Written by: Cate Talaue
Cue the Christmas music – It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
If you’re tight on funds, as the student life experience demands, the following gifts on a budget will surely catch your thrifty eyes.
- “Is there going to be food?”
There have been many instances in which I had been enticed to attend a get together or a party, but before I commit, I always ask “Is there going to be food at this thing?” When the answer is “yes”, I’m there! A shortage of food in the fridge has become something that students know all too well and with that being said, you can never go wrong with gifting someone their favourite food. Kick it up a notch by being creative with presentation. Wrap it up in colourful ribbons, stick it in a jar, douse the box in glitter, the possibilities are truly endless. If you’re a good bargain hunter (aka dollar store fanatic), the food and the materials should be little to no cost for yourselves.
Cost: $1 – $15
- A little taste of everything
Over the years, I have found that saving a buck or two meant buying more. I mean it! In other words, instead of buying one large gift, buy several small things that cater to that special someone’s interests. Shopping for a tea-lover? Grab a mug, some cookies, and a few different teas. Sports fan? A couple of different sports magazines and a sports-themed Christmas ornament. Someone who loves anything and everything? This is the easiest of all – literally grab a bunch of neat stuff and package them nicely. Put them in a basket, stuff them in a personalized stocking, or wrap it in cellophane with some festive ribbon, and voila – a care package with diversity instead of debt!
Cost: $1 – $20
- Baby, it’s cold outside
This suggestion is as straight forward as it’s going to get – a one-sie. When the tough gets going and the going gets tough, a students’ top priority is to feel warm and comfortable, especially during finals season. Most of us haven’t even been inside a one-sie since we were babies but I kid you not, it is the coziest piece of clothing you will ever wear. Wear it to bed, wear it to lounge in; just don’t wear it to school (yes, I’m talking to you pajama-pant wearers). Heck, you might as well buy two since you’re out and about – one for the person you’re shopping for and another for yourself. One-sies have become pretty popular in the last couple of years, so you’re sure to find one that caters to their interests, be it a Superman or a cupcake one-sie. Who knows, maybe ugly Christmas one-sie parties will catch on!
Cost: $15 – $25
- DIY’s are your BFFs
Remember those macaroni pictures that you used to make as a kid? You know, the ones that your parents loved so much so they’ve kept them all this time? Bring out that little kid in you because it’s time to get a little craftier and break out those creative skills over the holidays. If you’ve happened to already exhaust yourself from all of the thinking you’ve had to do with those papers and exams, have no fear, for Pinterest and Tumblr are here! A few clicks here and there and you’ll find something that will literally scream off the page, “This is definitely for my special someone!” Scrapbooks, homemade fudge, a chalkboard mug, picture frames, shadow boxes, or maybe it’s even as simple as a pretty 3D card. The beauty in this gift is that you don’t need to break the bank by going to Michael’s for supplies; the dollar store will do just fine! Believe it or not, whatever you decide to make is already special because you made it.
Cost: $0 – $10
- Half the battle is waiting
I will have you know that this is more of a shopping tip than an actual gift, but I can guarantee you that it’ll keep that last little bit of money in your pockets. Are you ready for the last, but not least gift idea? Online shopping! Over the holidays, most websites cut the shipping costs and almost always have deals that you wouldn’t necessarily find in stores. You’ll even find items that are online exclusive, which are on sale! You can stay in that one-sie you bought earlier and shop from the comforts of your bed without having to push and heave those eager, sweaty customers to get what you need. Take a load off, open up your web browser and get to shopping! With the money you save from the online deals and free shipping, it should be enough to repeat these gift ideas to complete the rest your Christmas list.
At the end of the day, the holidays are a special time of year to spend with those you love. As I always say, maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store… maybe, perhaps, Christmas means a little bit more. Wait, it was the Grinch. The Grinch said that.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, Badgers!