Gift Guide for High School and College Students

One of my most popular posts of all time is my graduation gift ideas post; it’s a carefully curated list enthusiastically approved and eagerly endorsed by my children and their friends.  My niece said, “It’s a great list, Aunt Robin–I can’t think of anything to add.” She’s a Georgia Tech graduate so she’s one smart cookie and you can believe what she says.

Since that post was published during graduation season, I thought it might be helpful to offer a Christmas version.

Portable charger1. Power. With the myriad of electronic devices students have these days, a portable power pack is close to a necessity. You can pay a little (maybe a stocking stuffer?) or a little more, and I’d wager you do get what you pay for. I bought one for $10 but it only worked for a few charges; I’ll double the price for next time.

soft cozy throw2. A “hug“. For when it’s cold and dreary outside, give ’em something warm and cozy inside. Whether a fleece throw for their favorite team or a sweater-blanket, they’re going to love this during cold winter months.

3.  Collectible ornaments.  Maybe you’ve already begun this for your children, choosing special ornaments each year so when they’re out on their own, their tree will be full of memories. (I don’t know if you’ve seen the incredible, 25-ornament collection created to coordinate with the daily readings in Ann Voskamp’s book, The Greatest Gift, but make a note to check it out.

3.  Dorm art.  This is a fun, inexpensive sticking-out-of-their-stocking stuffer, and at, there are zillions to choose from.

4.  Jewelry.  Rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets and even sports watches are dynamite in small packages.  I love the faith-inspired collection  at DaySpring–it’s not “too” Jesusy but it carries with it a lovely message.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 1.17.13 PM5.  Gift cards.  Amazon’s Holiday Gift Cards offer a Free Gift Box and Free One-Day Shipping and they have EVERYthing.  Restaurants, movies, lots of entertainment and shopping options for picky teens.

6.  Electronics.  Big ticket items, if these are in your price range, this is what your kids are hoping for:

    • kindle-242594_640Kindle or some type of e-reader
    • iPad
    • Wireless, bluetooth speaker (like a Jawbone). You can pay a little…or a lot.
    • Headphones (splurge for the noise canceling ones)
    • Xbox One Console, Play Station, etc. Expensive but most-wanted…
    • Good earbuds (you pay more for the good ones!  At a minimum, something like these Sony’s.)

7.  A versatile rain jacket for the guys and maybe a something a little more fun for girls (leopard or cheetah? Yep, fun!)

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 1.42.35 PM8.  Rain or all-weather boots. There are dozens are darling styles here for girls; the guys will likely appreciate something more basic. Walking around on campus, especially during cold months can be brutal.

9.  And my daughter mentioned coffee.  For those in college and living away from home, they learn quickly to acquire a taste :).  If not a maker for their dorm room, load ’em up with Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or their local coffee shop gift cards.



Vera Bradley wristlet10. A wristlet for girls a wallet for the guys. Vera Bradley has a pretty and fun take on wristlets; guys’ are pretty basic.


Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 1.24.37 PM11. Phone case. Smart phones are expensive; “good” cases go a long way toward protecting that investment (and let’s face it, students are hard on technology!). I STRONGLY recommend a LifeProof case–I’ve dropped mine a hundred times and it’s still magically intact.  These cases from JKASE makes me want to have a Samsung–in addition to protecting a phone, there are slots for IDs or credit cards.  Love that versatility.

12. Watches. For a while, watches lost their popularity because people could tell time with their cell phone. Not anymore. They’re a popular accessory again and you can find fantastic pricing on great brands.


Hope this helps with gift-giving ideas!

Tell me what’s on your list for teens and older children.

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