2021 Holiday Gift Guide: 35 Gifts Under $25 for Teens, College Students

Looking for inspiration for less expensive gifts for your son or daughter? Take a look at our Christmas Gift Guide which is filled with presents under $25 that might also make thoughtful birthday gifts or cute Secret Santa gifts, too.

Note: We are a readers-supported site and receive a small amount of compensation from purchases made through some of the links in this post. 

2021 Christmas gift guide for teens (all under $25)

1. ESPN Trivia Night

Your teens can challenge their friends in this mega trivia game with 1000 questions. This could also be a fun family game to play during the holiday season.

2. Anker charging pad

Charge your phone or EarPods by placing them on the charging pad. This is a such an easy way to recharge essential tech. This is a gift that would be appreciated by any family member.

3. Rifle Paper Company Notebooks

We love the pretty floral design of these Rifle Paper notebooks and this set of three would make a thoughtful gift for any daughter, niece, or friend who also loves this brand.

4. Lemome Notebook

Another popular brand, Lemome, makes elegant hardcover notebooks which have thicker paper so ink won’t bleed through. Available in five colors.

5. Micro gel pens

Gel pens are essential for journaling or if your teen likes color-coding notes and assignments. These highly-reviewed pens come with a set of mini sticky pads. Pair these with either of the notebooks (above) for a thoughtful gift for someone who loves to journal.

6. Initial necklace

This initial necklace is very stylish and so many teen girls are wearing this in 2021 – this one is 14K gold plating and is budget-friendly, too.

 

7. Hair drying towel 

Who knew that the way you dry your hair can have an impact on the health of your hair and how long the color lasts (if you dye your hair)? This ingenious towel takes haircare up a notch and reduces blow-drying time and energy resources.

turban

8. Silk hair scrunchies

The popularity of hair scrunchies has soared with the VSCO girl trend.

scrunchies

9. Carhartt Beanie

Available in 40+ colors, Carhartt beanies may be the only hat your son will actually wear. They are great for girls, too, and would be an especially thoughtful gift for anyone who is moving to a colder climate. This is a #1 best seller in hats on Amazon.

10. Apple AirPod case

We fell in love with this adorable Apple AirPods case, not only for the whimsical design, but also for the functionality of helping to keep expensive AirPods from being damaged. Available in both solid colors and patterns. AirPods are some of the best gifts and a case is an inexpensive but very useful companion present.

AirPods case

11. Bee’s Wrap Reusable Food Wraps

These are the prettiest food wraps – of any kind – we have ever seen and the fact that they last for us to a year makes this a gift we have on many Christmas lists. According to their site on Amazon, they are made of “certified organic cotton, responsibly-sourced beeswax, certified organic plant oils, and tree resin. This combination creates a durable, yet pliable plastic wrap alternative that can be used again and again and again.” Available in several designs.

12. Cast iron skillet

If your kiddos love to cook, the gift of a Lodge cast iron skillet might be one of their favorite things to find under the tree.

cast iron skillet

13. Takeya cold brew coffee maker

Cold brew coffee is wildly popular with our Gen Z and millennial kids. This elegant and simple maker will be a welcome present for any giftee who prefers to drink their coffee this way.

cold brew pitcher

14. Brita water bottle

This easy-to-use genius water bottle uses a replaceable filter in the straw, reducing chlorine flavor and taste. Comes in five different colors.

Brita water bottle

15. Avocado cutter/slicer

This all-in-one kitchen gadget will revolutionize the way your teen or college student prepares avocados. This does it all, including getting rid of the stubborn pit, and is dishwasher safe.

avocado cutter

16. Foam Roller

Being able to work out at home has been a life-saver during 2020. This light-weight foam roller comes in four lengths and multiple colors. It can be used for balance, flexibility and core workout as well as rehab.

foam roller

17. Resistance Band Set

Here is another great fitness idea – these compact resistance bands are a way that anyone can workout, even in a small dorm room or apartment. Perfect for anyone who travels.

18. Left Center Right

This is one of THE most popular games among the Grown and Flown community.

