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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Guelph chapter.

There always seems to be fervent debate around this time of the year. Did the semester pass too quickly or too slowly? Was it good, or very, very bad? Regardless of how you answered those first two questions (hopefully it was slow and good, or very, very bad, but quick), the holidays are here! For many of us, that means giving and receiving gifts. There’s plenty to be grateful for.

With Christmas coming up, lots of us have shopping to do and with Guelph students’ extra week off, that means we have even more time to curate some treats for our friends and family. If you’re in need of ideas pertaining on where to find gifts, what to gift, or how to package them, you’ve come to the right place!

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There are lot of great places to get gifts, but my favourite places above all else are markets. At this time of years, there’s no end to the number of markets around. Just going to a market is an enjoyable experience in itself, and gift buying is a good excuse to go to one (not that you need one in the first place). You can usually find local, handmade products here, but the prices can sometimes be higher. We often feel the need to over-gift, but one nice thing can definitely be enough. On the other hand, you can buy a few small trinkets to show you care. Try to be sure that the person you are shopping for will actually like what you get them to avoid creating waste. When in doubt, you can ask them! Gifts don’t always have to be a surprise.           

Another idea is that of giving experiences instead of gifts! An IOU for an upcoming movie that your friend or family member really wants to see is an excellent gift. Even planning a hike, seeing a play or musical together can work. Gifts like these can be personal and minimalistic. You could even bake with, or for someone as a gift. Edible gifts have less of a commitment to them than giving material goods if you are not sure what they might like. This is fun to do, and it’s sustainable.

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Lastly, you can make things. There are many recipes online for jars filled with the dry materials needed for backing various treats. It is easy to make your own, and it’s a nice gift to receive. Candy jars are also nice, just fill a jar with candy. Depending on your skill set, something handmade can be nice (i.e. something knitted, drawn, etc.).

Another idea that is often overlooked is how the gift will be packaged. Most wrapping papers are used to wrap a gift and then they are thrown out as they are usually not recyclable or compostable. An alternative to this is using brown bags (a lot of regular stores give these out, and markets usually do as well). This is recycling, and some of them are even compostable.

Thoughtful gifts are the best gifts. Happy gifting!

Aaliya is the President, and Director of Marketing, for Her Campus at Guelph! She has been writing with Her Campus for over three years and is in her fourth year as an undergraduate arts student at the University of Guelph. When she is not writing for HC, she enjoys reading, trying new restaurants and meeting new people!