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Holiday Gift-Giving on a Budget

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Holiday season is well upon us, and there is a lot to do. How is one supposed to watch Hallmark movies, decorate the tree, play dreidel, and make cookies all while gift shopping for your closest friends on a college budget? To avoid all the chaos that comes with holiday spending and thinking of your own wishlist, I have a few suggestions of how to shop for your friends, while still thinking of yourself. Gift Baskets It is nearly impossible to find the one perfect gift, so why try? Instead, create an aesthetically pleasing gift basket filled with several small gifts. Here are some basket filler ideas. 

  1. Books 

You cannot go wrong with a good book. Find a book you really enjoyed and that your friend will like too, and it will give you something to chat about over lunch. Some of my personal favorites include…Cleopatra and Frankenstein$11.99 Daisy Jones and the Six-$10.16  Book Lovers$9.99                                                      

  1. Squishmellows 

Who doesn’t love an adorable squishmellow on their bed? Plus, they are affordable depending on the chosen size.

Christmas Squishmellow $24.99

  1. Claw Clips 

You can never have too many claw clips. They are inexpensive and practical- a great gift your friend can get everyday use out of. 

Rectangle Claw Clips $7.99  Claw Clips$11.99     Flower Claw Clips$5.99

  1. Journals or Planners 

For your friends who love organization, manifestation, or introspection, a journal is the perfect way to show you have paid attention to their interests without breaking the bank. Manifestation Journal$9.70      Planner$9.48               Gratitude Journal$5.84                             

  1. Water Bottle

Another gift that is not too pricey, but your friend will get everyday use out of!Hydroflask$34.95

  1. A Tote bag

You can never have too many.Corduroy tote$16.99            Filt tote$20 Mini Tote$29 


  1. Belt Bag

A trendy way to store your necessities!

 Lulu Belt Bag$38 Belt Bag Dupe– $19.99


If you put a few of these gifts together in a pretty basket with a little candy and filler paper, you have an easy, affordable gift that your friends will love and get everyday use out of. For the less materialistic friends, I would consider getting an experiential gift. Perhaps buy them a gift card to their favorite restaurant where you can get dinner together. Or, consider concert or museum tickets. You can never go wrong with gifts that mean spending more quality time together. As much as gift giving can be stressful, who doesn’t love an excuse to shop and spend time thinking about loved ones!

Maggie Smith

Bucknell '24

My name is Maggie Smith and I am from Syracuse, New York. I am a sophomore majoring in English, and I enjoy reading, fashion and travel.