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10 Brilliant Gifts for the College Kid in Your Life

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If anyone needs a great holiday gift, it’s a broke college student. Give them something they’ll love (and use). May we suggest one of these?

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. KEURIG® K55 COFFEE MAKER; $90

College kids may not have time between classes to make—or drink—a full pot of coffee, making them perfect candidates for single-serve pod machines. This Keurig machine makes anywhere from 6 to 10 ounces. Plus, it’s compact for easy dorm storage, and comes in several different colors.

Find It: Amazon

2. BANDO "AFTER THIS WE'RE GETTING PIZZA" WORKOUT BAG; $35

Just because exercise is healthy doesn’t mean it’s always fun. Help your reluctant student get to the gym with this cheeky bag, which is sure to help him or her make like-minded friends—who might know where a student group will be giving out free pizza that night.

Find It: Amazon

3. MOLESKINE SMART WRITING SET; $199

Reviewing has never been easier with Moleskine’s smart pen set, a super portable digital tool that converts hand-written notes into digital files in real-time, allowing drafts to be emailed or uploaded to a LiveScribe account with the push of a button. The smartphone app will even convert handwriting into digital text, though it doesn’t always recognize messier script.

Find It: Moleskine

4. UBER GIFT CARD; $25 AND UP

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Joy ride: Most students can get from place to place on campus just fine, but they could probably use extra help hitting the town. Make sure they get on route safely with Uber gift cards. 

Find It: Amazon

5. BEYONCILS; $18

It’s hard not to be inspired by the wisdom of Beyoncé, and these nine handmade pencils are sure to remind the writer to be as confident as Queen Bey. They’re handmade and feature lyrics like “fresher than you,” “flawless,” and “I woke up like this.” For every set sold, LZPENCILS donates nine pencils—minus the lyrics—to a school in need.

Find It: Etsy

6. ROKU STREAMING STICK+; $70

It's rare to find a college student these days who has a cable subscription, so you might as well give them the gift of streaming. This Roku streams smoothly in high definition and supports most major services like Netflix and Hulu. 

Find It: Amazon

7. MOPHIE POWERSTATION MINI; $14

Help your favorite student keep smartphones charged during a full day of classes with Mophie’s ultra-fast portable charger. The gadget has the capacity to charge a cell phone about twice. Perhaps they’ll even use that extra battery power to call home.

Find It: Amazon

8. STATE BAGS BEDFORD BACKPACK; $59

Students can carry their books in style and feel good about it. For every backpack sold, STATE Bags gives one to a child in need. And it’s machine washable, just in case it ever ends up at a frat party.

Find It: Amazon

9. BRIK BOOKS BUILD-ON MACBOOK COVER; $60

Let your student stand out in the lecture hall—and display their 8-bit fandom—with these customizable laptop covers. They’re compatible with brick-based systems like LEGO and Mega Bloks, making them perfect to build tributes to any pixelated character. There are choices that fit a variety of Macbook Pro models, but sadly, it doesn’t come with any of the LEGOs they’ll need to customize, so you might want to throw those in the gift box, too.

Find It: Think Geek

10. KODAK PRINTOMATIC INSTANT PRINT CAMERA; $70

Help them make college memories that won't just sit in a forgotten album on a smartphone. The Kodak Printomatic automatically creates high-resolution photos as soon as you capture them. The printed photos make for perfect dorm room decoration.

Find It: Amazon

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11 Geeky and Unusual Blankets to Keep You Warm
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Wrap yourself up in one of these quirky blankets.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. STAR WARS; $20.99

Star Wars blanket

This 45-by-60 inch polyester throw—which features a storm trooper, Yoda, R2-D2, and Darth Vader—is the perfect blanket for the young Jedi in your life.

Find It: Amazon

2. POCKET BLANKET; $30

Despite being 63 inches long, this blanket can be folded up to fit in the palm of your hand—making it great for impromptu picnics and beach hangs. It’s water-repellent and puncture-proof to keep you safe from whatever twigs or puddles lie underneath.

Find It: Amazon

3. BLAH BLAH BLAH; $199.99

Curl up with this Scottish lambswool blanket and tune out the world. The woven blanket is covered in connected “blahs” that honor the times you just stop paying attention. It’s also reversible: One side is white and the other black.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

4. TORTILLA BABY BLANKET SET; $48

Make yourself a little baby burrito with this clever tortilla-themed swaddling blanket and hat.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

5. ALICE IN WONDERLAND PAGE; $75

Before you get wrapped up in a good novel, wrap yourself up in this book blanket. This literary throw features Alice and the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland along with a passage from the title. It’s made with cotton and acrylic yarn so it has a little stretch.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

6. HARRY POTTER MARAUDER'S MAP; $34.62

Solemnly swear you are up to no good while wrapped in this blanket that resembles the Marauder’s Map that made its debut in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Luckily, you don’t need a wand or secret password for it to work.

Find It: Amazon

7. TARDIS; $29.95

This fleece blanket is shaped like the TARDIS from the beloved television show Doctor Who. It will go great with your TARDIS slippers, pajama pants, and mug.

Find It: Amazon

8. PERIODIC TABLE; $89.25

period table blanket

How many times have you desperately needed to consult the periodic table in the middle of the night but had no way of doing so? Probably never, but you still might need this science-inspired throw. It’s 75 percent cotton and 25 percent polyester and promises to keep you warmer than an exothermic reaction.

Find It: Zazzle

9. WESTEROS; $34.99

Westeros blanket

Sleep under a map of the Seven Kingdoms (plus Braavos, the Flatlands, and more from across the Narrow Sea) from Game of Thrones. The polyester throw is perfect for staying warm while watching HBO (or planning an invasion).

Find It: Amazon

10. SPACE INVADERS; $33.97

This officially licensed fleece blanket is dedicated to the classic arcade game Space Invaders. It's delightfully retro and will look great next to your old Atari.

Find It: Amazon

11. STAR TREK; $17

Let the Enterprise shuttle you to sleep with this officially licensed polyester blanket. The print is only on one side, with a white underside.

Find It: Amazon

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