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20 year old college BOY birthday gifts!

SJTHSJTH Posts: 1,828Registered User Senior Member
edited December 2010 in Parent Cafe
I could use some suggestions. He's 3000 miles away, small town, and I'm flummoxed. He'll get a trip to Walmart for supplies when we go to Parent's weekend, but that seems pretty boring (and is something we'd do anyway). Last year we gave him a 6-month Netflix subscription--which he LOVED, and we highly recommend, by the way. It was unique, consumable, and something he really appreciated. Any suggestions for this year would be great!!!
Post edited by SJTH on
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Replies to: 20 year old college BOY birthday gifts!

  • clevelandcleveland Posts: 348Registered User Junior Member
    T-shirt subscription at threadless.com
  • ColdWindColdWind Posts: 1,598- Senior Member
    A bicycle or a Porsche.
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Posts: 6,673Registered User Senior Member
    Gas station gift card.
  • jmmomjmmom Posts: 9,083Registered User Senior Member
    Gift card for a walkable (or driveable if he's got a car) eatery. Anything from a Subway or Chipotle type spot to a pizza place, Chinese or whatever he likes.
  • DeniseCDeniseC Posts: 912Registered User Member
    Tickets to concert/speaker near/on campus.
  • archiemomarchiemom Posts: 1,612Registered User Senior Member
    My 19 year old loves just about anything from Think Geek.
  • avoidingworkavoidingwork Posts: 786Registered User Member
    This is great timing. My youngest son turned 20 today. Unlike the OP, he is only an hour away from home. Yesterday, he took the train from UC Davis and we spent the day together at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival and then out to dinner. I have a tradition of giving books to my sons on their birthdays (and un-birthdays), so he opened his books and my present to him is a silk suit when we go to Thailand in December.

    I had the most lovely day with him. Now that he is 20, I'm starting to refer to my sons as men instead of boys.

    For the OP, I guess my suggestion is a special book related to his interests in which you write about what he has done in the past year.
  • whatever4whatever4 Posts: 866Registered User Junior Member
    An iTunes card?
  • soozievtsoozievt Posts: 29,304Registered User, ! Senior Member
    Since "avoidingwork" chimed in...so will I...because today is also my daughter's 20th birthday. :D

    With our kids, we discuss their presents with them pretty much to see what they want as this is the one time of year they can get it (within reason...a budgeted amount). So, it usually doesn't involve surprise. My 20 year old got a digital recording device (she is a singer/songwriter) that is better than anything she has had before and she loves it. She is also getting a netflix subscription. This is her fourth birthday away at college and on each one, I have baked and decorated a cake and mailed it. The first year, that was a big surprise and she loved it and it got there in one piece. Same with the second year. Last year she said the decoration was messed up but she fixed it up and had it at a gathering with friends. This year, I was unsure how to get a package to her new apartment but arranged for her apartment mate to get it at the post office which she did early this morning and she called and told me that my daughter had mentioned that I had sent a homemade cake in prior years and the roomie told my D that she had spoken to me about it but we were unable to arrange it. But then she left the box for my D with decorations on their dining table before she left for work and my D was still sleeping. D woke up and told me she got it and was very happy that I did it but admitted that this time, the cake didn't really make it and looked like a pile of dirt. I asked her if the candles that spelled out "happy birthday" were on it and she said, well, it is like scavenger hunt in the cake pile to find them, LOL. She said not to worry as it still meant a lot. :D

    A PS to my story....I had decorated the cake making a big fat "20" out of M and M's. It wasn't as creative as my prior 20 years of cakes but I didn't want to use writing as last year I made the cake to look like a Playbill starring her on her birthday (she is a musical theater actor) and the decoration didn't work in the mailing and I thought this wouldn't involve "writing" on the cake. But tonight, she is debuting in a new band (singing and playing piano) at a club in NYC and she is very excited about this performance and many friends are coming and the idea was to bring the cake to it (her roomie is also performing in it). I realized after I mailed it that it might not be so cool that the cake is a giant "20" with numeral candles that also say "20" and she is performing in a club where she is not of legal age to "celebrate" with the others, LOL. But now that the cake is wrecked, I guess she won't have that "problem." :)
  • newken1newken1 Posts: 69Registered User Junior Member
  • binxbinx Posts: 4,318Registered User Senior Member
    I guess it's really a matter of knowing what your kid likes. My oldest keeps a running wish list on Amazon, which helps, even when we don't follow it exactly. He likes games, and gadgets. He was thrilled with the espresso machine we got him a few years ago.

    Even though I usually order the main gift online, and have it sent direct, I also try to send a box of something -- just because it's so much fun to get mail. I like to send silly candles, birthday napkins, party supplies, and a few small, wrapped gifts - just to have something to open. When I sent the espresso machine, I sent a set of espresso cups and saucers, and some coffee.

    In the past, I have emailed a friend who attended the same school, and arranged to send her a check to pick up a cake at a local bakery. Easier than mailing, and better than anything I would make, anyway.

    Soozie, my S2's birthday was a week and a half ago, and he also got a new recording device! That's all, though. That was already more than we usually spend on birthdays.
  • futurenyustudentfuturenyustudent Posts: 5,366Registered User Senior Member
    25,000 or 50,000 Aeroplan (or frequent flyer program of choice) miles. Especially if he flies to school.
  • MarianMarian Posts: 9,432Registered User Senior Member
    Oddly, what my son wanted at about that age was a George Foreman grill. Go figure.
  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild Posts: 17,284Registered User Senior Member
  • MidwestParentMidwestParent Posts: 851Registered User Member
    D just turned 20 - some of the ideas might be okay for a boy. Mailed her a box with birthday napkins, partially inflated balloons, and a party horn. Gifts included in the box were an iTune gift card, games she could play with her roommates (Set, Bananagram) and a couple of old movies made of two of her favorite books - The Fountainhead and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Had a local bakery deliver a sweets basket (even though she isn't much of a sweets eater). Also included one book she had requested and one we thought she would like, and a political t-shirt for the candidate she is supporting.
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