Christmas for a 21 Yr Old Boy Inexpensive

Updated on November 20, 2010
D.S. asks from Katy, TX
17 answers

ok I can answer questions for little kids on inexpensive gift ideas all day long. I have a 21 yr old son and a 20 yr old step son to buy christmas for on a itght budget. the 20 yr old is easy. he wanted a musical tie from the dollar store. he likes soduku. I got him 2 bible related books for $5 each. he wanted monkey socks that were $3 I can buy for him all day he is easy he wants everything. :) my 21 yr old is harder. they are both getting body washes. he likes narutu books. he likes video games. and he wants an external hard drive. he loves to read. doesnt do puzzles. I can always get him clothes but I would like something else. he has lava lamps storms in a bottle. stuff like that. he is staying with me and no snide remarks about that you don't know the circumstances and the economy is hard enough for us. I am just basically stumped on him. I have asked for ideas and hes not giving me any. any ideas?????

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So What Happened?

brillant ideas thanks a million I especially liked the remote control car which I had been debating anyway, wallet, urban outfitters, half price books black light he does not have one.. some of the stuff he already had but great ideas anyway. I learned about things I didnt know about too. if you are posting after I write this keep the ideas coming. I need options. I have actually debated getting the 2 yr old the 20 yr old and the 21 yr old and dad remote control cars and I think I am going to do it so they can have remote control wars. :) like they said boys will be boys. I also thought about getting them all nerf guns so they can play war. :)

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answers from Kansas City on

At that age, I liked some of the same stuff. How about:
~ Black light (with some posters?)
~ Hand-held video game (maybe Poker....I liked Yahtzee!)
~ Gift certificate for a (new and used) video game store
~ Tickets to an event (concert, sports game, I-max movie)
~ Dinner reservations for a date either with you or if he has a girlfriend (I love "dates" with my son!)
~ Gift card for QuikTrip (or other gas station)

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answers from Fort Smith on

My 20 yr old live at home son....wants a Kindle (could help with college) and a pea coat. He too likes videos, movies, itunes...but all of his toys are expensive. I am going to try to focus on the Kindle and hope other family members pick up the rest. I would like inexpensive ideas so he can have a few more things to open. I have got him wallet, necklace, boxers, keyring, etc in the past but need something different. The last two years I did the "25 days of Xmas" so he (and 10 yr old daughter) could have a little something everyday. It was fun and I loved doing it but just can't afford this year.

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answers from Honolulu on

It seems you already know, what your 21 year old likes.
So that is good.
So get him what he likes.

If cost is a concern, of course... offer to pay for 1/2 of it... like for the external hard drive for example.
And that will be his ONE big gift. That's it.

you can either get a bunch of little gifts that don't cost much... but is "quantity." OR... you can buy him, for the same amount... one big good gift that you KNOW he wants....and therefore will use. Thereby, you are not wasting your money.

Or, simply tell him, you have a budget.
That is what I tell my kids.
I list down what they like.... and I tell them plainly... I can only get what we can afford. They understand and are not miffed by it. At all. In our family... we "try our best..." and 'best' does not have to be "expensive."

all the best,

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answers from Boise on

Maybe he understands your financial situation. I bet since he does, he is trying to be considerate of your situation... think of it as a really thankful child, and that you raised him right.

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answers from Redding on

My son rarely comes out and says he wants something. He is sweet like that. But, it makes it hard to come up with ideas sometimes. I like getting my son things he can use like gloves, manicure kits. Honestly, some of the most appreciated gifts I have given for boys/men was flashlights or battery operated lanterns. Our power goes out a lot and believe me, everyone can use a cool flashlight. I always find great things at Ace Hardware.
My son is 15 and I always get him some kind of game that we can play together.

I tend to believe it's the thought that counts and giving things that are practical that someone wouldn't buy for themselves is always a good way to go.

Best wishes!

