What your 20-something really wants for Christmas

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

As a kid, I’d unabashedly produce a Christmas List for my mom each year, sometime in October. Although she is a year-round holiday shopper, my mom would wait for this list to decide what “big” gift to get me. I had a really fortunate childhood, and would often get a lot of what I listed, including what was (and is still) called the “Santa Gift.”

Photo courtesy of Thought Catalog.

A BB gun.

A guitar.

A snowboard.

Yes, this tomboy supreme was spoiled, and still is on Christmas, but the holiday has taken on a new meaning.

Some would say us 20-somethings are in limbo. I don’t live with my parents, but I don’t have kids to wake up with on Christmas morning yet. I’m not married, but my long-term boyfriend and I have to navigate whose parents’ house we’re going to and when on big holidays. 

Also in limbo is my Christmas List, which my mother still requests. Of course I want things, but I need things, too, and Christmas is a good time to take stock.

So what is it the 20-something in your life needs?

Stuff to make cooking easier:

Why did no one tell me that 80 percent of being an adult is deciding what and when to eat? In college I subsisted almost entirely on pizza rolls, so my cooking skills didn’t make any huge improvements until I invited a 6’3” man to live with me. Suddenly I had more than myself to think about while I browsed the grocery aisles. There’s plenty of gadgets on the market meant to make cooking more hassle free — food processors, zoodle tools, wireless smartphone-connected meat thermometers — but nothing has compared to my slow-cooker. Thanks, Mom.

Printed photos: 

I have 1,724 photos on my phone, but there might be one printed photo sitting in a frame in my living room. Blame it on tech culture, but millennials aren’t scrapbookers. Most of our memories reside within our phones, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want a nice framed photo of us with our siblings to hang on the wall — it just means the last time we walked into the Walmart photo center was circa 2005, and it was to develop our disposable camera from vacation.


At this phase of life, it’s easy to get caught up in working, paying the bills and maybe doing a fun thing here and there in between when it’s affordable. As a result, gifts that mean we get to go out and make memories with the people we love are great. Restaurant gift certificates, paint and sip vouchers, or tickets to a show or sporting event are just a few ideas.

That thing I should have bought last week but didn’t: 

I’ve needed new sheets for months now. I don’t know where all my favorite pens have gone. None of my pots or frying pans have lids anymore. My dog could certainly use a good grooming. These are all things I’m bound to spend money on — once I finally remember to write them down — but just haven’t yet. So to all the adults trying to shop for a 20-something this season, just know a surefire way to make their holiday is to simply ask them what they need. I promise the list isn’t short.

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