Holiday Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your Shopping List

December has officially arrived along with the stress of finding that perfect gift for everyone: your family, friends, significant other, co-workers, etc. It becomes harder and harder each year to think of a new, exceptional idea for everyone in your life (especially on a college budget), so I put together a list of gifts that are not only easy for you but will also be delightful for them.

Something Cozy

Nothing beats the gift of a warm and snuggly blanket, particularly during the winter. This is a wonderful present for anyone on your list; people of all ages and genders will be happy to receive something so cuddly to keep them warm throughout the next few chilly months. A blanket, a scarf, slippers, or even socks – yes, I said socks – are all great ideas for that person on your list who you just don’t know what to get. Now, I know socks are that one thing everyone jokes about not wanting to open on Christmas morning, but I think people enjoy them way more than they let on; I know I do. They’re even better when they have a fun pattern or they’re fuzzy! You can find cheap, yet super comfortable fuzzy socks at a place like Marshall’s or even the dollar store. This will be sure to keep your bank account happy as well as the people you’re buying for.

Anything Scented

You can never go wrong with a present that has a nice smell. Candles, lotions, perfumes, colognes, and soaps are all great gifts that are pleasurable but also useful in their everyday life. Rather than picking up a product from a large, well-known company, you could make this more unique by purchasing something handcrafted instead. For example, on you can find the perfectly-scented soap for anybody, with smells ranging from florals and fruits to teakwood and even beer. You can get a gift basket made, too, which makes for a very pretty present. This suggestion is practical, yet it is also super exciting to receive something with such a wonderful scent!

Something Homemade

Going the homemade route can be special for the person receiving it. I’ve painted many canvases for my friends and family, whether it was for Christmas, a birthday, or going away to college. I’ve found that these crafts often mean a lot more to the person you give it to since they can see how much time and effort you put into it. Something like a hand-painted canvas is so personal and will be treasured and admired for a long time; plus, you're saving money! You don't necessarily have to get all messy with acrylics – there are plenty of crafts that could be ideal for the holidays. For instance, I remember a friend had made me a tree ornament way back in middle school, and I still put it on my tree every year! It makes me so happy to look at it and reminisce all those years ago. There’s room to be incredibly creative with this one.

Gift cards

I know, I know… gift cards have been labeled as a “cop-out". However, for me and as I've heard from many other friends, gift cards are one of the best things to receive. When you give someone a gift card, you know that they’ll be able to pick something out that they love, rather than getting them something they may never use. You can be particular with this, such as getting an Ulta or Sephora gift card for a makeup-lover or an AMC gift card for a frequent movie-goer. Stores like Target, Marshall’s, or even Amazon are great, too, since they have such a variety to offer for everyone. If you’re really out of specific ideas, a Visa gift card is always a good option, as you can use it anywhere on anything… what's better than that? Gift cards do not deserve the bad rep they get.


Sometimes for my family and friends, I like to add in sweets like chocolate or candy to top off their presents. I feel like this is a nice touch, and you obviously can’t go wrong chocolate. If you absolutely can’t think of anything else to get someone, no one has ever complained about receiving a box of chocolates. Or, you could grab a variety of candy from a drugstore. To make it more festive and exciting, I suggest picking up a cute little woven basket or a small decorative stocking as a way to display the goodies. You can even decorate the basket or whatever you choose to put the sweets in – you don’t have to spend a fortune to give a gift that will make someone’s holiday!

Something Useful for the Home

This recommendation is probably best for someone who may be moving into a new place, or just looking to spruce up their existing house or dorm room. Since I’m moving into a new apartment right around Christmas time, I’ve been asking for home décor, kitchen appliances, even a vacuum. A holiday gift doesn’t always have to be cute and fun; in fact, it can be better when it’s something you need, yet can’t afford to splurge on for yourself. Even for people who haven’t recently moved, getting a handy kitchen appliance or a nice piece of artwork for a bare wall is still a really lovely present. A gift like this ensures they will get plenty of use out of it, and that your money didn’t go to waste!

If worst comes to worst and you can’t come up with anything at all, just ask them what’s on their wish list! There’s nothing wrong with this, even if it may spoil the surprise. After all, it’s better to give someone something they truly want, rather than spending your hard-earned money on something they will never pick up. Whichever route you decide to go, remember that the importance of this holiday season is to spend time with your loved ones and to spread joy to everyone!


Credit: Cover, 1, 2