Secret Santa Exchanges on a College Budget

By Nicole Horton

holiday gift guide_etsy

‘Gilmore Girls’ memorabilia is a fun, relevant gift idea for any fan of the TV show. Courtesy of Etsy

As we enter December, Fordham students are writing papers and preparing for finals. Not to mention, everyone is making time to celebrate the holidays with friends and shop for gifts for family back home. Many groups of friends have a Secret Santa to have a fun, affordable gift exchange. Or maybe you feel pressured to participate in a Secret Santa at work or an on-campus club you belong to. You may be struggling to find a gift that your friend would like that falls under an agreed upon price limit of $10 to $20. In the second scenario, you may have drawn the name of a person you do not know well, leaving you with limited options. Whatever the case may be, here are some fun Secret Santa ideas that consider the spending limit.

Cozy Christmas
Everyone wants to avoid the cold during the holiday season, so this category is ideal for both guys and girls. A mug with a tea bag or hot cocoa mix can be paired with a winter-scented candle like pomegranate, vanilla or pine tree. TJ Maxx sells inexpensive mugs and Yankee Candle offers a variety of winter scents. However, not many guys like candles, so a better unisex option is fuzzy socks.

The website Odd Sox sells bright, whimsical socks ranging from breakfast foods to Bud Light. Bath & Body Works sells fuzzy socks in a variety of colors and even a few types of animals. Despite my fear of cats, I found myself buying a pair of those in addition to Christmas colored socks. It is a bonus if you can find fuzzy socks with no-slip grips on the bottom so you can avoid falling down a staircase (true story).

Body Creams
Similar to winter candles, a seasonal scented cream is another great idea. Warm vanilla sugar and eucalyptus spearmint from Bath & Body are two of my favorite scents. You can also check Sephora and The Body Shop for special promotions and free shipping deals.

For a Sports Fan
If one of your friends is a New York Jets fan, or if you kept hearing that guy at work lamenting about Eli Manning’s performance, team memorabilia offers a great deal of variety for gift giving. Gloves, scarves, and hats are seasonal options, while more general ideas include t-shirts, key chains or beer cozies.

Bacon Scented Underwear
J&D’s Foods is venturing into lingerie with underwear designed to look and smell like bacon. A company statement referred to the purpose of the product as “marrying the ultimate in comfort and cured meat,” also known as capitalizing on the American public’s obsession with bacon. There are men’s and women’s styles priced at $20, and the company claims that they will continue to smell like bacon for up to six months to a year. I would recommend buying these as a funny gift for a friend as opposed to an acquaintance at work or student government member.

If you do not know someone well, alcohol offers you some easy options. You can purchase a bottle of wine, hard liquor or a sangria mix. A wine stopper with a snowman or Santa Claus is a great holiday option. If you have a friend who enjoys playing beer pong at a party or tailgate, glow in the dark or colored balls are also fun choices.

“Gilmore Girls”
It was announced this fall that the show is returning to Netflix, so this is a relevant choice if you have a friend who loves the show. You can compare prices online to find the best variety and prices. A Luke’s Diner coffee mug is a fitting choice since that is where the Gilmore Girls spent 90% of their time and coffee is their main food group (not beverage since coffee is of the utmost importance to them). There are also t-shirts that you can purchase if you have a higher price limit. Perhaps you can find a “Babette Ate Oatmeal” t-shirt like the one Kirk was attempting to sell in one of his countless business endeavors.

The Gift of R&R
We all know that you cannot treat your stressed out friend to a spa massage for Secret Santa, but he or she can pretend with this gift. LUSH Cosmetics sells massage bars for under $20. There is the Wiccy Magic Muscles that is an icy hot bar for sore muscles. Another more fragrant option is Tender is the Night which is made of vanilla and jasmine. A terrycloth or silk sleep mask is also a good complementary gift, so you can really feel like you are at the spa.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s