On our last day of holiday gift guide posts we are suggesting some good personal buys to help your grad student survive. Grad school isn't just about work; it's still life. So here are some suggestions to make life easier!
1. An E-Z Pass. These are pre-paid transponders that attach to your car windshield and allow you to zip through toll gates in a number of states across the country. If you drive a lot in regions where E-Z Passes are available, these can save you quite a bit of time and aggravation. I am grateful for mine when I'm traveling to conferences, or to see my family.
2. A slow cooker. This is a real time-saver: imagine coming home after a long day to discover that your dinner is ready and waiting for you. That's the magic of the legendary slow-cooker. It also helps with your budget, as less expensive cuts of meat become tender and delicious when cooked low and slow.
1. Subscription to The Magazine . I subscribed to Marco Arment's The Magazine when it was first released and really enjoy reading each issue. The app itself is well designed, and the content always enjoyable.
2. Personal Library Book Embosser . My wife bought me a book embosser as a gift a few years ago. I love this thing. Seeing "Library of Jason A. Heppler" stamped into the title page of a book is quite satisfying.
1. Masking tape, a permanent marker, freezer/oven proof glasswear, and if you want to splurge for that special grad student, a slow cooker. We don't have much time to cook and giving the gift of items that can be used to make and store food in bulk is a wonderful (and for an added bonus, maybe the glasswear could come pre-stocked with food :) ).
1. The Kindle E-Book  was the best gift I ever gave myself, and is a wonderful gift to help a grad student relax. I've filled mine only with fun books that I can read before bed, on planes, and in those rare 'relaxation' free moments that I get. I'd suggest giving a couple books too, such as those by Terry Pratchett or Christopher Moore. Both authors are funny and light- a good balance to all the work and seriousness!
2. My Keurig coffee make r is my best friend in the mornings. All I have to do is press the on button, pop in the coffee of my choice, and it's good to go! Since I make only single cups of coffee this is the perfect option for me to get my caffeine fix without wasting time or energy on coffee. If your grad already has the Keurig, get them some fun holiday flavors like Cinnamon French Toast or Gingerbread !
We hope these help in your quest to find the perfect gift for your grad student. We will be taking a short hiatus for the holiday break, and will return to publishing in a couple weeks! Enjoy your break!
Do you have any additional gifts that grad students might enjoy for their personal lives? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image via Flickr user Vicky Brock  and used under creative commons license]