We've Gotta Have it
We've Gotta Have it
Holiday Gift Guide 2022: Gen-Z Edition
Our Gen-Z reporter tirelessly scrolled TikTok for the hottest gifts your young ones will love...definitely not because she'd have done that anyway
Anyone else start playing “Let it snow” the second Halloween is over? Just me? ‘Tis my favorite season of the year! (The winter holidays, that is!)
No one can convince me that there exists anything more cozy and magical than the holidays. And while spending time with family is one of the season’s highlights (80 percent of the time), gift giving and receiving also inevitably holds a special place in all our hearts.
Gen-Z is a weird generation for sure.
People my age — on the older end of Gen-Z (early/mid 20s) — call ourselves Zillennials because we can’t quite relate to Millennials or Gen-Z kids born after 2005. So this list is for your current college kids, or the ones who are entering the whole world of adulting. And many of these items are trending on TikTok, our new social habitat.
If none of these picks feel just right, be sure to check out last year’s Gen-Z gift guide, because it is still very relevant to what’s trending.
An Un-Uggs-pected Return
Uggs are back in. Sorry not sorry, Mom.
I’m referring to these shorter, almost slipper versions of Uggs that have been all over TikTok. I, a grad student with no income, was even persuaded to buy myself a pair.
There’s the Ugg Classic Ultra Mini ($140) which I got for myself, the Ugg Classic Ultra Mini Platform ($150), and the Ugg Tazz slipper ($120), which also has a little platform compared to their other slippers.
Cheers to That
This is for the GenZ-er who has a very aesthetic taste for home decor and accessories. There’s a whole side of TikTok that shows off beautifully curated homes and apartments. Sometimes TikTokers show how they reorganize their fridge, or make a coffee, or refill their DIY spice jars. My favorites are the TikTokers making the most delightful-looking drinks, both alcoholic and virgin, in the most delightful-looking glasses.
In order of appearance, here are some cute finds: Ramona Coupe Glasses ($56 for set of 4) from Anthropologie, Colorful Ripple Effect Glasses ($19.22) from PowFinds on Etsy, and the simple ribbed Eve Coupe Cocktail Glasses ($49.99 for set of 8) from CB2.
Food Like Mom Used to Deliver
I know some people are reluctant to give gift cards, but as a former college student and now a grad student, a gift card for a food delivery service like UberEats, GrubHub, or Doordash is beyond appreciated.
I have so much work. All I eat is frozen meals from Trader Joe’s. Sometimes I just crave real people food — without having to interact with the real people.
I then second guess ordering because of the added tip and service fees, because as a student, I’ve gotta be careful with those extra dollars. Having a gift card lets me treat myself without those concerns.
If you don’t know which to choose, check out what restaurants each delivery service covers in your giftee’s area. In some places Doordash is more popular, and in others UberEats takes the medal. Also, Uber owns both UberEats and Postmates, so a gift card for one works for the other.
I Swear They Won’t Use These to Tune You Out
Earphones are always a great gift for someone who doesn’t own a solid pair. Headphones especially — but even ear pods — have essentially become part of our wardrobes.
Gen-Zers not only value them as an accessory but also care about their quality.
There are a few options. The first is the classic 3rd generation Airpods ($179) or 2nd generation Airpods Pro ($249). I personally love my Airpod Pros because the silicone earpiece stays in my ear better, but other people prefer the regular Airpods.
Apple also recently came out with their AirPods Max ($549). They look awesome. They’ve almost become a status symbol, like a luxury Louis Vuitton bag. I have ultimately decided not to splurge on them — because that would be remarkably financially irresponsible for me — but also because I am beyond happy with my Airpods that take up less space and overall seem more practical to me.
Another headphone option I’ve seen around is Sony’s WH-1000XM4 model ($399.99). Again, not on the cheap side, but the reviews say that their noise cancellation and sound quality make the cost worth it.
A Real Camera
Anytime I’ve been out with friends or at a low-key get-together, at least one person has taken out a NON-SMARTPHONE camera. A real camera. Some kids wouldn’t even know what that looks like!
