Some holiday traditions die young, like baking snowman-shaped cookies for Santa and waking your parents up early on Christmas morning.
But the spirit of the season doesn’t have to die when you add adult gifts to your wishlist.
At some point in your life, you’ll have to seat your guests at something nicer than a card table that doubles as a pong table and folding chairs. A classy wood table and matching chairs “adultify” any dining room and entice you to cook more than microwave scrambled eggs every now and then. College is the best time to collect furniture, and your parents will jump on an opportunity to start you off. The only question now is, “maple or oak?”
2. Car Payment
Driving a car with Bluetooth capability is fun, but by the time you’ve dished out money for your monthly car payment and coffee addiction, you can barely afford to pay for Redbox on a Saturday night. “I would appreciate a car payment because it would be one less thing I would have to worry about paying off,” Walla Walla University senior Evan Thompson said. If you’ve been waiting for weeks for the money to rent Fast and Furious 23, you might want to consider cashing out this Christmas. Opening an envelope is significantly less exciting than emptying a stocking, but going into debt before the age of 21 is worse.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever opened your closet an hour before a fancy event and realized your wardrobe is total crap…I’m talking one button-up from ninth grade and an oversized sweater-level crap. Now put your hand down, you look like a fool. Whether you’re presenting in class, interviewing for a dream job or meeting your SO’s parents, you’re going to need business-formal attire sooner or later. Don’t wait until it’s too late—add a discount suit or tweed blazer to your adult gifts wish list and CC the professional relatives.
The only thing worse than dealing with a dead car battery is getting stranded with a dead car battery. “If you get stuck while going somewhere, jumper cables might be the solution,” Pacific Union College junior Makayla Trull said. Every responsible adult keeps jumper cables in the trunk, and if you slack on life as much as you slack during finals week, you probably drive around without a safety net. Make 2016 the year you get your sh-t together and add this non-negotiable adult gift to your wish list. Jumper cables are cheap and compact, and anyone who loves you will jump at the opportunity to keep you safe.
Your Hot Pocket and string cheese deserve a fancy resting place. Enough with the paper towels, find a nice set of (microwaveable) china that can follow you into adulthood. Not only will you shock your roommates when they see you eating food off a real dish, but it’ll shock your future spouse when you’re moving into your first house and you say with confidence, “We don’t need to worry about buying dishes. I’ve got that covered.” *Cheesy wink toward camera.* Tell your loved ones to invest in your future by loading a classy dinner set into the cart during their last-minute shopping run.
Keyword: espresso. This isn’t your low-end drip coffee, this is a machine that works some high-class magic. Espresso machines require a pretty decent deposit, but the long-term payoff is #worthit. And, even better, getting an espresso machine for Christmas eliminates the deposit altogether. Just think of all the things you can buy now that you won’t have to pay $9 for a child-sized latte at Starbucks.
7. Gas Card
A piece of plastic that isn’t your daddy’s credit card? Ugh, boring. But then again, adulting is boring. Own up to your financial struggles and ask for a pity gift card, I mean adult gift card, this Christmas. “I’d be happy to unwrap a gas gift card because gas is an essential for going anywhere,” Trull said. The best part of this gift is that the buyer decides the amount, meaning you can ask just about anyone for it. The cousin that owes you for not telling his parents about that time he got arrested? Yeah, dude. Your sister who’s pissed that you won’t give her realistic suggestions for Christmas gifts? Perfect. That sketchy person from Tinder who keeps asking to take you to dinner? “How about a gas card instead?” Save the bigger items for your P’s and let someone else cover this month’s gas.
How can you tell the difference between a kid’s apartment and an adult’s apartment? The décor. If there’s nothing on the walls except for a dartboard and $400-worth of damage surrounding it, artwork should be high on this year’s wish list. Experience “the finer things” in life like tasteful, hand-painted art above the sofa and some Ansel Adams prints across from the toilet.
You never think you need tools until you’re 30 minutes deep in a DIY project and the instructions call for a -insert intense sounding wrench name here-. “Receiving a toolbox for Christmas will…fuel the realization that [broke college students] truly are okay on their own,” Walla Walla University senior Tommy Moen said. “Anything they want done they need to do themselves.” Moen said toolboxes are the adult gifts nobody wants but everyone knows they need. Dads and brothers eat these gift ideas up and will drop more money than they should to make sure you’re “getting the best.”
How are you supposed to bring a portfolio into an interview without a briefcase? TUCKED UNDER YOUR ARM? IN A BACKPACK?! Y’all aren’t savages! Get something professional that tells your interviewer (and future subordinate), “I mean business.” When you unzip your bag and pull that Moleskine portfolio, you guarantee yourself a job. Whether your business bag is a rolling briefcase, a laptop bag or a professional tote, it’ll shock your interviewer with your preparedness and professionalism in formal situations.