Long shopping lists can turn a joyful holiday season into a stressful and chaotic one. Three students shared their tips for finding the perfect gifts.
Do Your Research
Senior Samantha Yi keeps the holiday season stress-free by keeping a list of gift ideas throughout the year. When inspiration strikes, or a family member or friend mentions something they would like to have, Yi jots it down.
“By the time it gets to be Christmas, I have a couple of ideas of what to get them.” Yi said. “That’s been my game plan for the last couple years.”
Senior Justis Mitchell starts by asking his loved ones what they want to receive.
“If they give me ideas, then I look into that and buy those,” Mitchell said. “But if not, I usually try to buy stuff that I know that they'll like, something simple.”
Make it Personal
Mitchell said one of the best gifts he has given was an art piece he created for a high school friend. He captured her love for music with the shape of a guitar and added some of her favorite song lyrics.
“Doing those really personalized gifts is something that I am really proud of at times,” Mitchell said.
Junior Grace Ingledue also tries to come up with unique gifts that reflect her loved ones’ personalities and interests.
“My sister, she has like a bunch of little plastic kazoos, but I thought it'd be cool if she had a really nice one,” Ingledue said. “So I got her a set of wooden ones and a metal one.”
Ingledue believes the thought behind a present counts more than the material item.
“I've heard people say that gift-giving holidays are inefficient or wasteful because you can often end up giving people things they don't want,” she said. “The idea is if everyone just got money, they can go buy what they want.”
Ingledue pointed out that there are many things people will not buy for themselves or not even realize that they want.
“Also, I feel that just the act of picking out a gift attaches sentimental value,” Ingledue said.
Fun but Functional
Mitchell balances sentimental value with functionality during his holiday shopping. He often gives dog toys and other pet supplies to his brother and sister-in-law, who own a labrador.
“I got them two mugs last year that were like, 'Best Labrador Mom' and 'Best Labrador Dad,’" he said.
This year, Mitchell is especially focused on finding practical gifts.
“I feel like it's less important to give those things that people are going to look at and not use, just because people are more strapped with money.” Mitchell said.
Stay Safe (and Economical)
Yi is taking safety and affordability into mind this year, and adapting her Christmas traditions.
“This year has been kind of tough just financially for people, and also it's just not safe to be out shopping a lot,” she said.
She planned a Secret Santa gift exchange with her siblings and friends to take some of the pressure off. Yi likes that her new gift-giving format values quality over quantity.
“Sometimes when you're pressured to buy gifts for a lot of people, I think you feel rushed to do it, so you don't have as much space to be really intentional about the gift,” she said.
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