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Since I’ve got two in high school and one in college, people often ask me what in the world you buy for this age group.  My list of tried and true graduation gifts is a great place to start for ideas; beyond that, these are a few of their (and their friends’) favorite things:

Socks and underwear but NOT the socks and underwear you dreaded you’d receive when you were little….

The cost of these is pricey for a student to buy themselves but perfect for a gift to give–they know the value.

Funky socks…

and “Smart” socks…


and High Performance Underwear.  Did you even KNOW underwear could perform highly?  I didn’t.  The person who introduced ExOfficios to my boys told them they didn’t have to be changed every day because of their fancypantsiness.  Now, I can’t convince them otherwise (though not for lack of trying/begging/pleading).  I suppose the upside is less laundry.  But gross.



If you know they have a pod coffee maker, buy them a supply of pods; and if they don’t (and you know they like coffee), get them a one-cup coffee maker.  Hamilton Beach has the best price coffee maker for for under $20, Mr. Coffee sells one mid-range under for under $80, and of course, Keurig is the Cadillac (the cheapest I’ve found is $115).  Also, giftcards to their school’s nearest coffee shop is a nice idea.


Anything Dri-fit.  Sportswear is big; this is something they’ll enjoy until it wears out.  And if you find it in their school’s colors, that’s even better.


A rice steamer.  This one comes HIGHLY recommended by my daughter.  Maybe she’s the only person on the planet who wants one, but she loves that it’s cheap and convenient to fix in her dorm room.  And a steamer makes it perfect every time.


A movie package.  There are always fantastic box office premiers during the Christmas break, so movie tickets and gift certificates for concessions is a perfect gift.


Amazon giftcards
.  Did you realize you can buy specific giftcards through Amazon?  Why didn’t I know that?!  Places like Forever 21, Sephora, American Eagle, aeropostale, GameStop…just about anywhere a teen or young 20-something would like to shop.


And another go-to destination is Target for just about everything I’ve mentioned…

24850_Pick the Perfect Present for Everyone on Your List + Spend $50 Get Free Shipping on Select Items


Teach-to-read-and-write-255x360One of the things we began last year, was to gift our children with cash on Christmas morning for the sole purpose of choosing a gift for children in the Compassion International family.  Because we’ve long-sponsored children, this was a creative way to support others beyond our monthly and special gifts.  What I loved about my children’s choices last year is they pooled their money together to select one larger item :).  They were engaged in the process.



Do you have suggestions for last-minute gifts for high school and college students?  Please share in comments for others to see!


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