Student Christmas presents

Hello! It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays, which means it’s the season of people asking you what gifts you want. If you’re anything like me, you might not have a clue what to ask for, so today I thought I’d do the hard work for all of us by creating a list of ideas, or rather three lists, for the scholarly, practical, and fun-loving sides of us all. Obviously none of the items listed will be applicable to every person, but hopefully they can at least kickstart your wishlist brainstorming.



Since I’m specifically your high school mentor, it only makes sense that I would give you some ideas of school-specific things to ask for. Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest textbooks or something; these are just things that have come in handy at school for either myself or my fellow students.

  • A 2019 planner or calendar- Unless you have the memory of an elephant, you probably can’t remember every test, game, or meet in your schedule, so ask for a tool to help you.
  •  A pair of decent earbuds- On those rare and blessed days when a teacher lets you work on homework with headphones on, you’ll be grateful you have these with you as a way to tune out distractions and just focus on your work.
  • Water bottle- Staying hydrated is one of the most basic ways to stay healthy, and having a water bottle instead of having to go to the water fountain will help you drink water more frequently.
  • Pens/Sharpies- If you’re an artistic person, or if you tend to take classes that involve lots of crafts or posters, a pack of colorful pens and Sharpies will ensure you never have to wait for a classmate to be finished with the class set.
  • Portable charger- I can’t even count how many times someone has asked me for a charger or interrupted class to ask if they can plug their charger into a classroom outlet. Don’t be that person. Buy a portable charger or external battery case.



Okay, so I know it’s the holidays, and we all want fun gifts, but consider this: it’s also a great time to ask for things that you probably already need and don’t want to buy with your own money.

  • Jumper cables/car kit- If you have a car, or you plan to get one soon, and you don’t have essential car tools like jumper cables, a window scraper, a flashlight, and a first aid kid, you need to get those ASAP.
  • Cookbook- This one might sound dorky, but we all know that cooking is an essential life skill that you should have a basic knowledge of by the time you graduate. If you get a cookbook you love, like one from a particular celebrity you like, or one with a theme you appreciate or relate to (Dede Hall’s The Starving Students’ Cookbook, anyone?), you’ll be more likely to actually start learning recipes you can use after high school when you live on your own.
  • Self-defense classes- If we’re being honest, the world can be a dangerous place, and it’s absolutely worth it to be prepared, which includes knowing how to defend yourself.
  • Decent interview clothes- As someone who just started trying to get a job, I can’t express enough how important it is to look presentable. Whether you’re applying to Yale or McDonald’s, dress to impress in business casual attire, like a button up shirt or blouse, slacks or a skirt, and loafers or flats. If you don’t have an outfit that fits this model, the holidays are the perfect time to ask for one.
  • Money- This is the simplest, yet arguably most helpful, gift to ask for because you can use it for anything. A practical use for it would be to open a car or college savings account, but you could also use it to purchase any of the gifts above that you don’t end up getting, and to make it a little more personal, you could ask for a gift card to your favorite store.



Finally! Let’s talk about the fun stuff, the gifts that are purely for your own enjoyment, because we all need ways to de-stress and things to do that don’t involve school.  

  • Concert tickets- If you’re into music or comedy and have always wanted to see a performer live, why wait? Experiences are just as valuable as physical items, and concerts are one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you probably won’t regret.
  • Laptop- We live in a digital age, and the value of access to internet is becoming increasingly apparent. As a student, you’ll probably be on the go often, and a small laptop gives you access to most social media, like Instagram and Twitter, as well as online games, but is also much easier to use for writing emails or essays than a phone.
  • Camera- I’ll admit that I’m a little biased on this one as a member of the yearbook team, but even before that, I loved getting a camera and camera accessories as a gift because photos are such a perfect way to capture all the moments you don’t want to forget. Cameras can capture a much larger range of images than a phone can.
  • T-shirt blanket- As a high school student, you’re probably beginning to accumulate t-shirts from clubs, sports, and school events, and while you may not necessarily want to throw them away because they hold important memories, you also might not want them taking up space in your closet. T-shirt blankets are a perfect solution. There are plenty of people on Etsy who you can send old t-shirts to and they’ll make a blanket out of them, or you can send them to Project Repat, a company made specifically to make t-shirt blankets.
  • Food- Sometimes it’s the little things that count the most, and there may come a day in the drudges of January and February when all you’ll want is a box of your favorite candy or chips but don’t have any on hand. Maybe your parents don’t typically buy them, or maybe it just didn’t cross your mind at the store. In any case, ask for those snacks as simple gifts or stocking stuffers. Your future self will thank you; trust me.

That’s it! I hope this list has helped you think of ideas for yourself. Have a fantastic holiday break, and I’ll see you in the new year!