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answers from Las Vegas on

Gift Card
Remote Control Car (boys will be boys)
Scarf, Mitten & Hat
Manicure Set
Electric Shaver

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answers from Atlanta on

Maybe he'd like some novelty stuff from Spencers, or Urban Outfitters. Cool t-shirts, specialty stuff like the expanded books about Star Wars, Marvel comics...Good luck.

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answers from Washington DC on

Last year we got my BIL a magazine subscription to Motor Trend.
This year I am thinking about getting Nat Geo for my own 21 year old. He loves that stuff and ate all mine up while he was home.
Does he have a Wii, how about a game?
I like the Kindle idea.
The guy who writes Percy Jackson has come out with another series on Egyptians, mine might get that too.
My guy also loves tools or anything from the fishing department at Gander Mountain.
A computer screen saver with pictures of his favorite football team, or that team's cheerleaders.
Bring on the ideas mamas, I have to get my son's in the mail right after Thanksgiving. I'll be watching to see what others say.

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answers from Biloxi on

I have a 14 year old and tight budget this year. I am getting him the one PS3 game that he really wants and debating over pre-ordering another game that comes out at the end of the year. Tho' that might wait to tax return time in January.

I am also getting him a pre-paid VISA card. He has an MP3 player and wants to get more music from Itunes, and he likes to buy map packs for his PS3 games. This way he can buy the additional small things that he wants throughout the year (or he can spend it all in two days).

I may throw in a Monopoly game - we are freaky for Monopoly - like the Elvis or the Beatles Edition - and I will go to the Dollar Store and buy lots of silly things for his Christmas stocking.

It gets harder when as they get older and their "toys" get more expensive.

Oh, I love the NERF gun idea - we have tons of those and he and friends love to play NERF wars.

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answers from Spokane on

How do you feel about gift cards? Maybe to his fav book store or gadget shop?

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answers from Dallas on

Do they already have some kind of mp3 player? The Sandisk Sansa has tons of sales on the refurbished ones... they are small - great for wearing doing anything (running, walking, mowing the lawn, studying)

Not sure how cheap your cheap is -- but you can get the 2g for $25 or so if you watch the price on refurbished ones, and 4g for 35 or so right now. Even better if you catch a good sale.

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answers from Columbus on

Do you have Half Price Books near you? They might do gift cards and then he can pick out the type of books he likes. I think they might also sell CDs and maybe even DVDs so there would be plenty of selection. I love that store! Most of the books are in the $4-8 range so he could buy a good selection with a $20 gift card.

*Edited to add: I just Googled them and you can buy gift cards online and get a $5 coupon with a $20 gift card.

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answers from Chattanooga on

Maybe a kindle or a nook since he loves to read... I am an avid reader and that's the top of my list!!! he may even be able to load his manga on there... I'm not sure though... I don't know the price on them, but maybe you could go 1/2 with his brother (if they buy each other gifts...) or another family member...

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answers from Seattle on

go to Good will when you have alot of time to browse.. I have found the neatest books for my Kids and some are even brand new :)

Do you have a Game stop at your mall.. I buy all my kids video games used.. from now on.. they are so helpful too..

If you have groupon coupons offered in your area there are great deals for things sometimes half off.. go to

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answers from Seattle on

Get him a gift card membership to gamefly its like net flicks for video games. It's 5.95 the first month and, if he likes it enough to pay for it on his own, it's 15.95 a month after that. Much cheaper than renting games from blockbuster.

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answers from Atlanta on

If he likes books , then maybe some of those? Christmas always needs to involve books for me! Is there a favorite team or sport or hobby you could maybe find a nice sweatshirt or hoody for? Does he download music? ITunes gift cards are good.

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answers from Los Angeles on

my hubby needed a new wallet so I got him one and stuffed it with lots gift cards. Many were $5 fastfood cards but it was fun. Money had been tight for us off and on so he would not feel bad about buying lunch every so often at work.

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