30 Holiday Gift Ideas for College Students

gift ideas for college students

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year.  It’s the time of year that families gather for fellowship and great food.  This includes your child who’s away at college.  You’re excited that you will be able to spend time with your entire family.  So far, everyone has given you their Christmas wish list.  Except the college student.  Unfortunately, thinking about anything except finals is more than their brain can handle.

So, to take the worry off you I put together a list of items that every college student can use.  Most of the items I sent to my own daughter throughout her four years of higher education.  All were appreciated.  Here’s a list of holiday gift ideas for college students:


  1. Gift/Gas Cards – All college students can use a gas and a special gift.  So, gift cards make a perfect gift.
  2. Snack Items/Cookies/Drinks – Next, chips, cookies, energy drinks and bars are always welcome.
  3. Instant Soup/Cans of Tuna/Chicken – Cans of tuna and chicken are great ways for protein.   Instant soups are perfect for a quick meal on a cold day too.
  4. Plates/Forks/Spoons/Bowls/Microwavable Dishes – These items will come in handy when ordering pizza, making sandwiches or eating salads in the dorm room.
  5. Paper Towels/Napkins – No matter where they are, there will be spills.  College student or not, they still need to wipe their mouth and hands.
  6. Keurig/Coffee/Coffee Mug/Tea/Honey – My daughter wasn’t a coffee drinker, but she loves honey and tea. The Keurig was perfect for making individual cups.
  7. Highlighters/Mechanical Pens/Notebooks/Folders – These items come in handy.  Eventually, highlighters dry up or get lost.  Also, folders bend and notebooks get used. Each semester brings a new need.
  8. Wrinkle Releaser/Febreze – Wrinkle releaser is perfect for those mornings when you don’t have time to iron.  Your college student will appreciate both.  Especially, Febreze on those days when they want to wear those jeans one more day before washing them.
  9. Tooth Paste/Floss/Waterpik/Mouth Wash – Taking care of your teeth is important at home and school.
  10. Shampoo/Conditioner/Flat Iron/Curling Iron/Detangle Comb – Students still like to look good.
  11. Body Lotion/Razors/Shaving Cream – Keeping the skin hydrated and smooth is still important.
  12. Loofah/Spa Items/Body Wash – To a college student, these are luxury items.  So, be generous.
  13. Bath Tissue/Air Fresher/Disinfectant – Next, having individual items can be heaven sent.  There’s no arguments about who used the last roll or emptied the last can of spray.
  14. Printer Cartridges/Compressed Air to Clean Keyboard – When your taking care of business, printer cartridges and computer cleaning products are always needed.
  15. First Aid Kit – Unfortunately, accidents happen.  It could be a cut, scrape, or burn.  Being prepared is important.
  16. Rolls of Quarters/Detergent/Dryer Sheets/Laundry Basket – Doing laundry doesn’t end because you’re in college.  Washer and dryers take quarters.  And, clothes can’t be cleaned with detergent and dryer sheets.
  17. Bed Sheets/Comforter/Pillows – Having a nice, clean bed is essential in getting a good night’s sleep.  This applies to dorms or apartments as well as home.  So, fresh sheets, a plum comforter, and heathy pillows are essential.
  18. Towels/Washcloths –  Towels and washcloths are essential items for a college student.
  19. Picture Frames and Photo Albums –  Making memories in college is important. I remember my daughter wanting special frames to house her dance team photos.  Additionally, specials nights out with friends, and with the love of life who is now her husband.
  20. Subscription to Netflix, Hulu etc. –  Cable in college is a luxury.  However, subscriptions to Netflix or Hulu is a perfect gift.
  21. Footbath/Nail Polish/File/Clippers/Manicure Items – I remember my daughter and her roommates giving each other manicures and pedicures.  They enjoyed painting each other nails and experimenting with makeup.
  22. Shower Caddy/Shower Cap –  Holiday gift ideas for college students should include shower storage items. A means to store shampoo, conditioner and body wash is important.
  23. Diffuser/Oils –  I replaced burning candles with essential oils, and I love them.  They’re great for relaxing, keeping calm and staying centered.
  24. Duct Tape/Screw Driver/Pliers/Wrench –  Although we may not want to think about things coming apart, they do.  Throw in some nails, picture hangers and screws too.  These are holiday gift ideas for college students that they won’t think of.
  25. Charging Station –  Charging Stations are great for charging a phone, tablet, Kindle or other items in one place.
  26. Fire Stick/Smart TV/Printing/Media Streaming Device
  27. Bed Pillow For Support While Watching TV or Studying
  28. Storage Crates – Great for  storing movies, papers or using as a table.
  29. Ironing Board/Iron – Purchasing an ironing board that can be used on a bed or table is a good idea.
  30. DSR Camera – Capturing memories throughout college years is important.  It only happens once, so encourage your son or daughter to capture as many memories as possible.

