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Knock-Out Gifts for Everyone on Your Nice List, Near and Far

With exams right around the corner, Christmas shopping is probably pretty far down on your list of priorities, but the season of giving is fast approaching. Whether you’re sticking around St Andrews or heading home for the holidays, here are some tips and tricks to make this year merry and bright for the people you love, wherever they might be.

Bring a bit of St Andrews home for the Holiday

If you’re heading home for the break, pack a bottle or two of Eden Mill Gin for the G&T drinker on your list, or, if you know any golf fanatics, stop by any of the pro-shops in town to pick up some Old Course merch before you go. If home for you is across the pond, Cadbury – the real British kind – is the perfect stocking stuffer, or, if you’re looking for a show-stopping gag gift, wrap up a tin of haggis…that’ll definitely get some laughs. 

Win the White Elephant

Shopping for a white elephant gift or Secret Santa? Your first stop has to be the charity shops. Shopping second-hand is both sustainable and cost-effective, which is especially ideal on a student budget. Lucky for us, St Andrews is full of thrifty finds – take a stroll down Bell Street, or check out what Transition has in stock. If you search hard enough, you’re certain to find some diamonds in the rough. 

Write letters from the North Pole

Handwriting holiday cards is a super simple, budget-friendly sentiment that truly shows a level of care and thoughtfulness that few other gifts can convey. Everyone loves getting mail, and if you haven’t seen a friend or relative in a while, they will absolutely love getting a card from you postmarked from Scotland. Stop into Paperchase or Oliver Bonus to pick out some festive stationary, and be sure to send your cards off with plenty of time to spare before Christmas Day.

Save Santa a trip…shop online

For many of us, hand-delivering gifts won’t be an option this year, but if you shop online, perfect presents are just a few clicks away from your loved one’s doorstep. Just switch the delivery address to wherever your nice-lister lives, and make sure to shop early so everything arrives by Christmas morning. Free People, Anthropologie, and Urban Outfitters all have amazing gift sections on their websites where you can find great gifts with any budget. If you’re looking for something more customizable, Etsy has incredibly handmade finds. Check out their ‘for him’ section for some great gifting inspiration for the men in your life. If you end up cutting it close to Christmas day, you can always hop on Amazon for last minute gifts, but if you’re going to go this route, keep it simple – board games, books, and brands you know – just to make sure the quality is right. 

Make Christmas Miracles Happen

Even if you’re spending the holidays away from home this year, there are still plenty of ways to show the people back home that you’re thinking of them. Call your siblings and plan joint gifts for the parents, or ask a friend to drop off presents that you pick out. If you’re keen to support hometown businesses, look into having a holiday treat delivered from a local bakery, or order a poinsettia from your neighborhood florist to surprise your friends or family.

Gift Holiday Memories

Christmas gifts don’t have to be wrapped up under the tree. Consider doing something special with friends or family instead. In Covid times, there haven’t been many opportunities for outings, so a well-planned adventure could be a welcome substitute for a physical gift. Take your mom for a spa day, buy a round of golf for your brothers, or simply make a reservation at a nice restaurant for your family. If you’re staying in St Andrews, get a group of friends together for tea at the Old Course – if everyone pays for someone else, it’s a treat for everyone.

Kate Mackie

St Andrews '22

Kate is a fourth year Geography and Sustainable Development student. Originally from Chicago, Kate is a Great Lakes girl through and through, but she's taken to life by the North Sea just fine.
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