It's easy to pick out a holiday gift for a young child, just by visiting a toy store. Once that child becomes a young adult, however, it's trickier to determine what kind of present will bring them joy. While you can always resort to cash or a gift card, there are plenty of options if you want to pick out something to wrap up and place under the tree.
Board and Card Games
Board games never go out of style, even for teens and young adults. Some popular choices include the risque game "Cards Against Humanity;" "Loaded Questions," which comes in clean or naughty options; or the family-friendly option, "Apples to Apples."
You could also put together a retro gift box of classics such as "Monopoly," "Risk," and "Scattegories" (all available for purchases online at Amazon). Add in a gift card for a local pizza place so that they have everything they need for a game night with friends.
Technology Gifts and Accessories
From Apple watches to iPads to an Amazon Echo, tech gifts are sure to please a young adult. If you have a lower budget, tech accessories, such as Bose or Skullcandy headphones, portable phone chargers, or Bluetooth speakers are also good options, as are cell phone cases or laptop covers. If you're feeling creative, you can personalize these items with your own images on sites such as Cafe Press or Zazzle. A Polaroid Snap camera is a nostalgic gift that prints instant photos that can be enjoyed immediately.
Having to walk across the school campus can be mighty chilly, so cold-weather accessories will be much appreciated. A warm pair of boots such as L.L. Bean boots, Sorel snow boots, or Uggs are cozy gifts. If not, buy them trendy accessories, such as hats, gloves, earmuffs, fluffy socks, or an Urban Outfitters’ fuzzy fleece blanket. Add in a cool mug and some gourmet cocoa for a gift that will keep them toasty all winter long.
Whether the young adult in your life lives in a dorm or their own apartment, household items make for great and practical gifts. Coffee enthusiasts may appreciate a high-quality coffeemaker or a single-serving option. Presto hot air popcorn poppers or Brita water filters are other gifts that can be used all year long. Before you buy, inquire about what items are allowed to be in their dorm rooms, as rules on appliances vary by college.
Fun Food Gifts
College kids who are sick of dining hall choices might be thrilled to receive a gift of food. Websites such as Goldbelly will ship a wide variety of food gifts from restaurants all over the country. From cupcakes to barbecue, there's sure to be an option your young adult would enjoy.
A Piece of Home
Items that remind young adults of the town they grew up in can be great gifts, especially if they're unable to come home for the holidays. Lat & Lo offers personalized jewelry with the specific coordinates of any special place on earth. You can also order an Uncommon Goods’ cheese board in the shape of their home state. Another idea is to get a T-shirt and a gift card from a favorite restaurant in town—they can wear the shirt now and visit the restaurant on their next trip home.
Subscription boxes are a great way to extend the holiday season beyond January. These boxes can contain a wide variety of goodies, such as cosmetics, sweet treats, and accessories, and range in duration and price, so there are options for all budgets. Some popular subscriptions include Birchbox and FabFitFun. If you prefer just a monthly food subscription, Amazing Clubs offers popcorn, pizza, and cookie boxes.