The holiday season is finally here! Your friends have planned to have a gift exchange among your friend group, but you have no idea what gift to buy your friend. Where do you start? Start off by thinking about their interests. Is there a particular band or TV show they’re obsessed with at the moment? Keep their interests in mind when thinking about what to buy for your friend. If you need some assistance figuring out what they’re interested in, you can always subtly ask them by saying something like “I’m so obsessed with this show lately! What show have you been binge watching?” Just don’t make it obvious that you drew their name for the gift exchange. If you need help thinking of what to buy for your friend, here are a few simple and affordable gifts for the holidays.
Merchandise for a friend’s favorite band or TV show
Is your friend a fangirl of a certain band or are they really into a TV show right now? If so, consider buying them merchandise from that band or show. Personally, I’d love to receive a shirt from Riverdale or a laptop sticker from BTS. Hot Topic is a great store for pop culture merchandise. I suggest checking their website for any deals they may have depending on when you read this article. You may be able to snag a shirt for yourself as well, depending on your price range.
Amazon is also a great website for merchandise, especially if your friend is into a really obscure band or show. For instance if your friend likes a specific Korean drama, you may be able to find posters, shirts, pins and other cute, inexpensive items through Amazon. The price range will vary, but stores like Hot Topic, Spencer’s and Amazon will have pop culture items that your fangirl friend will love.
If you’re artistic, you can go on the crafty gift route and make your friend a personalized gift. Michaels and JOANN Fabrics and Crafts always have coupons if you’re worried about racking up a high bill on art supplies. If you know how to crochet, you can crochet a beanie or a scarf in your friend’s favorite color. If you love painting, you can paint a portrait of your friend or even of their pet (if they have one). If you’re not artistically inclined (it’s OK, don’t be ashamed), you can always put together a picture collage. This lets your friend reflect on memories and good times the two of you had. You can add cute stickers, funny quotes or inside jokes to the picture collage.
Whether you’re artistic or not, personalized gifts are always a great option if you’d like to remind your friend of all the fun times you’ve had during your friendship.
Gifts based off of their major
Usually people choose their majors because they relate to something they love. For instance, my friend has been interested in outer space all of her life, and she’s an aerospace engineering major. If I were to buy her a gift, I’d get her a cute mug with the milky way galaxy on it. Think about what your friend’s major is. If it’s journalism, you could buy them a subscription to their favorite magazine or a giftcard to Starbucks (they’ll thank you when they have late assignments and need to stay awake).
A lot of people love gifts that others have given a lot of thought in choosing. If you give your friend a gift that relates to their major and what they love, they’ll be very grateful.
Gift cards are usually a last resort or something you get when you can’t think of what to buy somebody. You can put thought into gift cards if you know where your friend likes to shop. A lot of times, people will appreciate receiving gift cards because it allows them to choose something they truly want. Don’t be discouraged to buy your friend a gift card.
If your friend loves to shop at Charlotte Russe and that’s literally the only place they purchase their clothes from, they’ll be thankful to receive a gift card from there. When it comes to clothing, it’s always good to think about purchasing a gift card to a clothing store instead, especially if you don’t know what size shirt your friend wears. It also allows your friend to choose a specific style and article of clothing without having to worry about that awkward moment when you open a gift and receive a top that you’d never wear. Gift cards don’t have to be a last resort, especially if you know your friend’s shopping habits.
If you do know your friend’s exact fashion style, then I recommend gifting them clothes. Let’s say you went to the mall with your friend and you saw them eyeing this cute cold shoulder sweater. They tried it on and were so close to buying it, but they decided to put it back because they wanted to save their money and not buy any new clothes.
I’ve been in this exact situation before for a gift exchange. My friend went back and bought the exact shirt I wanted. It made my day to know she was paying close attention like that and wanted to get me something I’d actually wear. If you’ve been in a similar situation with a friend and noticed that they wanted something but decided they shouldn’t buy it, then this may be the perfect gift for your friend. Take caution when buying clothes as a holiday gift unless you know your friend’s fashion style very well.
The holiday season is a time for joy (and gift-giving, duh!) Don’t stress over what to give your friend for the gift exchange. Think about their interests, things they’ve mentioned they wanted in the past or remind them about the good times you’ve had through a personalized gift. After all, they’re your friends and you know them better than anyone else. Relax, and happy holidays, collegiettes!