Parental guidance no longer needed for gift-giving


Illustration by Kayce Tynan Photo credit: Kayce Tynan

Illustration by Kayce Tynan Photo credit: Kayce Tynan

The season of giving can be particularly difficult for money-strapped college students— especially when it comes to buying a gift for parents.

After all, what could possibly be enough for the people who have given you everything?

Typically, when seeking advice for gifts, other people always suggest making something for parents.

Unfortunately, not everyone can work their way around a Pinterest board and create the perfect gift out of burlap, old milk crates and a glue gun.

College students do, however, know how to work their way around the Internet, campus and Starbucks.

The best rule of thumb for Christmas is two gifts per parent. Keeping the quantity of gifts equal prevents unnecessary holiday jealousy drama.

The key to the perfect parent gift is something that is both meaningful and functional.

Through extensive research and personal experience, I have narrowed holiday shopping for parents down to three easy and inexpensive locations for college students.

Starbucks holiday line

Starbucks isn’t exactly known for its discount prices, however it has released a mug and travel cup line that is fairly-priced and gives owners a discount on every Starbucks drink after purchase.

Coffee is essential to most adults’ survival and these unique cups and mugs have designs that cater to any interest. The prices depend on sizes but most range from $12 to $ 30.

To take the cake, students can grab a bag of seasonal pumpkin spice latte to make their parents’ mornings a little easier.

Student store

Parents love bragging about their kids’ success and nothing makes this easier than a bright sweatshirt that portrays the mascot of their child’s university.

The Chico State Wildcat store has everything from cups to workout gear, blankets to license plate covers and everything in between.

The store is optimal for convenience and students can pick up a great present for their parents in between classes or on their way back from the dorms.

Plus, reminding a parent that they are spending $8,000 each semester for a university education with a cotton shirt is priceless.


Obviously, paying for your parents to go on vacation is unrealistic when most students are drinking boxed wine and $6 bottles of vodka.

However, buying parents tickets to catch their favorite band is a great way to show appreciation for everything they do and an inexpensive alternative get away for them.

Ticketmaster has a handy location map and will list shows up to a year and a half in advance that way students can be sure to nab top-notch tickets to the next Barry Manilow or Rolling Stones show.

It can be difficult to find the perfect present for people who do so much for you.

However, parents appreciate anything their kids do and are proud no matter what. The spirit of the holidays is in giving and family and any variation of that is foolproof.

Whitney Urmann can be reached at [email protected] or @whitneyurmann on Twitter.