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This year has been wild for everyone in one way or another, but as we approach the holiday season, the inevitable gift anxiety starts to sink in: “What should I get them?” “Gifts are always so expensive!” “So much stress!”

Well, don’t worry! Here’s a complete gift guide full of meaningful, fun, and DIY gifts that are perfect for 2020 and won’t break your bank account. 

For your friends!

A Care Package

Due to COVID-19, many people won’t be traveling home for the holidays; a gift that can travel safely and remind them of home is absolutely perfect. Write a nice letter, get a cute box, and fill it up with fun knick knacks or mementos of your friendship. This is also a great gift to send to any of your friends at college. 

DIY Cookies and Cocktails 

Find a great cookie recipe, measure out the ingredients, and create your own cookie-mix box with all the dry ingredients ready to go. Then, find a festive cocktail recipe and repeat. I recommend buying mini bottles at your local liquor store and wrapping them up for a cute touch. Drop them off or mail them, and before you know it, you and your friends will be making cookies and cocktails together over FaceTime. 

For your family!

A Homemade Scarf

Knitting a scarf is not only easy, but also a relaxing activity you'll love. Trust me, once you get in the groove, you’re not going to want to stop. You can also personalize this gift by picking the perfect color and yarn for the intended recipient. An added bonus – it’s just in time for winter! 

Chunky Blanket

A homemade chunky blanket is the way to go this holiday season. It’s perfect as a throw blanket and for sleeping due to its slight weight. It’s even quicker to make than a scarf because the wool is so thick. This is THE gift to impress your family. Just be careful, because after this gift, they’ll expect the best from you!

For your significant other! 

Paint by Numbers

What’s more perfect than a personalized painting for the holidays? Pick your favorite photo of you and your partner, and get to work. Not an artist? No problem! This super easy guide will create a paint-by-the-numbers kit that'll not only impress your significant other, but will be a fun gift you can work on together, and one they'll always remember. 

Movie in a Box

With most theaters being shut down due to the pandemic, an at-home movie night in is the way to go. Upgrade your night with a movie box. To make one, find a cute shoe box or similar container and fill it up with you and your partner’s favorite candy, snacks, and even official popcorn boxes filled with some freshly popped popcorn! You can even find some fluffy blankets or even a cozy candle. 

I hope this list helped or inspired you to think of your own ideas for gifts. Don’t be afraid to go homemade this holiday season – I promise it’s so much more memorable and thoughtful. It’s the perfect time to see what amazing things you can create right at home, especially as we adjust to more downtime during lockdown. So, look up how to make your favorite restaurant dish or turn your living room into a theater for the night.  

Happy holidays and stay safe at home! 

Anna Sophia is a freshman at The University of Pennsylvania, studying English with a minor in marketing. She grew up in Los Angeles, California and has written Op-eds for: CNN, USA Today, The Daily Reporter, OZY.com as well as Crossfire(a high school based newspaper). She also attended the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute.
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