30 Somewhat Surprising Christmas Gifts for College Students - Unique Gifter

30 Somewhat Surprising Christmas Gifts for College Students

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Disclosure in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission'sย 16 CFR, Part 255. This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

Ahhh college, when everyone is broke!

Christmas Gift Ideas for College Students | Freshman | Sophomore | Junior | Senior | Presents | Gift Ideas

While the college students you know might be longing for a new macbook, or a sweet spring break trip, there are a TON of Christmas gifts for college students that they will appreciate more than you’d think.

Freeing up a few of their dollars means there’s another pint at the bar, or a few less dollars spent on the student loan. These ideas might surprise you, but give them a try!


Surprising Christmas Gifts for College Students

Gift Card in a Pop-Up Box

Buy Now on Amazon

We all need to eat. Think about how much ramen you can buy with an extra $50!

Fancy Grocery Gift Cards

Buy Now on Amazon

For students who are tired of feeling broke all the time, help them treat themselves to something nice at the fancy grocery store.

Coffe Shop Gift Cards

Buy Now on Amazon

Laptops + Coffee + Coffee Shop = College Student

Laundry Detergent

Buy Now on Amazon

Laundry detergent is shockingly expensive and counts as a necessity in life. Take it off their mind by giving them a year’s supply.

Transit Pass

College Graduation Gifts - Transit Pass

Getting around the city adds up!  Students are often used to cut rate, or included-in-tuition transit passes, and the full price can be hard on the budget.  Give the gift of a transit pass.


Buy Now on Amazon

Frisbees are an easy to transport gift that’s great for encouraging exercise and hanging out with friends.

Bottle of Booze

Buy Now on Amazon

Yup – this will make you a winner in their books (ahem, pay attention to your local laws).

Ticket Home for Christmas

Ticket Home for Christmas

Getting home isn’t free! Chip in for their bus ticket, train ticket, gas money or flight.

The Remarkable Year

The Remarkable Year

Instead of letting your calendar control you, you control your calendar.  The Remarkable Year is a planner, goal setter, journal, memorabilia and a wonderful gift.  It is an excellent way to keep track of all the amazing things that happen during your college years.

Available at TheRemarkableYear.com


Buy Now on Amazon

Help them start the next semester a few dollars richer by purchasing one of their textbooks for them.

School Clothing

Buy Now on Amazon

Help them show off their school spirit at the next football game by getting them some school clothing.

Fancy Cable Package

Grad Gifts - Netflix Subscription

Are they missing watching all the games? Upgrade their cable package for them for the year!

Netflix Subscription

Grad Gifts - Netflix Subscription

Entertainment!  Keep them entertained for an entire year by springing for a Netflix subscription for them.

Cell Phone Payment

College Graduation Gifts - Smartphone Bill

This will definitely win you a friend – pay their cell phone bill for a month (or several)

Coffee Machine ( + Coffee or Pods)

Buy Now on Amazon

Wake up and hit the daily grind with the gift of a coffee maker.

Lunch Containers

Buy Now on Amazon

Gorgeous glass lunch containers with locking tops come with a moderate price tag, but over the long run they save piles of money because you can pack your lunch easily.  They make a wonderful gift, especially if they come in fun colours.

Portable Wireless Speakers

Buy Now on Amazon

Wireless Speakers – Let them take the party with them, whether it’s using that frisbee in the park, studying outside in the spring, or hosting a kegger on a Saturday night.

Pantry Staples

Buy Now on Amazon

Stock right up!  Pantry staples make a wonderful gift, and they also make a great wedding shower present.  If you have to live on rice and beans, they are even cheaper when someone else buys them for you.

Spice Rack

Buy Now on Amazon

Ramen can get boring when it’s all you eat (kidding!). Pick up a nice spice rack, to adorn their new place, give them culinary creativity, and pave the way to adulthood.

Commuter Bicycle

Buy Now on Amazon

A good commuter bike can last a decade, keep you fit, keep commuting costs down and help them get to class on time!  Indirectly, a bike can help them live further from campus and save on rent.

Tool Box

Buy Now on Amazon

Living in an apartment still necessitates the odd screwdriver or hammer, and having a compact kit of basics makes life a whole lot easier.  Christmas Gift Ideas for College Students | Freshman | Sophomore | Junior | Senior | Presents | Gift Ideas

First Aid Kit

Buy Now on Amazon

This is one of those “I should really have one of those but never get around to it” type gifts, that can come in extremely handy, but people don’t often buy for themselves.

Joy of Cooking

Buy Now on Amazon

Ready to set out into a world of more than ramen?  The first thanksgiving dinner can be made entirely from scratch with the Joy of Cooking, aka the textbook and reference manual of all things cooking.

Hair Cut

Buy Now on Amazon

This is a splurge item for students, gift them a new haircut.

House Plant

Buy Now on Amazon

Freshen up the air and make their space feel lived in, with an ongoing reminder of your gift and the growth they experienced during college.

Slow Cooker

Buy Now on Amazon

The godsend of lazy, healthy cooking!

Concert Tickets

101 Screen Free Gifts for Teens - Concert Tickets

For the music lover, grab a ticketmaster gift card, or a pair of tickets to a band they love.

CSA Membership

College Graduation Gifts - CSA Membership

It’s time to stop living on rice and ramen!  A CSA box is a great way to get a lot of healthy, diverse foods into their diet.

Healthy Snacks Care Package

Buy Now

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Buy Now on Amazon

Residence can get loud and unfortunately there is not a lot you can do about it sometimes.  Escaping to the library is an option, but if your school doesn’t have a 24 hour library, your 2am studying could rely quite heavily on noise cancelling headphones.

Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens: Original EditionBuy Now on Amazon

Exploding Kittens is ridiculous card game, that’s quick to play, accessible to most and as a bonus is hilarious.


About The Author

FREE Printable:
In-My-Room Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Enter your email to receive your FREE Printable Scavenger Hunt:

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Scroll to Top