Finally, we hope you found our list of holiday gift ideas for college students helpful. Pick a few items from the list, and I guarantee your college student will be happy.  These items make great care packages throughout the year too. You may also like How to Decorate a Dorm Room On a Budget.



13 Fun and Frugal Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas


Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas


Note: This post contains affiliate links.  I am an Amazon partner.  So, if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may be compensated.  Compensation keeps Mother 2 Mother going and helps me spoil my grandchildren.  There will no fee or additional costs to you.

Tired of the same boring gift wrap in stores?  We have the solution, you just have to choose what you love.  We’re sure you can find a few Christmas gift wrap ideas from our suggestions below.  Included are a Santa theme, snowman, dried fruits, race car and more.  So, grab a glass of coffee, wine or eggnog and check them out!


Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas

Hohoho!  Merry Christmas.  These adorable Santa inspired gift bags and gift boxes say that and more.  Unfortunately, there were no instruction on how to create these.  But, don’t be intimidated.  Get creative!  Plain red wrapping paper and gift bags, faux fur, buttons  and labels.  Hit the craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby.  You can find the accessories there.



How fun is this frosty the snowman siting by the tree waiting to be opened.   It’s simple, use white craft paper, black and orange construction paper for the buttons and nose, and a scarf.  You’ll be admiring this guy in no time.


Christmas gift wrap idea

A Christmas gift wrapped in Christmas lights.   What sets this gift wrap apart from the others is the lights made by little ones finger prints.  Also, check out my Kindergarten/First Grade Christmas Lights Crafts.  You’ll need brown Craft Paper, a black marker and washable craft paint.  Make it a family project.



I love this idea.  Instead of using gift tags, use one of your favorite photos of the gift recipients.  Brown Craft Paper, twine/string and a great photo is all that is needed.


Word Search gift wrap.  I love word search puzzles.  I even have my grandson hooked on them.  This idea is perfect for small gift boxes.  You create the word search puzzle and than print it on 12 by 12 paper.  Find the words that you want to highlight and than wrap your gift.  Merry Christmas baby!

Brown Craft Paper seems to be the way to go with gift wrap.  It’s inexpensive and can go a long way when wrapping gifts.  Personalize it with stenciled names on the gifts and a ribbon.  You can find stencils here.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find the original post on this idea.  The idea was picked up on Pinterest.


Christmas gift wrap ideas


I love to stencil.  So, I thought stenciling a Christmas design on brown Craft Paper would be fun.  It adds a perfection touch to brown background.  Many craft stores have Christmas stencils, brushes/sponges and paint.  Get creative.  You can do the ornaments as shown, reindeer, or whatever suits you.  Check these Christmas stencils too. However, I would stay with the white paint.  It looks amazing on the craft paper.  You can find the paint and stencil brushes at Michaels or other craft stores.



A Newspaper Christmas on gift wrapped in brown Craft Paper or any plain colored wrapping paper will work.  Simple, but makes a statement.  If you’re not the greatest artist, purchase stars from your local craft store.  Another idea, print The Night Before Christmas poem and make the tree from it.



Christmas gift wrap ideas

I love recycling old things.  Wrapping a gift in newspaper is something that I would do.  Somewhere doing my browsing a blogger suggested that if you have a sports fan use the sports section.  There’s the comics, style, real estate and the ideas go on.  Finish it with a nice bow.



Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas


Polka dot gift wrap is what’s happening here.  Brown Craft Paper, white ink pad and pencil with a clean eraser.  Finish the gift with a bow.  You can also do a Let it Snow theme.  Don’t cover the gift entire with the dots.  I would place them a various degrees to make it look their the dots are falling.


Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas



I thought this gift wrap was a perfect idea for the race car lover.  My grandson loves Hot Wheels and still does.  He’s 10. Wrap the gift with brown gift wrap, use black construction paper for the track and a white paint pen for the road markings.  The Dollar Tree, Dollar General and/or Big Lots has a nice selection of Hot Wheels that won’t break the bank.  So, get creative!


Using dried fruits on gift wrapped boxes is a great idea.  This blogger used dried oranges, but apple slices would work too.  Check out my post on drying orange slices here.  You can add cinnamon sticks and/or miniature pinecones.  A glue should be your friend for this project.  You will want your fruit and other accessories to stay on the gift.


Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas


Last, this is one of my favorite gift wraps.  Wrapping gifts in sheet music.  Get creative, this blogger used a full sheet of music to wrap gifts as well as strips of the music sheet.  Furthermore, google free sheet music or check your local music store for a deal. Finish it with a bow, string or greenery from your local Dollar Store.

So, we hope that you found a few Christmas gift wrap ideas that have inspired you.  You may also like 15 Festive Christmas Cookie Ideas.