Your young adult may be long past the days of "Be Mine" Valentine's Day cards and chalky candy hearts, but that doesn't mean you can't send your college kid a little Valentine happiness in a box. It's not just a box of sweet Valentine treats and surprises; it's a little long-distance love and support, too—and that's sweeter than any chocolate.
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A heart-shaped box of any size will please any Valentine. Purchase classic chocolates from a company such as See's Candy, or choose high-end truffles if your kid is a gourmet chocoholic. For a DIY take, grab a heart-shaped box at the craft store, line it with food-safe tissue or parchment paper, and fill it with red and white M&Ms.
Most grocery stores carry baking parchment paper in the foil and baggie section, and the Container Store, Sur la Table, and many foodie boutiques carry tissue paper that's intended for wrapping food.
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Warm and Cozy Fleece
A colorful fleece scarf made of red, pink, and white yarn or a DIY cozy, cherry-hued blanket adds warmth and cheer in the midst of dreary winter. You can buy the fleece online or at a store, but they're so easy to make and will be enjoyed and appreciated during cold winter months.
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Coloring Book and Colored Pencils
Relaxing activities can be hard to come by living in a dorm or with multiple roommates. A coloring book and colored pencils can be just the thing to distract and calm a frenzied college student. Choose a book that features hearts, flowers, and other Valentine's Day motifs to keep with the theme.Continue to 5 of 13 below.
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Earbuds or Headphones
College dorms and apartments can be loud, so a new set of earbuds or headphones can only enhance the relaxation experience. Everyone can use an extra set or two to keep in a backpack, a handbag, or a nightstand drawer.
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Framed Family Photo
Your young adult probably has lots of photos on their smartphone and maybe a few hanging on the walls, but it's less likely that they have a family photo printed and framed. It will be a nice reminder of home and the people that love them. Depending on your college kid, a photo of the family pet may be even more beloved than one of the family.
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If your young adult is a night owl who studies until all hours, a book light makes a great gift, especially for those who are sharing a dorm room. Burning the midnight oil is easier with one of these.Continue to 9 of 13 below.
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Stinky dorm rooms are always a problem for college students. Two people in one room make it a challenge to keep things smelling fresh and clean, especially in cold winter months when windows are shut and there's little fresh air circulating. A diffuser will provide a nice scent for your young adult.
Check to see if there are regulations about diffusers or other aromatherapy accessories in the dorm or building where they live.
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Personal Care Items
Running out of personal care items and borrowing from friends and roommates happens all the time in college. With money low and time at a premium, shopping for necessities can be a low priority. Include a few things that may be running low mid-year, like soap, shampoo, razors, and more.
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Staying healthy in college can be a challenge, especially freshman year. It's easy to get into the habit of late night snacking and sleeping all weekend. A FitBit is a great way to encourage healthy habits without being a nag.Continue to 13 of 13 below.
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A Trip Home
If you're really missing your grown-up kid and would like to see him or her, why not indulge yourself with a roundtrip ticket home, whether by plane, train, or bus? Leave the date open and let your young adult decide when they would like to come for a visit. Valentine's Day happiness for everyone!