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Christmas in College: A Budget-Friendly Gift Guide

Shop these affordable and cute items for family and friends.

Christmas items like a Santa hat, Christmas trees, presents, and lights are surrounding miscellaneous items: nail polish, soap bars, glass coffee cups, socks, pimple and eye patches, and a laptop case.
Credit: Madi Costa

Last minute Christmas shopping? Don’t worry, we got you. Here’s a list of affordable-for-college gifts for everyone from your bestie to your mom.

Budgeting For the Fam

Here are some little minis for your parents, siblings, and even your little fluffy animal if you’re into that kind of thing.

Novels and E-Readers

The tops of books.
Credit: Shutterstock/Billion Photos

People love getting lost in their own little world, so why not fuel that fire and gift someone a book to take their worries away?

Amazon always has great deals on books, as opposed to Indigo. Also, check the person’s Goodreads account to see what they’ve saved, or try looking up some Books of the Year articles for inspiration.

When gifting a book, a small note on the inside cover can make it more memorable and personal.

If this person is a paperless reader, a gift card for Kobo, Kindle Unlimited, or wherever they get their books can mean a lot, coming from an online reader myself.

Winners Stocking Stuffers

‘Winners’ has a bunch of stocking stuffers under $20. They have various collections and sets that sell fast so run, don’t walk.

They also have a pets section which is now Christmas-themed, so you can buy your cutie a little Santa hat. Again, run and run fast to swipe something cheap off the shelf before it’s gone.

This TikTok gives an idea of the various things you can buy at Winners and they’re all under $10 which makes them great for your budget.

Natural Hand Soaps

A large box or soap bars in the center with other bars scattered to the right and left of it.
Credit: Amazon

For some reason, parents – moms especially – are obsessed with soaps, specifically soap bars.

These natural hand soaps will surely get your mom excited to put them around the house. The bars can be a great wrapped gift or stockingstuffer – versatility is everything. They also leave your skin feeling soft and smelling great, making them a great gift without breaking the bank.

Super Fluffy Socks

Five pairs of fluffy socks in different light-toned colours.
Credit: Amazon

Getting socks for Christmas isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be when they’re comfortable and fluffy as can be.

These fluffy socks from Amazon come in different colors, so you can gift them to anyone. The Christmas season is all about getting together with family and no one wants their brother’s smelly feet stinking up a house full of people. Gifting these socks gives you a reason to indirectly tell your brother his feet smell like trash.

Budgeting For Dorm Buddies and College Besties

Don’t sleep on getting your friends the essentials. Here are some things they’ll get great use out of.

Comfy Eye Patches

A green and white box of under-eye patches labeled Mighty Patch.
Credit: Hero Cosmetics

Pimple patches and eye patches can be a last-minute saving grace in a lot of situations. Plus, why not gift something you can use here and there?

These eye patches from Hero have helped many in a pinch, and they’re super comfortable. Whether you have an event to go to, a meeting, or it’s just a random Tuesday, there’s no reason not to throw on some eye patches.

Fun Pimple Patches

A Yellow box that says Starface with four yellow stars to the right of it.
Credit: Starface

Hero also sells pimple patches but why not patch in style with these cute ones from Starface? They’re perfect for a college-friendly budget.

Amazon completely overprices them, so scoop them up off their website. The best part about these is that you can wear them overnight and out of the house while feeling awesome. They also sell different colors that treat different cases.

Polish Palettes

Three nail polishes side by side.
Credit: Essie

It’s so fun when friends paint their nails together. It’s like a whole bonding experience.

Choosing a simple palette of a few colours can create a personalized gift without having to get too crafty. Plus, it’s another thing that both of you can use.

Essie nail polishes have always been both affordable and durable, making them a great option for a budget. You can also continue to add to this and gift other color palettes for different occasions in the future.

Laptop Case

Purple rectangular laptop case.
Credit: Urban Outfitters

There’s always that one friend who refuses to put a case on their laptop – this gift is for them.

This laptop case from Urban Outfitters ticks all the boxes: it’s protective, affordable, and cute. The fleece lining on the inside is great for those who are hyper-aware of the safety of their laptop, coming from a laptop-obsessed person myself.

Iced Coffee Cups

Four glass cups with coffee inside them. Each cup has blue, pink, white, or green flowers.
Credit: Amazon

Even though it’s winter, we can’t get enough of a good cold drink. Do your bestie a favour and give them a cute cup for their iced coffee. This is another thing you can “borrow” as well.

These ones from Amazon are glass bamboo and have a metal straw – a triple threat. Also, they’ve got flowers on them, which makes them a steal.

So, whoever you’re shopping for this year, do it in a cost-effective, stylish way with these last-minute, budget-friendly ideas.

Written By

Hey, I'm Madi, an aspiring editor in my second year of Journalism at Mohawk College. Other than hanging out with family and friends, I spend my time snuggled under a warm blanket, wearing the fluffiest socks I own, knocking books off my TBR list.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Samantha

    December 12, 2023 at 2:12 am

    Anything Handmade is my favourite😍

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