By Amanda Giglio
Living on a college student’s budget during the holiday season can be difficult. Not only do you need to find reasonably priced presents for your parents and the rest of your family back home, but you also have the challenge of find- ing gifts for your friends at school. This is where dreaded Secret Santa comes in.If you are anything like me you understand my anxiety when it comes to buying presents; it is tough enough finding a gift that fits your friend’s personality perfectly, but now you have to do so within the two weeks leading up to finals and in the price range allotted. However, with some serious intro- spection and the help of Pinterest, I was able to find the perfect gift for my friends, and you can too.Price limit of $10: The lower the price the easier it is to find a gift, right?
Anyone can take the easy way out and buy a gift card. If your price range is within $10, the best way to go is simple. You can find tons of Christmas themed gifts at any store. Put together a little bag of holiday scents, from hand sani- tizers to mini lotions and candles. Buy a cute stuffed reindeer or some candies and treats; no one can go wrong with candies and treats!Since it is around finals time, you can gift a funky mug with some hot cocoa or k-cups in it for your late night study buddy. Also, phone accessories like cases, stands and stickers are always welcomed.Price limit of $20: Prices are al- ways elevated during the holiday season, but you can still find some great steals for amazing presents.
Tiny indoor plants are becoming more popular, and they are per- fect for residence halls. Succulents or easy to maintain plants are the best way to go, and you can always decorate a pot to put the plants in. If you want to give something a little quirkier, you can find little grow-your-own coffee plants on Amazon. Etsy is a unique place to find jewelry or accessories for girls and posters or wallets for guys.
Other options include fun calen- dars for the new year and simple games to play while at school, such as Bananagrams or Catchphrase.
If your friend loves movies, get him or her a double feature mov- ie pack and some popcorn for a night-in. If your friend is a book- lover, find a book that he or she can have fun reading over the win- ter break as a break from academic journals and excerpts. Journals and list-organizers are perfect for any disorganized college student, while mini crock pots are perfect for the newbie cook in your friend group. For your health-crazed friends, buy a gift card to Whole Foods. If you are willing to go all out, maybe buy them workout at- tire or a Soulcycle class.
For theater-lovers, offer to take them to a show in the city. You can get student rush tickets which are relatively cheap. For the hipster, go thrift shopping to find a unique and exciting gift.
If you are involved in a big gift exchange and your Secret Santa happens to be someone you are not very familiar with, mugs, socks, scarves and other winter themed gifts that are not gender-specific are appropriate. School supplies and Fordham apparel are always a popular gift choice as well. Manhattan always has much to offer as well. All of the holiday markets around the city host a range of gifts for every type of person.
If all else fails, D.I.Y. and home- baked treats are a way to show your love. Your Secret Santa will know that you put a lot of effort into your gift and appreciate the thought. Gift exchanges are difficult, but with some thought and creativity, you can create fun presents for everyone at a reasonable price.
Amanda Giglio is the Assistant Culture Editor for The Fordham Ram.