Christmas shopping ideas for family on student budget

by Manuel Muniz

Staff Writer

With Christmas less than a month away, buying gifts for loved ones can be a hassle, especially on a college student’s budget. 

You have mom, dad, picky siblings, significant others and distant relatives. It can be overwhelming finding the right present.

If your dad is anything like mine, shopping for him is a difficult journey to embark on. When asked what he wants, he gives out vague responses or a “whatever is fine.” That usually means whatever is not fine. He will accept the gift, thank me and not wear it the rest of the year. Some suggestions for the perfect Christmas present for dad can be his favorite sports team jersey, a grooming kit or even sweatpants, because you can never have too many. But if your dad is like mine and always doing house projects, a hardware store’s gift card would be ideal. 

Purchasing for mom is no easy task. Sure I know her better than anyone. But getting a gift that is sweet and thoughtful while making sure it is something she will find useful, and most importantly, something that will out-do the rest of my siblings, is tough. If your mom is an outstanding home chef, a kitchen gadget such an air fryer will be perfect. Other gift ideas for mom can include a luxe candle, or a sweet bottle of perfume. These simple presents will show mom just how much she means to you without breaking the piggy bank. 

Arguably the toughest ones to buy for are the siblings. If you get them something underwhelming, they will never let it die down, reminding you every chance they get. I have learned over the years just to play it safe and get each of them a gift card to their favorite clothing store. There’s no going wrong, because they get to buy whatever they like, and it’s from you. If you have younger siblings, a gift card to a clothing store may not go over well, so one for a gaming site may be better received if they are into electronics and games. 

Gifting your partner shouldn’t be hard. Usually, they drop hints all year round. Unfortunately, many of us are just bad at picking up hints and are left scrambling days before the holidays. You want to be romantic and original; now is not the time to choke. A short road trip might do the trick. It doesn’t have to be an all-out vacation, but a weekend get away with many fun activities along the way would be nice. The memories you will make with your significant other will make your relationship stronger than a monetary object could. 

Grandparents are an important part of our lives. For some, they may be the most important. Many of us only get to see our grandparents during the Christmas holiday, and getting them the right gift is a must. Some ideas could be his and hers matching bathrobes, or matching sweaters to show how much you love them. 

For more distant relatives or friends, I would suggest gift cards. A gift card for a clothing store as previously mentioned, a coffee shop or restaurant is always a hit. Buying them a piece of clothing runs the risk of something not fitting on them, and having to return the item can be tacky. 

While Christmas should be about spending time with loved ones, a good chunk of it goes into gifts and presents. As you get older, you come to appreciate the people you are with more and less about the monetary items you receive. 

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