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Easy and Inexpensive Gift Ideas for the Holidays (It’s Never Too Early)

If you’re anything like me, you wait until way too last minute to start getting gifts for the holidays, panic, and then your family members end up with handcrafted gifts that look like something out of a kindergartener’s arts and crafts project — cute when you were little, but just a tad bit embarrassing once you’ve reached college.

I’ve promised myself to start thinking about gifts ahead of time, and you should too. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

A Lazy Cook Basket
Season 4 Gift Basket GIF by The Office - Find & Share on GIPHY

We all love a little lazy cooking or baking, especially during the long winter nights to come. Here are some of my big Amazon favorites:

Pick one or two of these, add some cooking utensils and a funny apron, and you’re good to go!

A Self-Care Package

Everyone appreciates a nice self-care moment. You can personalize it towards whoever you want, since your best friends might have a different idea of self-care than your mom or dad.

Relaxing Season 5 GIF by Friends - Find & Share on GIPHY

It can be put together through individual Amazon buys or more personalized Etsy options. Here are some of my favorites:

A HomeGoods Basket

This is a great safe option for friends or family. I’ve seen such cute baskets made from HomeGoods products alone and for an extremely affordable price. Now with their holiday goodies out, you can’t go wrong with a fun holiday-themed basket.

Contrary to popular belief, gift giving does not have to be stressful or completely empty your wallet. I’ve found that the key is to start early and aim for genuine and personal gifts rather than big expensive ones. I promise: it’ll make this holiday season a lot more enjoyable and a lot less detrimental to your bank account!

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Lauren Saloio

U Mass Amherst '23

Lauren is junior at UMass Amherst and is majoring in English. She loves reading, writing, and spending way too much money in coffee shops and book stores.
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