Christmas shopping can be stressful when shopping for the financially-challenged, empty-pocketed, struggling entrepreneurial college undergrad. College students need money just like anyone else. But all their money goes to tuition, books, and other living-expenses. Fast food restaurants become the norm, so, food that they can have in their dorm is a very sensible gift. Late night snacks such as popcorn, dried fruit, beef jerky and ramen-noodles serve as great stocking-stuffers. It's good to have those things on-hand on cold late nights. Otherwise, a hungry student will go out with the fear of losing their safe and convenient parking spot.
You can never go wrong with a good pair of Bluetooth headphones as a gift, because they are constantly on the move. Do not forget the gift that has been given by grandparents everywhere for many years: socks. Since they tend to get lost or eaten by the dryer, it is the perfect time to give them as gifts. Gift-cards are always a wonderful gift if you're out of ideas. Favorites are Target and Walmart for any student who is living on a shoestring budget.
Lotions, wall scent plug-ins, or even spray-bottles of air-freshener are good ideas. Clothes can be a very helpful gift choice, but make sure you know their sizes and what they like. They won't have much time to get to the store for returns and exchanges. Bottles for water are one of the best gifts that not many people think of. Then students don't have to worry about buying five plastic water bottles every day. That ends up costing a ton of money!
When people think of Christmas gifts, they think of clothes, jewelry, and gift cards. But think of the necessities such as laundry detergent and toilet paper. These things aren’t the most extravagant gifts, but they are things that a broke college student would look at wide-eyed and smiling. They would be very much appreciated by students when they see they still have some on hand after the break.
Most students would like their tuition to be paid for by Santa. While this probably won't happen, everyone can help out in some small way by thinking practically about what gifts would be most useful to a college student.
Edited by Adam White, Jason Morrison