As I was roaming the aisles of the grocery store this weekend making my weekly food run, I couldn’t help but find myself humming cheerfully to the tune of “Jingle Bell Rock”. That’s right, it’s that time of year. No, not quite the holiday season just yet – but gift shopping season. Soon shopping malls will be opening their doors for holiday hours and crowds will flock towards shelves lined with prepackaged gifts and goodies for their loved ones.
With American Thanksgiving just around the corner and Black Friday shopping trailing behind, now is naturally the time to get thinking about holiday gifts. I know the chaos and bustle of last minute shopping is enough to add to anybody`s pile of stress… and bills for that matter.
So while we’ve got about a month left until the gift-giving holidays, here are a couple of do-it-yourself gift-giving ideas for any student on a shoestring budget.
1. Make a holiday mix tape
Get into the Christmas spirit by throwing together your favourite traditional carols mixed with a few modern Christmas songs and renditions. You can burn them on a CD and create your own personalized cover. Or you can ditch the holiday theme and throw together some of your favourite songs instead. Make a mix tape with songs that you’ve created memories with over the year or share your music tastes with a friend. I personally love discovering new music and love the personal touch of a self-made mix tape.
2. Get baking!
As much as I love a big box of gourmet chocolates, I really love homemade treats baked with love. Find a quick recipe for a batch of cookies, cupcakes, brownies, macaroons, or even gingerbread men. Wrap them in cellophane, wrap with string or curled ribbon and ta-da: instant heartwarming gift!
3. Picture that
Grab a cute frame and get a favourite picture or memory printed out to put inside. Better yet, try going to a craft store and picking up a wooden frame that you can paint and personalize on your own.
4. Get planning
So maybe you aren’t that crafty and you don’t want to spend a fortune on something that will be chucked, re-gifted or never used. If you’re buying something for a fellow student, try getting a new 2011 planner or calendar. A cute idea would be to pencil in important dates like birthdays or have random facts and or witty jokes inserted throughout. It’s a great way to personalize your gift and even get your giftee motivated to plan for the upcoming year (subliminal reminders for birthday presents anyone?).
Sometimes the easiest gifts are simple favours that you can offer through the creation of gag coupons. I got a few of these for my last birthday and thought it was a great idea! Make or print out little coupons that say fun things like: “Good for one hug” or “Good for a back rub”. Little things can go a long way and it allows for quality time to be spent with the giftee.
So put down the pre-loaded gift cards and boxes of chocolate and get crafty this season! There are plenty of DIY gift ideas and ways to add personal touches to your presents this holiday. I’m sure a lot of secret snowflake gift exchanges are coming up and I hate to be the person who buys that last minute bath set combo or box of chocolates. Instead, combine two or more of these crafty ideas for that special heartfelt gift that shows how much you really care. Even if you aren’t the most artistically talented, it’s always the thought that counts right?