A starving student’s guide to Christmas gifts


Every year my father asks for the same thing for Christmas — love, understanding and affection. That’s all fine and well, but what can I actually put under the tree without breaking the bank with a wish list like that?

I’m not alone in this Christmas conundrum; most students are so focused on getting through finals while living paycheck to paycheck, that buying holiday gifts can be the tipping point into non-stop December stress. But it doesn’t have to be that way, there are plenty of worthwhile gifts under $15 students can find for their loved ones.

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Don't spend a fortune this holiday season, there are plenty of worthwhile gifts under $15.
Brock Dehlin, a 24-year-old from Murray, said the best way he finds gift ideas is by paying attention to what his friends and family talk about and enjoy.

“I’m all about getting my friends their favorite movies for gifts,” Dehlin said. “With Blu-Rays getting more popular, regular DVDs are getting cheaper. The other day I got ‘Inception’ for something like $8.  And I really don’t think there is a noticeable difference between a regular DVD and a Blu-Ray.”

If movies aren’t on your special someone’s gift list, a thoughtful book could be the answer. The BYU Bookstore offers inexpensive new books from LDS general authorities,  journals, last season’s best-selling novels, and Christmas nativities and decorations on sale in addition to offering free gift wrapping.

Frank Tovar, who works as a marketing specialist for the Bookstore, recommends students check their Facebook page to find additional sales and deals, like free gift wrapping lessons held on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to noon, giving those who participate an extra 20 percent off one item.

“Something nice for any Cougar fan is a new piece of BYU gear,” Tovar said. “You can find a lot of nice designs for under $15, including this year’s gameday basketball T-shirt for $10.”

‘Tis the season of the sweet tooth, and the Bookstore has plenty of solutions to satisfy chocolate cravings. They offer their world-famous fudge and a wide variety of  baked goods ready for purchase or to send to a lucky missionary in the MTC.

“Our fudge is $9 a pound, and you can mix and match flavors within that pound,” Tovar said. “It’s always a nice treat to bring home.”

But if you want to get your creative juices flowing, you can always make your own gifts. One creative gift gaining popularity this season is homemade snow globes made from glass jars — even superstar Taylor Swift recently tweeted a picture of her own custom snow globes.

While some students are scouring Pinterest for homemade gift ideas or looking for continuing sales on sites like Amazon.com, Mandalee Green, a 20-year old math education major, enjoys giving and receiving gifts that have sentimental value.

“I have a friend who always gives cute framed pictures of us and I really like that,” Green said.

Love, understanding and affection are on everyone’s wish list this season, and with some extra effort and thought anyone can find the perfect gift at a reasonable price.

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