Student Shopping During the Holidays

Gift giving around the holidays is one of the most expensive times of year

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are one of the busiest and most expensive times of the year for consumers and shops. The crowds are stressing over what expensive gift they’re going to splurge on for their loved ones. The stores are trying to keep things organized and please every customer. For college students, this can be the one time of year where they will literally go broke looking for gifts for their loved ones.

Brittany McClenahan, junior at Southeastern University, searches for an affordable gift for her mother.

“It’s really hard for me to save up for the holidays, along with everything that I need for school” said Brittany McClenahan, junior at Southeastern. “I have to start saving for it over the summer.”

Most students have started saving already as well as it is easier to save over time, rather than splurge at one time. Some have taken up extra jobs to afford the gift giving season.

“I have a temporary weekend job being a valet in Orlando. It helps me pay for the gifts that I have to get my family” said Genesis Morales, sophomore at Southeastern. Morales has been working there since November.

With small expenses and the job market being limited, students have had to resort to the sales racks and out-of-the-box gift ideas. There are websites and books on how to design your own gifts. It’s a great idea, especially if you’re low on cash and in need of several gifts. Students are able to make different gifts such as blankets and scarves with supplies they can easily afford from stores like Wal-Mart and Michael’s.

Walmart is typically a student favorite with their low prices and availability of products.

Practical gifts are typically best. It is also good to save on Wrapping, by reusing bags that you have from previous years.

“I’ve always made some of my own gifts to help me save money. I’m really good when it comes to painting and crafting. Plus it implies that I took a  little more care into giving the best gift!” said Lindsay Arentz. “I just gave a T-shirt and Christmas ornaments as a gift after I painted Charlie Brown characters on them. My friend loved it.”

Ingredients for "Dirt Pudding". An easy gift idea for someone for a holiday party or gathering.

Other students have given out food or baked goods to supply a lot of gifts to their friends under a limited budget. There are several recipes that can be found online for snacks that don’t require an oven or stove to make. Students tend to make sweet treats to hand out to their friends because it is cheap and you can give portions out to groups of people.

Cookies are easy to make and you can give them out in little Christmas bags, or on a plate for a party.

Candy canes are a popular small gift for the holidays.

“I like to give out candy canes and muddie-buddies, which are kind of like these chocolate and peanut butter chips with powdered sugar on top,” said Maryssa Chaplin. “I have a lot of people who I want to give things to, and snacks are the easiest thing to hand out to a lot of people.”

Christmas themed gifts are a big trend during this time of year.

Another popular and cheap gift among college students are items that will go on sale during the holidays. Christmas items that start to show up after Thanksgiving are very affordable with students and are great gifts to buy for your professors.

“I like to get my favorite professors a mug for the holidays. It’s simple but also thoughtful and it tells them that I’ll be thinking of them over the holidays,” said Eric Stump, sophomore at Southeastern.

Whether students have saved up for months, or even just days, the holidays have become a time where giving is much greater than receiving. Most people can’t wait to give back to their friends and family, for all that has happened over the year. It is the most important time of year, where college students must be smart and careful when it comes to spending their money. As much as students would like to give, they must also watch out for the significant investment they have to make in order to give gifts to their loved ones.


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