For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Nov 28 2017
by Rina Lee

7 Holiday Gifts that Every Chemistry Major Will Love

By Rina Lee - Nov 28 2017
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As the holiday season begins, the stress of gift-searching truly begins to set in. For students, this pre-holiday season is doubly frenzied with the weight of exams and papers, along with end-of-year meetings and deadlines. More often than not, they eventually find themselves panicked and empty-handed on Christmas Eve, frantically searching for a store that’s still open so they can pick up a bunch of cheap generic items to pass off as thoughtful presents, telling themselves over and over, “Next year will be different, next year will be different.”

And this year, it really will be different – at least for your chemistry major friends! With Fresh U’s top seven picks for this season’s best chemistry-related items, you’ll be able to order meaningful gifts online with time to spare. No more last-minute shopping runs! No more gift cards or snow globes or tasteless chocolates! No more holiday stress!

And best of all – you’ll make all of your chemistry friends happy this Christmas. 

1. Periodic Table Bow Tie


This is a no-brainer. Any chem major worth his lab coat knows that he needs an extra fancy bow tie to spruce up his experiments during the Christmas season. And wait – one that's rainbow-colored? And has the complete periodic table of elements printed on it? Meaning that he’ll get to save valuable time during his labs by not having to frantically flip back and forth in his lab manual for his periodic table, all the while looking smooth and spunky and oh-so-fashionable? Yes!

Get it here for $18.99. 

Fun fact: You can round up $18.99 to $19, which is the atomic number of potassium, so if your eternally grateful chem major friend ever asks how much the bow tie cost, you can tell them, “It cost Potassium dollars.” 

2. Periodic Table Infinity Scarf


As an alternative option to the bow tie above, you can always look to this vibrant infinity scarf, printed with all the elements of the periodic table and in all the shades of an artist’s color wheel. Made with 100% polyester and sewn in a double layer with no open seams or raw edges, this soft, high-quality scarf will be everything a chem major can ask for during these cold winter months. By being warm, looking fashionable and having ridiculously quick access to the periodic table, your friend will soon be the happiest student in lab with this must-have scarf!

Get it here for $24.90. 

3. Caffeine Molecule Beaker Mug


This is the perfect gift for that one chem major friend we all have who’s constantly guzzling down 1,3,7-Trimethylxanthine from morning to night. You know – the one who’s always telling anyone who will listen, “Sleep is for the weak.”

Made of high quality, heat-resistant glass, this 400mL beaker-mug boasts an accurately-drawn molecular structure of caffeine (1,3,7-Trimethylxanthine) with the words “the geek’s choice for adenosine receptor inhibition” printed below. The other side has a mood indicator – also highly accurate – with things like perceptive, annoyed and uncooperative printed alongside a milliliter scale instead of numbers.

Note: The line indicating the lowest amount of caffeine proclaims “genius,” while the one indicating the highest amount warns “zombie.” Your chemistry-obsessed, coffee-addicted, non-sleeping friend, however, may beg to differ on this point.

Get it here for $15.00. 

4. Test Tube Shot Glasses


This set of fifty adorable test tube shot glasses will make anyone smile, regardless of whether they are pursuing a chemistry major or not! These shot glasses come in an assortment of vibrant neon colors, such as blue, orange, pink and yellow, so thankfully, there will be no way your chem major friend will ever mix these up with clear laboratory test tubes.

As an added bonus, these 17mL test tubes are made of plastic and come with clear caps, so all rugs and carpets will always be safe from any accidental breakages or spills during the next cocktail party your friend may host!

Get it here for $17.95. 

5. Erlenmeyer Flask Cocktail Shaker


As a continuation of the cocktail-party theme above, you may also want to consider getting your friend this 500mL cocktail shaker, which is shaped like an Erlenmeyer flask, along with the set of 50 test tube shot glasses.

This sturdy, durable shaker – which is dishwasher safe, by the way! – also comes with its own set of food-safe silicon plugs, a stainless-steel strainer and a matching stirring rod. They’re sure to be the envy of all partygoers, both chemistry-appreciators and non-appreciators alike!

Get it here for $34.99. 

6. “Oh, Chemistree” T-Shirt


Chemistree – the perfect pun that encapsulates the two best things in this world: Christmas and chemistry (Apologies to all the other majors out there).

This fabulous t-shirt comes in five different colors – cranberry, Kelly green, navy, red and heather blue – as well as in three different styles – men’s, women’s and youth. It proudly displays a festive design of a “chemistree” made out of Periodic table squares, as well as a starry depiction of a cyclohexane line-bond structure and a snowflake-like 3D diagram of Rutherford’s atomic model. This is sure to be a fashion staple that your friend will continue to wear long, long after the Christmas holidays pass.

Here’s a joke to go along with this shirt: A student tried to solve a chemistree equation. Unfortunately, he was stumped every time.

Get it here for $16.99. 

7. Fireplace Colorant


There’s nothing better than curling up by the fireplace with a pile of blankets, a marshmallow roaster in one hand and a mug of hot chocolate in the other, your faithful puppy curled up by your side and feathers of fluffy snow drifting down the night sky outside.

There’s something hypnotizing about those yellow-and-orange flames. Something about the way they move, the way they flicker and dance in and out. But can you imagine if these flames were green? Or blue? Or purple?

These fireplace colorant packets can be used in any indoor or outdoor wood-burning fire, from living room fireplaces, to backyard firepits, to cold and snowy campfires. (Note: It doesn’t matter if it’s real or synthetic wood!)

Made with natural salts such as copper chloride, strontium chloride, sodium chloride and copper sulfate, all of which become harmless oxides when reacted, just two of these packets will be able to turn common flames into an astounding array of vibrant colors for about an hour.

Word of warning: You may end up having to pry your friend away from the fireplace after hours of binge-gazing at the vivid color show. Flickering lights and fascinating reactions – what chem major can resist?

Get it here for $15.75.

With that said, happy holidays from Fresh U! We hope this guide will help make the holiday season just a little less hectic this year.

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash

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Rina Lee - University of Toronto

Rina is an undergraduate at the University of Toronto and the associate editor at Fresh U. You can contact her at

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