Holiday gift ideas for shoppers on a budget

The holiday season is approaching fast, and by now I’m sure plenty of people are rushing to figure out what gifts they want to give to their families. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or any other holiday, this could be a trying experience, especially when you’re a college student running low on funds. So, I’ve come up with a couple of ways people can give a meaningful gift without breaking the bank.

The first that comes to mind is any kind of craft. I like to draw, so when the season rolls around, people can spot me in classes drawing different pictures for my relatives to hang on the wall. There are so many different kinds of art. If you like sculpting, you can make the people you love some personalized mugs. If you like writing, you could write a short story featuring the recipient or a lovely poem about how they make you feel. If you like to make collages, you can make a piece packed to the brim with different images of their interests.

One of my favorite gifts to make and receive is a scrapbook. All you’d have to do is buy a blank book — last time I made one, I bought one of those fancy little journals from Books-A-Million — and then print out photos of the recipient, what they like and other things related to them. I made a scrapbook for my boyfriend for our one-year anniversary where I included photos of us, tickets to movies we had gone to, business cards from the Renaissance fair we attended and other mementos that recorded the time we spent together. For the holidays, you could do something very similar but include tidbits of the season, whether it be themed images or lyrics to a holiday song. 

Gifts like this also take time, and some people either need something easier or less focused on creativity. So, what to do next? Baking and cooking are beloved ways to bring the family together. Food is healing for the soul, or whatever that saying is. If you know what your relative or friend likes to snack on, you could try your hand at making it yourself, or perhaps you could offer to make a special holiday dinner to ease up the responsibilities of some of your relatives. 

Finally, you could give the easiest gift of all: your presence. The holidays aren’t all about the gifts; it’s about being there for the ones you love and rejoicing in the fact that you have each other. If you live on campus and it happens to be far away from home, your family or friends may just be happy having you back and getting to spend that time with you. 

You could also offer to do acts of kindness. If your mom is constantly keeping the house clean, offer to help her. If your brother or sister is struggling with homework or some other dilemma, talk through it with them. Care is the greatest gift of all.

I’m a sucker for the holiday season. It’s a time when people can focus on the good of life and try to beat away seasonal depression with a very large, heavy stick (for me, it’s a candy cane lawn decoration). It shouldn’t be a time of added stress, especially for the material aspect of the holidays. So, I hope I was able to help you out a bit and that you all have an amazing holiday.


Featured photo courtesy of Pixabay, Pexels