I find that GenZ-ers have recently come to appreciate simple moments with friends. Rather than needing to take 200 pictures to get the right one, most of my friends and I now cherish the memories that one or two pictures can remind us of. I’m personally going to try to dig up my old Sony digital camera for this very reason.
There are digital camera options or film camera options. Both are in and it really just depends who you’re shopping for.
On the film side, the Kodak Ektar H35 ($49.99) is perfect for beginners and casual users. There’s also the Canon AE-1 ($212.28) or Nikon FE2 ($399.90), which are top-notch but tend to be more pricey. On the digital side, the Sony Cyber-Shot ($109.90) or Canon PowerShot (from $282) are great picks.
Fancier Care Packages
This would be a great gift for a niece or cousin — not your firstborn child. For someone you don’t know as well, Customizable Etsy Gift Boxes are a terrific choice.
There are so many fantastic boxes, either pre-made or with options for gifts to include, and you get to support a small business.
Among the best is GiftBoxLoveCo, where you can build a box that includes anything from a succulent, candle, custom wine tumbler, bath bomb, or even gummy bears.
Fashion Jewelry They Won’t Take Off
I’ve been trying to wear jewelry more regularly, but what keeps me from doing so is that greenish smudge on my skin from taking a shower with a faux-metal bracelet on. I won’t remember to put jewelry back on after taking it off, but I also cannot afford to get 100 percent gold jewelry.
Luckily, I’ve found a few shops that sell waterproof jewelry at reasonable prices, and I have loved my new pieces ever since.
One of the shops I found on TikTok is called Stay Golden HI. I’ve ordered some jewelry from here and have loved each piece. In addition to being based in Hawaii, the business is quite small, so keep that in mind to allow for shipping duration.
A Home-cooked Meal Hack
Another food option that I’ve found myself hoping to be gifted after seeing plenty of reviews on social media is a meal delivery subscription.
As mentioned, grad students have very little time to really cook, and these subscriptions would be an easy halfway solution.
I’d personally lean toward a subscription to Factor because their microwavable meals are made by chefs and have never been frozen. So they literally have the ease of a frozen meal without the dullness of one. Other options include Blue Apron and HelloFresh. These come with pre-portioned ingredients, so they still require some cooking, but without much prep time and no leftover ingredients. If I had the time, I would love these because I do appreciate taking a break through actual cooking.
As a sister to a gaming brother, video games are always my go-to.
I really don’t know what he likes other than annoying me and video games, so this list is vital for me.
Through my research with my gaming friends and brother, all of whom lack a level of communication skills, the popular games this season are Pokémon Scarlet or Pokémon Violet for the Nintendo Switch, the new Modern Warfare II for the XBox and PlayStation, and God of War: Ragnarok for the PlayStation.
The Pokémon games are the first open-world role playing games in the Pokémon series. What I understand that to mean is that, in addition to the classic Pokémon gameplay — where players explore the fictional world while collecting the critters and training them — players will now get to make choices that actually change the outcome of the game.
Modern Warfare II, officially the fastest-selling game in the entire Call of Duty series, is a classic first person shooter game that “drops players into an unprecedented global conflict.”
Finally, God of War: Ragnarok is an action-adventure game where father and son, Kratos and Atreus, go on a mythic journey in the Nine Realms of the game, searching for answers before the arrival of Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods.
Fancy Phone Cases
Our cell phones are both essential and an accessory, so a stylish case is key. I have turned all of my friends and both my parents onto Casely cases. I should be sponsored at this point. I’m a klutz, and these cases allow me to have quality protection all while boasting a cute design. The added bonus is that the cases are made of recycled materials.
Another cool case I’ve been seeing on TikTok is the “Puffer Case” by Urban Sophistication. They look like North Face puffer jackets for your phone, are a little squishy, and honestly, I think they look pretty snazzy.
Wishing you and your Zillenials a very happy holiday season!