By Lauren Linhard –

There are generally two types of 20-somethings you are buying for this holiday season – those who have enough money to buy things as they want or need them, or those buried under debt and have no use for another pair of socks or movie poster.

How do you, as the gift-giver, ride that thin line between something your loved one will like, but doesn’t need, and something they need, but won’t like? Simple – help them with things they need, so they can treat themselves to things they like when the time is right.

Here are some gift ideas for your hard-to-buy for 20-something:

Student Loan Payment 

If your giftee paid for college, they are most likely suffering under an average of $36,584 in student debt. Instead of buying a ridiculous amount of movie theater gift cards, fill a pre-paid card with an amount equivalent two months in debt payments. Talk about an awesome stocking stuffer.

A Bed

The idea is that 20-somethings are generally venturing out on their own, if not early on then as they get closer to their 30s (no judgement!) and they need household items. Ask the Ikea elves to wrap up a bed frame, a loveseat or some other incredibly comfortable item that will fit into the new decor of the new home for the new adult.



You know what people of every age love? Food. And besides the traditional horrible holiday treats like fruitcake, you usually can’t go wrong there. Find the closest grocery store and rack up those gift cards. I’m talking $50 people. And if you’re feeling really creative, stuff the giftbox with plastic shopping bags and wrap it in paper ones. TaDa – a themed present.


Do I even need to explain this one? Make it into a DIY present and melt some candy canes in vodka (makes you wonder what it does to your insides) for a special holiday twist. If you’re looking for something a little fancier, bottle some homemade mulled wine. Not saying you need to make the wine, just mull it. You got this, Santa’s little helper.


Ever heard that song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”? Well jokes on you because your 20-something doesn’t have room in the budget for a trip home. So make like Rudolph and light the way for them. Pay for the plane, train and/or automobile so the family can be together. Blood is thicker than eggnog…or something.