Left Right Center

19. Make-up travel brush set

Having a gorgeous set of makeup brushes in these dynamic colors might inspire your daughter to throw out her old brushes and begin 2021 will an all new and clean makeup routine. While made for travel, they are equally functional for use at home.

makeup brush set

20. Photo snow globe

Teens can make their own snow globe with the photograph of a best friend, furry friend or the family that loves them dearly.  This is a cute, seasonal alternative to a more ho-hum picture frame.

snow globe

21. LED photo clips string lights

This string light photo display is a whimsical decoration and an easy way to dress up a drab dorm wall or bedroom wall.

string light photo display

22. Eagle Creek packing cube set

When we throw our clothes in a duffle or roller bag, they arrive at our destination in a wrinkled mess.  These ingenious packing cubes by Eagle Creek help travelers stay organized and clothes stay neat. Available in three colors.


23. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse 

This international bestseller is all about kindness, friendship and home. The gorgeous illustrations are unforgettable.

The boy, mole, fox and hound

24. Cool mist personal mini humidifier

If your teen attends college in a very dry climate, especially during the winter, having an easy way to add a little moisture into the air will help them through the cold months.

humidifier

25. Vibrelli universal bike phone mount

So your teen can keep both hands on the bike handlebars instead of holding their phone, this holder will keep it secure and visible.

bike phone mount

26. Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone

Author and illustrator Becky Blades wrote this book and created the gorgeous artwork as a good bye letter to her own college daughter. Moms, don’t forget to add your own, personal message at the end. The is the right gift to give your soon-to-be-flown daughter.

Do Your Laundry

27. Letters of Gratitude

We can talk to our teens about being grateful, but here is a great way for them to actually show it. This is one of our favorite Christmas gift ideas.

gratitude book

28. Christmas Advent calendar with herbal, green and fruit teas 

If your son or daughter delights in a good cup of tea, this is a great gift for them.  Filled with 24 teas bags, they can count down to Christmas and enjoy different teas throughout December.

29. Tea Diffuser

For those who prefer to make tea with loose leaves, this diffuser would make a nice gift. Safety features include a rubber lid and handle that is longer than other diffusers. It folds down for easy storage.

30. Tile Mate

For your forgetful teen, the Tile Mate will be something they can clip on keychains or attach to a backpack or wallet to keep up with valuables. 

Tile

31. Ninja Wallet Multi-Tool

This credit-card sized tool has 6 Hex wrenches, a can opener, fruit peeler, bottle opener, ruler (standard & metric), letter opener, box opener, phone stand, eyeglasses, Phillips, and Flat head screwdriver. Genius!

ninja tool

32. Jack Black lip balms

We are big fans of Jack Black lip balms and lotions and think this “Balm Squad” set could be a thoughtful gift for your son or daughter – no more chapped lips this winter!

33. Armband cell phone holder

If your teen or young adult likes to run and listen to music on their cell phone, this armband holder is a great pick for them.  Available to fit numerous phones, they are also available in many different colors.

cell phone arm band

34. Mario Badescu facial sprays

Mario Badescu has a big following and the facial sprays are one reason why.  This set will allow your teen to sample three scents – aloe, rosewater and lavender.

facial spray

35. Herschel card case

A thin card case that holds a debit card, drivers license, and ID, with room for a few bills, is much more popular than a bulky wallet.  Herschel has loads of different colors and styles to choose from.

Herschel card case

You Might Also Want to Read: 

Uncommon Gifts from Uncommon Goods 

Stocking Stuffers for Teens and College Students

Awesome and Super-Popular 2021 Holiday Gifts for Him 

Holiday Gifts for Her That She Will Love (2021) 

Looking for inspiration for gifts for a high schooler, college kid or recent grad? Take a look at this holiday gift guide for teens and young adults, all gifts at a price point that won't break the bank. #giftideas #giftsunder25 #gifts #giftsforteens #giftsforcollege #college #teenagers #giftguideforteens #giftguide #holidaygiftideas

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

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