10 Types of Holiday Gifts for Young Adults and Millennials

headphones as a Christmas gift for millenials

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

The holiday season is almost here, so it's time to start making that gift list. Here are some ideas for what to get the young adults in your life.

Board Games

Board games never go out of style. Some good choices for young adults include the popular "Cards Against Humanity," "Loaded Questions," or "Apples to Apples." Or put together a retro gift box of classics like "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 iPods to an Amazon Echo, tech gifts are abundant. Tech accessories such as Bose or Skullcandy headphones, portable phone chargers, or mini speakers are also good options. A Polaroid Snap camera is a nostalgic gift that prints instant photos that can be enjoyed immediately. For some lower-cost tech items, cell phone cases or laptop covers are useful options. If you're feeling creative, you can personalize these items with your own images on sites such as Cafe Press or Zazzle.

Cold Weather Goodies

Having to walk across campus can be mighty chilly, so cold-weather accessories will be much appreciated. If you know their size, a warm pair of boots such as LL Bean Bean boots, Sorel snow boots, or Uggs are cozy gifts. Or you can buy them fun 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.            

Household Items

Whether they live in a dorm or their own apartment, household items make great and practical gifts for young adults. Coffee enthusiast may appreciate a Chemex coffeemaker. Presto hot air popcorn poppers or Brita water filters are other gifts that can be used all year long. Just inquire about what items are okay to have in their dorm rooms (rules on appliances vary by college) before purchasing.

Fun Food

College kids sick of dining hall choices would be thrilled to receive a gift of food. Websites such as Goldbely or FoodyDirect will ship a wide variety of food gifts from restaurants all over the country. From cupcakes to BBQ, there's sure to be an option your young adult would enjoy.

Sporting Equipment

Workout clothes, small weights, and fitness watches from Fitbit or Garmin are all motivational gifts for young adults who have put staying fit on the New Year’s resolution list.

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 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

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. Subscriptions range in duration and price, so there are options for different budgets. Some popular subscriptions include Birchbox and FabFitFun. If you prefer just a monthly food subscription, Amazing Clubs offers popcorn, pizza, and cookie boxes.


Show and sporting-event tickets or spa certificates are all excellent gifts for young adults and great ways to set a date to spend time together after the holidays are over. Check out Ticketmaster for tickets to events all over the country, or for discounted prices try Goldstar

Money or Gift Cards

Gift cards to places like Starbucks, Target, iTunes, and Amazon are always welcomed. And if all else fails, there's nothing like cash or a check to help out a young adult's bank account.

Guest columnist Randi Mazzella is a freelance writer and mother of three. She primarily writes about parenting, family life, and teen issues. Her work has appeared in many online and print publications including Teen Life, Your Teen, Scary Mommy, SheKnows, and Grown and Flown.