Ask a Wag Holidays Lauren Dewey

A Gift-Giving Guide for the Broke College Student

With final exams right around the corner, there’s only a couple more weeks until we all head home for the holidays. This means it’s time to start thinking about Christmas and what gifts to give to your loved ones this year. Don’t get me wrong; Christmas is about so much more than presents and spending money on material things. Whether you celebrate it’s religious attributes, view it as a reunion with loved ones, or simply only care about that delicious Christmas dinner awaiting you at Grandma’s house, gift-giving is a fundamental part of this special day. If you’re anything like me, it can be hard finding the perfect gift to express your love and gratitude for your friends and family that falls within a reasonable price range. Let’s be real––college kids are not notorious for living in lavish. With this being said, I’m going to share with you a handful of gift ideas that won’t break the bank this year.

For the Beauty Buff

We all have someone in our life who wants to be the next Bobbi Brown or Jeffree Star. The best place to get high-quality makeup for a decent price is from Colourpop. Order them a liquid lipstick and a couple eye shadows for less than $15! You could also opt for some funky nail polish and a nail salon gift card.


For the Zen Friend  

We all know people who love to stay-in, relax, and spread some positive vibes. The perfect gift for this peaceful person is an oil diffuser. These can be found for fairly cheap on amazon, and some even come with a starter pack of essential oils to diffuse!


For the Nature Nut


These people are the hikers, bikers, mountain-climbers, and campers. Anyone of these outdoorsy folks would be sure to love a hammock, a nice water bottle, or a backpack/fanny pack!


For the Tech-Savvy

This is for those who are always glued to their phone or on their laptop. One great gift for them would be a wallet phone case, which offers phone protection as well as a place to store a credit card, ID, metro card, and other essentials. Some other options are a phone mount for the car, or a cool popsocket! If you know someone who loves to decorate their laptop with stickers, buying a few from RedBubble is another fun and thoughtful option!


For the Handy-Man


These gifts are perfect for that person in your life who works with their hands. From building things to gardening, a perfect gift for this person would be a tool belt to store their tools in.


For the Betty Crocker Wannabe

A recipe book is an easy and simple gift for the cook in your house. You could find one with dessert recipes for those Betty Crocker wannabes, or one with simple meal recipes for that person who never knows what to cook for dinner. Some other ideas are an oven mitt, basic baking tools like whisks and bowls, or a cute apron with a funny slogan on it!


For the Travel Junkie

One important thing about traveling is planning everything out. A good way to track all of your expenses, excursions, hotels, and flights is with a planner. This is the perfect gift for someone who loves an adventure to help them keep organized and prepared. Another essential for traveling is a neck pillow! Nobody likes a long, uncomfortable flight; so a neck pillow would be perfect for your world-traveling friends and family members.


For the Sports Fan

I think everyone has at least one sports fanatic in their family or friend group. For me, that’s my brother who loves the Patriots and the Celtics. He always asks for apparel with their logo on it, which would be a great gift for any sports fan to wear to the big game. A simple winter hat with your loved one’s favorite team, or even a blanket with their slogan on it are easy ideas to gift these people without breaking the bank on front row seats to the Celtics game.


For the Coffee Addict

One gift that will never get old––especially for avid coffee drinkers like myself––is a cute mug! Pick out one with a funny saying on it or an inspirational quote so that your loved one can start the day with a smile on their face while they sip on a hot cup of joe. Another great idea that goes along with the mug, is a mug warmer. Whether sipping coffee at work or at home, a mug warmer is a great way to keep it hot as long as you need.


For the Movie Enthusiast

Whether binging Netflix films or going to the local movie theater, any movie enthusiast needs something to snack on while watching. Popcorn is an obvious snack-of-choice, and if you pair some microwaveable popcorn with candy and soda in a cute basket, it would be a great gift. You could also buy a gift card to the movie theater and add it into the homemade goodie bag as well.


For the Creative One

This is the artsy person in your life. Whether they like to paint, draw, write, or go to museums, this person would be sure to love a cool art prints from Society6. This website features artwork by different people in the form of art prints, clothing, tapestries–––you name it!


For the Bookworm

Everyone knows and loves a book nerd. An obvious gift for the person in your life who always has their nose in a book is a book itself. If you aren’t sure what kind of literature they’re into, a Barnes and Noble gift card paired with a handmade bookmark is a great idea too. Here's some cool literature-themed socks!


For the Music Maniac


Okay, I know not everyone has a CD player anymore or a slot in their car for one… BUT a mixtape with songs that this person loves or that make you think of them is extremely thoughtful and cheap. If this is too old-school, another idea is a bluetooth speaker or some cheap concert tickets to see a local band.


I hope these inexpensive, yet thoughtful ideas catered toward the possible different types of people in your life help some of you out this holiday season. Happy shopping!