel and plastic, with a variety of colors and designs.

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Headphone Stand

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Some college students may prefer headphones instead of earphones since this provides a more immersive listening experience. Headphones can be used in listening to lectures, gaming, and video calls. One way to neatly store headphones is by placing them on a stand. 

This is a practical gift for students looking into organizing their desk setup. Aside from being practical, this is also very affordable, with prices starting at $5. Although prices may vary depending on the material, aluminum ones are more expensive than the ones made in plastic. 

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Wireless Keyboard

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Tablets are getting more popular with college students. Aside from its affordability over laptops, they’re easier to bring and fit any backpack. To complement their tablets, students will appreciate getting a wireless keyboard for the holidays. 

Since wireless keyboards are compact, users can type faster and with ease while attending lectures and online classes. Most wireless keyboards are light and portable, which is ideal for commuting or walking to school. Bluetooth keyboards cost as much as $120, depending on their brand and quality.

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Fanny Pack

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Because students usually carry a backpack, it often takes some time for them to get things like wallets or Bluetooth earphones out of their bags. One convenient way to carry your essentials is through a fanny pack. Fanny packs allow you to carry small items conveniently and within reach, making it an ideal Christmas gift. 

Fanny packs, or belt bags, come in different colors and styles, from subtle, unique to outrageous designs; there’s surely one that fits your receiver’s personality. Best of all, some fanny packs are customizable, making your gift more personal. Fanny pack prices start at $8, while luxury-branded ones cost as much as $2,000. 

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Portable Charger

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Most college students bring mobile phones with them throughout their daily activities, classes, even while dining out or shopping. Staying out for hours might drain your battery. Taking a portable charger will allow you to charge your device wherever you go. Portable chargers are ideal gifts for students who are always on the go.

A portable charger, commonly known as a power bank, is a handy power source available in different capacities. Some power banks come with a built-in cord, so you don’t have to bring a separate one. This product is available in different sizes, thin enough to fit your purse or your pocket.

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Shoulder and Neck Massager

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The winter break is a time for students to relax and recharge from all the stress from schoolwork. Give students the chance to destress all year round by giving them a shoulder and neck massager. This is perfect to use a long day of sitting in front of a computer or after an intense gym session. 

Shoulder and neck massagers are usually easy to use, offering different modes and massage styles such as kneading and shiatsu. Go for massagers with adjustable speed and heating capabilities, which helps ease body aches and cramps. Plus, this product may help you get a good night’s sleep. 

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Brewing Coffee Bottle

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Preparing coffee at breakfast can be challenging, particularly for students with early call times. For that reason, some students may miss the needed caffeine boost to jump-start their day. Get your coffee fix with the help of a brewing coffee bottle.

Giving a brewing coffee bottle is a great gift, especially for coffee lovers. You fill the bottle with water, add your favorite coffee grounds, and shake. Enjoy your cold brew on your way to school; while riding the bus or walking.

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Phone UV Sanitizer

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With the recent turn of events, making sure that your devices are clean is a top priority. Mobile phones are believed to be one of the dirtiest items we use constantly. To protect your loved ones, give them a phone sanitizer this holiday season.

Phone sanitizers are equipped with ultraviolet C(UVC) bulbs that may effectively kill germs and bacteria. Phone sanitizers don’t just fit different mobile devices but may even fit other small items such as keys, earphones, and smartwatches. Gift a phone sanitizer for as low as $17.

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Label Maker

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Getting into college means that you’ll be sharing a room with someone. In this case, labeling things is one way to prevent things from getting mixed up with your roommate. Giving a label maker this Christmas will help your loved ones in organizing their things easily.  

Label makers are useful in helping you mark your things by printing out tags with ease. There are manual label makers that emboss tags and digital ones to connect to your smartphone or tablet. Choose from different label makers available in the market and never lose your books or personal belongings again. 

Make a List

Keeping a Christmas list will help you track who to buy gifts for and how much to spend. Spend a good few minutes thinking about each person and their gift options. If you have no idea what to give, look for clues online, through their social media, or ask them personally to know their preferences. 

Managing your finances during this time is equally important. Allot a realistic budget and stick to it. Choose items that are within your means and look out for sale items and holiday promos. After all, it’s the thought that counts.

Consider These

After making a list and checking it twice, it’s time to shop! When buying the gifts on your list, it’s best to check and consider these: 

  • Warranty – Always check for money-back guarantees or 30-day replacements. This will assure you that the manufacturer values quality. Confirm with the sales. 
  • Delivery – Consider the price and speed of shipping. To set your expectations and budget, check how long the delivery will take and compare shipping fees to get your money’s worth. Not all shops offer free delivery, so it’s best to ask first.
  • Feedback – Aside from researching product features, it’s also good to read different reviews and feedback to get a user’s perspective.
  • Compatibility – When buying electrical devices, check their power source requirement and energy guide labels. This will ensure your receiver’s safety.
  • Payment Options – If you’re looking into paying through payment plans, ask the retailer for different installment or low-interest loan options. Be on the lookout for loyalty programs, as this may offer rewards and cash incentives.

Personalize

Giving a pair of socks, tumblers and slippers are common gifts during the holidays. You might even have received one or two in the same year. One way to make your gifts more memorable is by customizing them. 

Personalize your gifts by adding your loved one’s name or initials, using their favorite color or even their picture. There are plenty of options to incorporate their names or initials. Depending on the gift’s material, you can personalize it through engraving, embossing, or modern laser printing. 

Be Careful

Shopping online is probably the most convenient way to buy your holiday presents. With the growth of e-commerce, there has also been a rise in cybercrimes and online scams. Here are some tips to keep in mind when purchasing online:

  • Secured – Make sure that you’re in a secured and trusted website, which typically has a padlock icon on the side. 
  • Due Diligence – Research the shop you’re planning to buy from and go over their reviews. Take note of their customer service hotline and e-mail address, so you know where to raise your concern if something goes wrong.
  • Clickbait – Avoid clicking on offers or pop-ups. These may redirect you to phishing sites that will ask for your personal information.
  • Download the App – Most retailers have an app where you can log in and shop. Take advantage of this and your purchases directly from there.

Moreover, it’s best to update your laptop’s antivirus software for added protection from cybercriminals. When creating an account, it’s best to use strong passwords that are hard to guess and regularly update. As convenient as it may seem, refrain from saving your credit card details on any device and make sure to pay via trusted platforms only. 

Wrap it up

Aside from personalizing your gift, show your loved ones you care through the way you wrap their gifts. Traditionally, gift wrappers or paper bags are used in wrapping presents for Christmas. Here are some ways to elevate your wrapping this Christmas: 

  • Use Fabric – Not only does fabric make gifts look luxurious, but it’s also reusable.  
  • Hand-lettered Paper – Make it personal by writing a message on the wrapper. This is great for those who are into calligraphy. 
  • Natural Materials – Add something green into your wrapper by using pinecones, twigs, or evergreens. 
  • Recycle – Use recycled paper, leftover art paper, or pages from an old crossword book to create a beautiful wrapper.  

Conclusion

In brief, Christmas is truly a season of giving. There are many gift choices to choose from; personalized items, gadgets, and useful everyday items. When choosing a gift, always consider your receiver’s style, present needs, and preference. It’s great to personalize your gifts and to gift-wrap to add some personal touch. Scrutinize the products before buying them. Make sure you’re buying the best quality. With all the holiday rush, always remember why you’re giving this Christmas—that is, to make your loved one feel special and express your gratitude.