Christmas on a Dime

Giving Christmas presents is never easy, especially because gifts are traditionally opened in front of the entire family.

Before you begin shopping, remember everyone you know understands that you are a poor college student and they do not expect anything extravagant. That being said, here are some present ideas to knock their stockings off.

Get Crafty 

If you know how to knit a hat, sew a bag, fold a book, scrapbook photos, draw etc. your art can be turned into a heartwarming gift. Not only will the gift be thoughtful, but it will also have that “made with love” touch.

Bring Movies Back to the Future

Many favorite movies and TV shows on VHS are now on DVD. These beloved classics may have slipped the mind of our family members, but they are available on Amazon for a fraction of the price of “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

Surprise loved ones and reminisce about the late nights spent gazing up at the family box television watching their favorite movie. DVDs can also be found at a low price for TV shows and movies that are no longer on Netflix (“Psych” anyone?).

Listen to Your Loved Ones

This idea may take some time and patience, but I have found it to be the most successful method of purchasing gifts. I keep a running list on my phone of family members and items they mention in off-handed comments throughout the year.

For example, while visiting my uncle’s house a couple of summers ago, my grandma, admiring my uncle’s clock, said, “I’ve always wanted a pendulum clock.”

Lightbulb! I found one at Cedar Post Pawn Shop for $30 that November, and I have been her favorite grandchild ever since.

Give Some “Fun Money”

When in doubt, everyone loves money! Now, this is a hot commodity that we, as college students, do not have a lot of, so dress it up. Take a few $1 bills and look up “dollar origami” on YouTube. This will turn the modest present into a fun toy that, when the receiver is bored, can be spent on an item of their choice.

For the Techie: Go Retro

This idea is along the same lines as old movies turned new again. Think back to your childhood and the video games you loved to play. Some games have become what people with deep pockets call “vintage.” This word can easily be translated using a college student dictionary into “expensive.” Think of the more obscure games. For example, my brother spent many lazy summer days playing “Snake Rattle N Roll” and “Megaman X3” on the NES and SNES. Any retro game can bring a fun afternoon of friendly competition, just make sure they still have the gaming system to play!

Story By
Jenna Chapman