First it is worth asking yourself how college students differ from everybody else? The answer to that question is that they are often strapped for cash, and so will really appreciate things that they actually need more than people who work hard, earn good money, and so already have everything that they need. Whenever I buy a gift for a college student I try and buy them something that I know will save them money, or something that they would love but probably can't afford while living on the cheapest food from the supermarket and worrying about whether they can pay the rent next term. Students successfully manage to survive on next to nothing while maintaining a social life, that's to be admired about students.
Best Christmas Gifts For College Students
Have to buy a gift for a college student this year? Consider these gift ideas, students will really appreciate these things!
I can remember as a student that I really appreciated all of my possessions so much more, clothes got looked after better, and every purchase was scrutinized. Can I get a discount? Can I get this cheaper? Christmas's and birthdays were like heaven, getting stuff that I just wouldn't have considered buying. So, buy them something that they will appreciate. In some respects, college students are easy to buy for, because they appreciate the value of everything. Nobody knows your student friend or relative better than you, but I hope to be able to at least give you some decent ideas, it was only three years ago that I was a college student myself!
Razor blades are really expensive, have you noticed? Especially the great brands such as Gillette. Students like to look good however, because they want to make friends, and flirt with members of the opposite sex, so it's a necessary expense. Considering buying your college student friend an electric shaver (facial for men, legs for women), brands such as Philips and Panasonic are the best and they have many affordable low cost models.
A Decent Meal!
I once knew somebody who would send their son a hamper of food every few months, his eyes would light up as he pulled out food all of his favorites. Students sacrifice on food quality in order to spend money on clothes and parties, although a Christmas hamper is probably not a great idea. Most students go home for Christmas, where they get all the food in the world. Buying them a food voucher however would allow them to visit a restaurant chain for a few awesome meals, another good idea would be to get one of those loaded cards that Supermarkets offer.
A Laptop / Netbook
How much are you prepared to spend exactly? If it is your son or daughter, or you are lucky enough to be doing your Christmas shopping with a large budget, then consider a laptop or netbook! If your student currently uses a desktop or doesn't own a computer at all, or indeed has a laptop which is old and slow, then getting them a decent $400 or $500 laptop could be a lifesaver (or a diploma/degree saver). If they already use a laptop then a netbook would be an awesome idea, it enables them to take the netbook to the library or to class, rather than a big and bulky laptop. If they have an expensive laptop then they may well be reluctant to carry that around in a laptop bag, thefts and robberies are a huge risk for students.
Coffee (or a Coffee Machine)
Students love coffee. At least, most students love coffee. Buying them a coffee machine could save them a fortune in takeaway Starbucks coffees, but if buying a coffee machine then make sure it isn't one which uses those little cups as the refills are expensive and will eat into a students budget. A standard coffee machine is best. If they already have access to a coffee machine, then consider buying them a few months supply of coffee, Starbucks themselves sell bags of their coffee and it works out at a fraction of the price per cup!
Students are generally sociable creatures, but finances dictates they they are much more likely to socialize with friends in their own homes whenever possible. House parties are more common than trips to nightclubs, especially at weekends (during weekdays many bars and clubs offer heavy student discounts, but at the weekends they charge more for the local workers!). Board games provide a super-cheap means of entertainment. You can even get board games which relate to drinking which they can play while drinking much cheaper supermarket alcohol.
Any Gift Card
Your problem can be completely solved very easily. Many people find that gift cards are 'impersonal', and when somebody has everything they are. But students can make a $50 gift card go further than you could ever imagine, and they will end up buying things that they really want or need. Just make sure that your gift card is from a place which sells pretty much anything (e.g. Target, Amazon, Walmart) and your student will really value it.