Cheap and easy gifts for Christmas

Jess Wright

Christmas can be made easy for college students by finding cheap gifts, making gifts or gifting candy.
Christmas can be made easy for college students by finding cheap gifts, making gifts or gifting candy.

It’s that time of the year again when we find ourselves looking for gifts that will fit both our budgets as well as the personalities of our loved ones. Being in college makes buying expensive or elaborate gifts difficult, but there are many budget-friendly options for gift-giving this holiday season. Here are some simple, cheap and time-efficient options for students.

Winters in Utah are cold; if you have the skills, crocheting or knitting a hat or scarf for your friends is a great, simple gift idea. Yarn is affordable and can be found at Wal-Mart for around $2.88 a skein or at most craft/quilting stores.

Although making a hat or scarf may take more time than the other ideas on this list, it can also show those you care about that you were willing to put in the time to make sure they were warm and comfortable. If you don’t have the ability to use knitting or crocheting needles, there are kits also available in the yarn sections of stores that can make creating hats much easier and less time-consuming.

Another cheap idea that also requires minimal effort is buying patterned socks or gloves. These are fun, cute presents to wear when it gets cold and you have various options. From holiday-themed to warm and fuzzy,  you are sure to find the best patterns for your friends and family while staying within your budget.

A fun gift for neighbors or roommates is to make holiday treats, whether from scratch—if you have culinary talent—or from a box mix. Cookies with flavors like gingerbread, eggnog, peppermint or even regular old chocolate chip can heighten the spirits of those around you. Delivering a homemade card to let them know that you appreciate them is another great gift.

Cheap, holiday-inspired glasses or mugs can be bought at dollar stores (or grocery stores at a more expensive price) along with chocolate or candy to make a festive and easy gift for your roommates and friends. If you want to make a gift like this more elaborate, adding a cheap hot chocolate mix and a candy cane can elevate the gift from just a mug with chocolate, to a drink mix that is tasty as well as inexpensive to make.

If you have more money than time, you can buy a soft blanket or throw, a green or red pillow, some white ribbon to tie it all together and a scented candle to bundle together the perfect cozy gift. If your friend is more into watching movies on a cold night than reading under a blanket, add some microwave popcorn and a 2-liter of their favorite soda or candy to create a movie night gift that they’ll enjoy.

These are just a few possible gifts that you could put together for your loved ones this holiday season. Of course, there are numerous others, like putting together a CD of your favorite music, or getting them flowers or a miniature Christmas tree. However, if your budget and schedule won’t allow time to put together numerous gifts, spending time with the people you care for this holiday season is the simplest and most meaningful gift you can give.