2020 Holiday Gift Guide: 25 Ideas Under $25 for Teens and College Kids

Looking for inspiration for less expensive gifts for your son or daughter? Take a look at our Holiday Gift Guide, presents you can find on Amazon or at Uncommon Goods, one of our favorite sites for thoughtful gifts.

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. 

2020 holiday gift guide for teens (all under $25)

1. 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.


2. Satin hair scrunchies 

The popularity of hair scrunchies has soared with the VSCO girl trend. This inexpensive gift includes a dozen satin scrunchies in an assortment of colors.


3. 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

4. Cast iron skillet

If your kiddos have been cooking like crazy during the pandemic, the gift of a Lodge cast iron skillet might be one of their favorite things to find under the tree.

cast iron skillet

5. 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

6. Brita water bottle

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

Brita water bottle

7. Avocado cutter/slicer

This all-in-one tool 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

8. 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

9. 100 Things to Do After Quarantine poster

We are all dreaming of a day when our families are free to come and go like we did before the pandemic. Here’s a poster of bucket list items that your teen or college student can hang up and scratch off as they are able to do, safely. This is a unique gift from Uncommon Goods.

100 thins to do after quarantine

10. 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

11. 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

12. LED photo clips string lights

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

string light photo display

13. 4-Piece 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 help travelers stay organized and clothes stay neat. Available in six colors.

packing cube

Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults – perfect gift for the parent of a high schooler!  Now, in paperback

Grown and Flown paperback

14. Makeup Eraser

There is a reason why this cloth is called the Makeup Eraser – remove all makeup with only water and no other cream or lotion.  Other side of the cloth is for exfoliating.

make up eraser

15. 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.


16. 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

17. 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.

Do your laundry book

18. 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

19. 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.

tea advent calendar

20. Yeti Mug

We think that a Yeti mug would be a very popular gift for the holiday season.  Made with stainless steel, Yetis have legions of devoted fans who rely on the insulated tumblers and mugs to keep drinks hot or cold for hours on end.

Yeti mug


21. Mini grill

Making a panini or grilling a sandwich means your teen can prepare a hot meal with minimum counter space and a minimum of mess. These mini grills come in many cute colors and are a nice alternative to warming food in a microwave.

mini grill

22. Jack Black Shave Essentials set

We are big fans of Jack Black lip balms and lotions and think this shaving set – with skin cleanser, shaving cream and moisturizer (SPF 20) – could be a great gift for your son.

skin set

23. 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

24. 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

25. 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: 

Secret Santa Gifts for Teens, All Under $15

Awesome and Super-Popular 2020 Holiday Gifts for Him 

Holiday Gifts for Her That She Will Love (2020) 

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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