15 Gift Ideas: What to Get a Millennial Girl or Guy for the Holidays
The Best Gifts for Millennials
Millennials were born between 1981–1996, but what are they about, who are they, and what do they like? These are tricky questions. A publication in Times called them "The Me Me Me Generation," and described them rather harshly:
"They're narcissistic. They're lazy. They're coddled. They're even a bit delusional. Those aren't just unfounded negative stereotypes . . . they're backed up by a decade of sociological research."
Ouch! But not so fast, we do have some redeeming characteristics.
What Are Millennials All About?
Millennials are known for being open-minded, confident, self-expressive, positive, environmentally-oriented, minimalistic, and ALL about the experience. It's all about the adventure. With social media making superstars overnight, there's been a me-first get-seen movement. On top of that, we are packing our bags, traveling, and working on-the-go. We value quality and minimalism.
Why We Choose Experiences Over Things
To this day, we have less leisure time than before the agricultural revolution (even with technology!). That's why millennials go for experiences and instant happiness over objects. Homeownership for this generation is at an ultimate low and college debt is at an ultimate high, so why acquire things? That's why we wish to acquire moments. Hence, the inspiration behind this gift list!
Whether Christmas, Hanukkah, a birthday, or an anniversary, you're sure to find something on this list.
Airbnb Gift Cards Are Sure to Please
1. Airbnb Gift Card
Airbnb is fast replacing the traditional hotel stay for this generation. We are all about novel experiences. Airbnb offers the fun of staying in a yurt, a boutique camper, or even in a boat. With this generation's nomadic lifestyle or the fact that nearly 1/3rd of individuals are still living at home with their parents, Airbnb is sure to impress. Give them the give of privacy and peace of mind!
Chemex Minimalist Coffeemaker
I've owned my 3-cup Chemex for over 4 years and I've even taken it camping. It's super minimalistic, stylish, and a go-to classic. Highly recommended.
2. Chemex Pour-Over Coffee Maker
We may not be into belongings so much, but coffee is our thing, and the Chemex Pour-Over Coffee Maker is not only minimalistic and classic (it was featured in Rosemary's Baby—instant cool points), it's pretty darn hardy. I've had Chemex for over 4 years, and yes, I've even taken it camping. It makes great tasting coffee, is easily washable, and doubles as decor and maybe a decanter for your special person.
3. Match.com or Tinder Gift Card
Yes, millennials may be postponing major life events like marriage, home-ownership, and children, but if your special someone is single and you think they'd enjoy it—for example, your wing-woman—this gift is perfect. My sister gave me a Match.com gift certification 5 years ago . . . and I've been with my partner for 5 years. Go figure. Dating has gone digital!
4. Novelty Coffee: The Peaberry
What the heck is a peaberry? A peaberry or caracol ("snail" in Spanish) is a natural mutation of the coffee bean cherry. Most coffee beans grow in pairs, but the peaberry develops alone and, therefore, is hand-sorted, processed, and sold separately. They are noted for being more flavorful and sweeter than regular coffee beans and certainly cost just a little bit more.
You can find Stumptown's peaberry coffee on Amazon as well as supplies from other roasters. As a backup, google the most obscure coffee roaster in your area. When you arrive, say you want "single-origin." You'll be super cool.
5. 23andMe Ancestry DNA Kit
This one is a bit pricey, but it's super cool, and it's currently at $69 on Amazon. I purchased the ancestry kit and skipped out on the health kit (which totals around $199). Whereas the health kit reveals some pretty heavy information (what genetic diseases or conditions you're prone to), the ancestry kit is all kinds of fun! I was happy to confirm my mom's heritage with my test results—you get a map and everything. This is a perfect gift that that special someone is sure to love.
I purchased the ancestral regions only DNA kit. It's way more affordable and fun—it takes about 3 weeks to get results. This is a super awesome gift for anyone who is curious about their ancestry.
6. Concert Tickets—StubHub Gift Card
We are very sensory-driven, so concert tickets or concert ticket credits are a great gift. StubHub gift cards are available at local chains like Safeway, Krogers, Acme Markets, and Albertsons or online at Amazon. If you are unsure of what kind of music your millennial is into, definitely go for the gift card—music is a big identifier for this generation—so send them to go see Unknown Mortal Orchestra rather than Blink-182.
7. Monopoly Board Game for Millennials
Make sure your millennial has a good sense of humor for this one (remember, we're supposed to be open-minded?). This is a hybrid of the traditional board game. Instead of avenues and the boardwalk, there is "parents' basement" and "weeklong music festival"—the chips are even replaced with social media "thumbs up." Also featured—avocados and coffee on dollar bills and bike shares. Pretty awesome.
8. Clip-On Lens for iPhone, Android, Smartphones
We love our selfies! Aukey, Xenvo, and Panoclip make awesome clip-on lenses. You can purchase any of these styles on Amazon for just around 30 dollars. Don't make a rookie move and be sure to purchase based on the type of phone model your special person has. Just casually ask, "Hey, what kind of phone do you have? I'm thinking about upgrading."
Yes, we like to keep things easy. Nothing is better for the millennial than time-efficiency when it comes to the essentials—eat, drink, exercise, commute . . . the I have one, and we use it for all kinds of things. It serves as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, etc. For only 60 bucks, this is a useful, awesome gift that is sure to be appreciated. I've made some delicious meals while being able to multitask and let the cooker do its jobs. Instapot is an instant game-changer.
10. Goodr Sunglasses
These glasses were originally designed for runners (and still are) but they are only $25, and I swear that they compete with some of the upper-level brands. If you have an active friend—a cyclists, a runner, an extreme sports enthustiast—Goodr has you covered. The styles are hilariously titled too: "Major Tom's Space Oddity" or "Sunbathing With Wizards." Pretty hip, I'd say.
11. Venus Flytrap
This one's a bit of a wild card. The millennial lifestyle makes it hard to care for a pet—unless your van-lifeing it somewhere in baja. For a while, air plants and cacti were all the rage, but why not go for a venus flytrap? These super trendy, carnivorous plants are a novelty and standalone as art with their unusual appearance. Heck, you might also want to gift a naming book.
12. Subscription Food Boxes
Yes, subscription boxes are all the rage. Millennials like good food. Why not give them a food box subscription? Some top favorites include BlueApron, the food restriction and health-conscious Sun Basket, HelloFresh (tailored to the household number), and many more. They'll be down to get going on some gourmet grub and appreciate the food allowance.
13. Amazon Echo Dot
Only $30, this device uses Alexa to play Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and SiriusXM. Hands-free and with over 50,000 skills—including timers, answering questions, setting alarms, etc., make your special person's life easier with a little tech. This is a great gift for the price and the function!
14. Portable Everything Charger
Yes, we are on the go, and we always bring our electronics. But battery juice drainage is a real bummer. I purchased a high capacity for $40. It's been great for camping and running around, and it's also done well in cold weather. There are, of course, other models to scope out. Start looking on Amazon. Some are visually alluring, and others just serve the purpose. This is sure to win over any techie. eeco USB-C portable charger
15. Wine Club Membership
We may be living with our parents, but when we show up to a party, we like to arrive in style—with a bottle of the "wine of the month." Give the gift of a wine club membership (since we are all 21 and older). From the vineyards of California to Chilean wines . . . treat your special someone to some wine tasting.
Video: The Truth About Millennials
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Layne Holmes