Christmas: it’s the season of joy, the season of giving, the season of stress. Every year it seems as though Christmas shopping turns into more of a hair-pulling, frustrating experience.
Many people easily fall under the category of difficult to buy for, like younger siblings.
Maria Caulfield, a senior history major, has to shop for her siblings whose ages range from 2 to 19. She goes into gift buying with a two step strategy.
“Part of the question is, ‘This looks cool – do I have a sibling who would like that?’” she said. “And the other part of the question is, ‘What do they like’ or if they have specific requests.”
For the younger ones on your Christmas list, Caulfield suggests Zhu Zhu Pets, which are toy hamsters. Also, she suggests toys from recent popular children’s movies or Disney princess toys.
“My youngest siblings can’t even read yet,” she said. “But they can play computer games.”
As for the older “kids” on your shopping list, Caulfield suggests getting memorabilia from Harry Potter or Twilight, both of which are popular among teenagers as well as college students. She also suggests video games and other electronics for the older crowd.
But what about those people who own everything already? This is where finding the inner Martha Stewart comes in handy. Christmas is not about who can spend the most, so be sure to add creativity to your thought process.
Bethany Kelley, a sophomore pre-med/biology major, said she isn’t just buying whatever she can this holiday season.
“Usually I just wait until the last minute,” she said. “But the plan this year is thinking of something creative and acting on that.”
For her boyfriend, Kelley is making a heartfelt mix CD by picking songs that remind her of him. A mix CD is an excellent way to show someone how you feel about them.
Another present idea for those who are difficult to buy for is simply making dinner or purchasing their favorite edible items, like Hickory Farm gift baskets, chocolate cookies or even fancy popcorn tins.
Some consider parents to be the hardest people to buy gifts for, especially when they encourage you not to spend money on them in the first place.
It may be difficult, but try to think of what your parents like and what they need the most.
Caulfield said she usually thinks about what her mom needs in the kitchen. She she is considering football memorabilia for her dad.
Electronics are also a good gift to consider for parents. CDs, movies and other electronic accessories are not just for younger generations.
Consider buying mom her favorite movie on DVD, and for dad, perhaps an Mp3 player he can listen to while mowing the lawn.
As far as Christmas shopping and gift giving in general, candles and perfume are great ideas for anyone. But be sensitive to scents and allergies. Just because it smells good to one person doesn’t mean it will smell good to another.
Also, set a price limit with those you fear will go overboard. Also, price limits are a great idea when doing a Secret Santa or White Elephant exchanges.
When giving clothes, slipping the gift receipt in the box isn’t tacky at all. Clothes nowadays run slimmer than one thinks and getting the wrong size can be embarrassing.
Also, if the clothing item is not that person’s style, they can exchange it for something that is.
Finally, Christmas is not all about money, so do something fun with someone. Go ice skating or take a walk in the snow. Make tree ornaments or have a movie marathon. Simply spending time with those who are closest can be the best gift of all.
Overall, do not let Christmas shopping get in the way of the jolly season.
Be creative and have fun, but also remember what the holiday is all about: giving and spending time with those you love.