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HC Gift Guide – for any collegiette’s budget

Santa is one talented man.
The old cliché is that giving gifts is just as fun as receiving them, but what it neglects to acknowledge is that giving comes with much more pressure. Coming up with a wish list of your own can be difficult, but thinking of gifts for your nearest and dearest is a whole other ball game; it takes time and effort to find the perfect gift.
The best way to go — for any present— is always the thoughtful route. You should always take the time to consider someone’s personal interest, tastes and needs. However, if you’re having trouble, Her Campus has come up with a list of gifts to make everyone on your list happy — and on any budget.
Expensive: Kindle Fire ($199)

The Kindle Fire is Amazon’s newest digital book reader. It has a color touch screen and you can download thousands of apps and millions of books. While it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of an iPad, it’s much more affordable and serves its purpose as an e-reader. According to Gizmodo’s review of the product, it’s simple, easier to use and especially great if your priority is reading.
Cheap: A cookbook and voucher for a five-star meal cooked by you
Remember when you were younger and you gave your parents a handmade craft for Christmas every year? They appreciated it because you made it. Well, that same concept likely still applies. If you’re short on cash, order their favorite Food Network star’s cookbook and make them a multi-course, five-star meal. Even if the food doesn’t taste like an Iron Chef made it, your parents will appreciate the effort.
In-between: Photo album from Snapfish ($44.99)
Most parents love looking back on the days when you and your siblings were smaller, cuter and still believed in Santa. By making them a photo album of holidays through the years, you’ll give them a piece of Christmas past. For fun, include the most embarrassing photos you can find of you and your siblings — or maybe just your siblings
Expensive: Tickets to see his favorite team ($100+)

Why buy him something material when you can buy him an experience? StubHub is a great tool to find tickets for almost any sporting event; whether you’re headed to a Bears game or a Blackhawks game, it’s always a good time. Even though tickets can get expensive, he’ll (most likely) bring you with, so it’s almost like a gift for you too.
Cheap: “The Best of American Beer and Food: Pairing & Cooking with Craft Beer” and a six-pack. ($20-25)
If you just started seeing a guy or you mutually decided to stick to a tight budget this year, cheap might be necessary. If this is the case, stick to the guy-basics — the easiest being beer. A book about how to pair food and different types of beer along with a six-pack of craft beer (nicer than Bud or Miller) is a foolproof way to impress your man.
In-between: Cologne ($40-70)
It’s always attractive when a man smells good. In fact, Men’s Health cited a study from the University of Liverpool, which found that by simply seeing a man apply a scent, a woman finds him more attractive. The same study found that men who wear cologne are more confident than men who don’t. Confidence and attractive? Sounds like a sweet deal.  However, since choosing a scent is very dependent on personal tastes, it might be best that you bring him with you to pick it out.

Sister or Best friend
Expensive: Michael Kors wristlet or cross-body ($98-128)

It’s no secret that Michael Kors is a favorite designer among many collegiettes; his designs are always fun, yet timeless. The wristlets and cross-body purses are must haves and only a bit of a splurge. If it’s in your budget, they make a very nice gift for a sister or best friend. She might even let you borrow it.
Cheap: Keep warm kit (about $25)
You can never have enough mittens and it’s really easy to find cute, affordable pairs. A pair of mittens, a cute mug and some hot chocolate is a simple holiday gift that is easy to personalize. If your sister or BFF is of age, consider adding a small bottle of peppermint schnapps.

In-between: Custom necklace from Stella Salvador ($60)

Friendship necklaces are always in style. These custom hand-stamped pieces are adorable, personal and affordable. They are much more age appropriate than the split hearts from Claire’s — and you won’t have to fight over who gets “Best” or “Friends.”
Expensive: Record player and his favorite album on vinyl ($120+)

Everyone loves good music, and even though we’re in the era of digital music and iPods, there’s something so cool about having a record collection. Help start your brother off by buying him a record player and his favorite album on vinyl.
Cheap: Childhood movie pack ($25)
Nothing says ‘I love my siblings’ like a trip back to childhood. If you search on the Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Best Buy websites, you can find a lot of the classics on DVD for really cheap. Great movies like Mighty Ducks, Sandlot, Liar Liar, Space Jam or Hook are available for anywhere from $4-7. (This could also work for a sister or best friend. Mary Kate and Ashley marathon? Sounds too perfect.)
In-between: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ($60)
According to Paste Magazine, this video game is “100% throttle, 100% of the time,” and while this might not mean that much to the average collegiette, in guy-talk it means awesome. There has been a lot of hype around the Call of Duty games, so it’s probably safe to bet the popular video game will make your brother happy.
Sources: http://gizmodo.com/5858779/kindle-fire-review-the-ipad-finally-has-serious-competition

I am a junior studying News-Editorial Journalism at the University of Illinois. When I'm not writing and editing for HC Illinois, I work as the Features Editor of the Daily Illini. I am also the vice president of the Society of Professional Journalists on the UI campus as well as the computer chair for the Iota chapter of Delta Gamma. Writing is my passion and I hope to one day move to New York City and work for a magazine, writing feature stories and investigative pieces. I love HC Illinois because I have so much fun writing stories for collegiettes™and reading stories by my amazing peers.
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