Holiday Gift Guide: Great Ideas for High School and College Students

Gift Boxes

Holiday Gift Guide: Great Ideas for High School and College Students

Published November 16, 2017 | Last Updated October 16th, 2023 at 10:05 am

Gift Boxes

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It would be so cliche of us to say that the holidays are “just around the corner,” but THEY ARE!!

And just because you’ve been focusing on the college admissions process, that doesn’t mean we haven’t been compiling a holiday gift list…or checking off items on one.

So, if you need a little help, no worries!

We’ve put together a great collection of items that we have under good authority will lift every teen and college student’s spirits.

Some are unique, some are useful, and we think all will be celebrated.

We now invite you to have at it!

Tabletop Cornhole Game

According to some parents we know, this game was THE game of the summer. The tabletop version can be played in dorm rooms and dens when the weather outside is frightful. Simple, yet so much fun!

tabletop cornhole

Custom Pet Pillow

You may not be able to take them with to school but this pillow will allow your student to at least take a part of them along. (And they can even hug them!)

custom pet pillow


MyPup Socks

If a pillow isn’t enough to keep your student from missing their pup (or kitty), perhaps having their picture on a pair of socks so they can be with them wherever they go will do the trick.

I Am Awesome Socks

Who couldn’t use some daily inspiration? If having your pet’s face on your socks won’t give you that lift, perhaps some inspiring words will boost your spirits.

Punching Bag Laundry Bag

Designed to look like a classic punching bag, and big enough to hold a heavyweight load of washing.

Victrola Vintage Bluetooth Record Player

Vinyl is in! A very cool vintage look, but this 3-speed portable turntable has some very modern features, like built-in stereo speakers, auxiliary input, headphone jack and RCA outputs. As an added surprise, throw in a few of your old albums that we know you’ve been saving all these years, just waiting for a moment like this.

One-Step Tie-Dye Kit

Tie-Dye is back with a vengeance! This kit comes with a complete set of instructions and includes enough supplies for four people.

tie-dye kit

All-in-One Picnic Backpack

Some kids like to hike, some kids like to picnic. This picnic for two backpack offers you get the best of both worlds. With a blanket and cooler attached, this is great for trips to the park, concerts, and the beach.

Keurig K-Mini Coffeemaker

Perfect for small spaces and when just one cup will do the trick.



This highly competitive game has a great tie-in with what some kids are actually learning in science class!

Betrayal at House on the Hill

Any game with a title that sounds scary even before you open the box is something our teens want to get into.

Sony Noise-Cancelation Wireless Headphones

The headphones come highly rated on a number of tech sites. Great for when someone wants to “be alone,” whether it’s in a noisy dorm or at home.

Sonic Bomb Extra Loud Alarm Clock

If you’ve got a kid who likes to snooze more than getting up for class, this alarm clock is for them (and you)! It is loud and it shakes, so you don’t have to be.

Resistance Bands

If getting to the gym is challenging, this set of resistance bands can help recharge a fitness routine.

Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer

We have it on good authority (the moms in our Paying for College 101 group) this this item is on the list of many teens and young adults. For those who have not a minute to spare, this tool makes blowing out your hair a quick and tidy task.

NY Times Subscription

“For the cultured and curious.” All the news that’s fit to print sent right to your student’s mailbox (or inbox).

Up to 40% off a New York Times gift subscription

Apple Airpods with Charging Case

Probably the most popular ear buds around that give you crystal-clear sound. And while you’re at it, add a little stocking stuffer to the gift in the way of a silicone protective case

Apple EarPods

Mini Cinema Lightbox

Teens and college students are not always the best communicators, and this mini lightbox sign, with 100 interchangeable letters and symbols, can help them share their feelings and messages as often as they’d like.

The Crystal Bible

If you’ve got a kid who is into crystals or wants to learn more about them, this will be their,,,bible! It is a comprehensive guide that includes photographic identification, detailed descriptions, and information on the individual properties of each crystal.

Crystal Bible

Give the Gift of Knowledge…


Use R2C Insights to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

Other Articles You Might Like:

College Countdown Gifts for Parents of Seniors

Creative Graduation Gifts

Senior Year Bucket List: 12 Things to Do with Your Senior During Their Last Year of High School




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