Best Stocking Stuffer Ideas for College Kids
Christmas is coming, and like every good consumerist driven economy, the holidays are often times the best way to boost the economy of America. Young and old, cynical or cavalier, most Christmases are times of joy and gift giving for most people. Its hard to buy gifts for certain age groups you feel you don’t identify with, especially with the growing technology available. So here’s my guide to easy gift giving for college age people. Now is the time of transition between toys to actual useful gifts. Stocking stuffers are not longer going to be plastic toys, but can instead be small useful items that can be useful in every day life. The college age person is going to be one looking for gifts of convenience and simplicity.
1. Walmart gift cards
In every college town there is a walmart, and there are so many essentials every college kid needs within its walls. Not only is a walmart gift card a good idea for convenience, but it actually can help students who are poor budgeters of money. Often times my friends would spend money at the bars before they remembered they needed toiletries or household items, and would have to wait til their next pay day while settling for ineffective substitutes. So this idea is a great gift, because it forces the college student to purchase items in the supermarket, instead of cash that they’d spend in less practical places.
2. Drink huggie/case huggie
Pretty much any college age kid is going to be drinking some type of beverage out of a can or bottle, and with their busy schedule and social life they’d want to keep that beverage cold. Not only do huggies provide great insulation for hot or cold beverages, but they’re great gifts for college kids on the go! Some of them even come with attachments, so that you can keep your drink cold while you walk to class. They’re even useful on the weekends when you want to carry a 6-pack without it slipping out of the flimsy cardboard case they’re often placed in. I bought my brother a foam insulated 6-pack carrier, and it was one of the most useful gifts he’d ever received.
3. College of their choice merchandise
You can’t go wrong with a sweater from the college of their choice, and everyone wants to be proud of the team they’re rooting for, so help support the fans this Christmas! Little things like bumper stickers, shot glasses, key chains, decorated wallets, mascot earrings, refrigerator magnets, and even socks with that colleges letterings are all great things to put in stockings for the upcoming gift giving season.
4. Portable Flashlights with batteries or key chain flashlights
I can’t tell you how useful a light on my keychain became throughout college. Often times with such a busy lifestyle, my possessions would be thrown disorganized into my car as I was off to my next social engagement. The key chain light, or any other small flashlight helped me find what I needed countless times, and it was invaluable to me. I couldn’t count all the times my roommate forgot to leave the porch light on, or left during daylight hours and didn’t think to turn the light on, and I had the most horrible time trying to rearrange the items I was carrying to be able to open up the door, and inevitably dropping everything just to bed down enough to see the keyhole. With the keychain light I was given as a gift for Christmas, I could easily flip the light on with one hand, and switch fingers to the door key with the same hand to open the door without spilling anything! It was so useful in so many practical ways, because not everyone has room in their purse or belongings to stuff a full sized flashlight, and even then not everyone remembers to do so. However, when you have one on your keychain its always with you!
5. Small book of quotes or trivia
These little books are the ones you see at the cash register on your way out of a book store, and they’re so small they fit in the palm of your hand, but often times they contain very interesting little facts or information. They’re very easy to pick up and read for just about any type of reader. Any college kid, and pretty much anyone else, gets bored in really random places, and having a tiny book like this to pick up and read serves an educated purpose. Not only can they be easily transported, but they can decorate your bathroom or living room table while still leaving lots of space available.
6. Christmas candy
Who doesn’t love Christmas candy! If you have a diabetic, someone watching their weight, or someone that isn’t in the Christmas spirit, there is definitely candy out there for everyone! Just visit a candy shop, and as for the non sugar, low sugar, or a Santa Claus cookie so they can bite its head off. Red and green M&M’s, and candy canes are always an easy Christmas fallback, and as gifts they make the perfect stocking stuffers.
7. Toiletries like a Manicure nail care kit
Everyone with a busy lifestyle filled with academic and social engagements needs to have an overnight bag or some on-the-go toiletries to grab on their way out of their home. A manicure nail care kit is great to have in the car when you inevitably get an awful sore hangnail, or break a nail with a ragged edge. With the manicure nail care kit, you can easily store it in your car, and just have it with you whenever you need it.
8. Portable tooth brush
Portable toothbrushes are practically a must have for anyone in college. This item keeps you feeling fresh and prepared when your plans may not have gone accordingly. As a gift, the portable toothbrush is a life saver, because most often friends have toothpaste available, but there’s nothing worse than waking up with morning breath and not having any way to get rid of it. This gift saves your finger from getting toothpaste all over it as you scramble to brush your teeth while thinking up your latest walk of shame in your clothes from the night before back to your car.
9. Dvd’s & video games
Every college guy has, or knows someone that has, a video game console. Whether it be a playstation, xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, or some other game console, there is no that the latest in video games or DVDs hitting stores is a good gift idea for the college aged person. Just make sure you find out what console they have access to, or at least send the game with the receipt. These games as gifts easily fit in a stocking, and provide hours of entertainment.
10. Zip drives
This is another one of those incredibly useful gift ideas that no one really thinks much about. There were plenty of times in which I wished I’d saved my papers to a zip drive so that I could pull them up on a school, or nearby computer to edit and print them. A 2 gig zip drive is going to have so much space that you could save every paper you’ve ever written on it, and as long as you remembered to carry it with you, you’d never run out of space! They fit easily in pockets, purses, and definitely work great as stocking stuffers for anyone in the academic world.
11. Playing cards
I know this seems like an odd gift, but playing cards are one of the simplest ideas that can provide plenty of hours of entertainment for the college aged person. Not only can you play poker, but there are plenty of other types of balancing games you can play with cards as well as some competitive skill games all with a cheap and easy gift as a stocking stuffer.
12. Pocket calendar
This is an essential for anyone on the go, or with a busy schedule. They can often be found at office supply stores and book stores, and come in a variety of colors and sizes. Sometimes we all forget plans we’ve made because we can’t see our giant calendar at home, or simply forget to write something down by the time we get back to it. With a tiny on-the-go calendar that fits in your back pack or purse, you can always flip it out and write things down so you’ll never be double booked, and often they help to remind students of upcoming assignments or tests. The gift of a pocket calendar is really invaluable to a college age person trying to keep up with social life and balance academic pursuits evenly.