Friday, December 4, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide!

Hello all! So last night I presented this blog and my research on parental involvement for the capstone project for my Master's Degree and got a great response for it. So, in honor of my personal journey of chasing college, tonight I am really excited to share with you all the Chasing College Holiday Gift Guide! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the New Year, or just want a good reason to give someone a gift, I tried to come up with some unique and thoughtful ideas that would be perfect for anyone 'Chasing College.' Some gifts are geared more towards High School students, while some may be better for those already in college, but you can use your best judgement!!

  1. An XL Twin comforter and sheet set is a great gift during the holiday season. There are some really great sales at department stores this time of year, so might as well take advantage of the bedding sales! This specific comforter set is from JC Penney and you can find it here. My suggestion is to get your student an XL (extra long) Twin set because those will fit best with the beds in college residence halls. **Note: I got my bedding set for college the Christmas before I graduated from High School. I was able to pick out the colors I wanted and my parents were also able to get a good deal on them!
  2. If your student is a Junior in High School or they are a Senior and will be needing to take the SAT/ACT over again, I definitely suggest buying them a Review Book. While this may not be something on their list, it will be put to good use and is a functional gift! You can find these review books at every bookstore, on Amazon, and even possibly at Walmart. The price can range from $20.00 to about $45.00 depending on the type of book and what else it includes. My suggestion though is to buy a review book that is published by the company which owns/administers the specific test.
  3. This is a great time of year to gift your student, your friend, your roommate, whomever a new set of gloves, or a hat/scarf. These are invaluable in the winter months for walking to and from class, the Dining Hall, or the Library! You can also usually find some good deals on outerwear accessories during the holiday season, which is fabulous for the college students looking to give gifts on a budget!
  4. Lanyards and ID wallets are a great small gift you can get a friend or a family member. For the guys, I would suggest a lanyard from their favorite store or from a sports team they like. An ID wallet is a good idea for girls, as they can hold their keys, their IDs and anything small. These are essential for college students for keeping track of their room keys and their IDs (ie: their meal cards, access to dining facilities, and ability to print).
  5. For the people in your life who are constantly on their phones, I would suggest a portable phone charger as a great gift! You can find them almost anywhere, Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon .. etc. Especially for college students who are away from their rooms from sun-up until sun-down, this would be a great electronic for them. **Parents: Your child would no longer have the excuse of  "My phone was dead," when they didn't call you back!
  6. While they are on sale, I definitely suggest buying snow/winter boots and giving those as a gift to your college chasing student! You have to walk everywhere when on a college campus, so it is necessary that you have a good, solid snow boot during the winter months. (Now, if you live in an area that doesn't see snow, I would suggest a good rainboot!) They should have treads on the bottom to help combat icy sidewalks, but also be warm enough for those jaunts across campus. Also, warm socks are a good "Stocking Stuffer" idea!
  7. In general, I feel like the holidays are when we give and receive more extravagant gifts than we would for any other holiday, so I would suggest giving a really high-quality winter or rain coat to someone in your life. (Again, this depends on the area you are going to college.) You'll want to gift a warm and water-resistant coat that the student would love. You can find these coats everywhere, JC Penney's, Dick's Sporting Goods, Marshall's, Macy's ... etc. **Note: I bought a Columbia-brand coat on clearance during the holiday season for college and I still have it and wear it today! It is so warm and if you buy the jackets with the inner and outer shell, then you can have two jackets in one - a fleece for the Fall, a rain jacket for the Spring, and a winter coat for the winter!
  8. I'm a firm believer that you should always give someone a book as a holiday gift, so this one is entitled The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College. It is a great resource for students who are going into college or who have just had a rough first semester. It offers interesting anecdotes about college life and tips on how to solve your problems! **There are a lot of these resource books out there, so do your research and find one that best fits the student you are gifting for.
  9. An electronic picture frame is a great idea for college students and those who are planning to go away ... actually, I think this is a good gift for pretty much anyone. But, you're able to upload your pictures as you want onto the USB or SD disc that comes with it and then it shows a slideshow of all the photos on the disc. If the gift receiver has limited room or has a lot of pictures they want to show, this is a great way to showcase them. You can find these at office supply stores and electronic stores like Staples or Best Buy!
I hope you all have enjoyed the 2015 Chasing College Gift Guide! I hope it provides you all with inspiration for your gift giving this month and even possible ideas for future graduation gifts for your loved ones! Do you have an great gift idea for someone who is 'Chasing College,' feel free to comment below!

enjoy the chase,

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