This season's guide to holiday gift giving

Everyone has trouble buying presents for certain people during the holidays, but this season's guide to holiday gift giving is here for those difficult family and friends to buy for. (Alan Cleaver/Flickr Creative Commons)

Everyone has trouble buying presents for certain people during the holidays, but this season's guide to holiday gift giving is here for those difficult family and friends to buy for. (Alan Cleaver/Flickr Creative Commons)

It’s finally here! The holiday season is upon us, but with all of this holiday cheer also comes all of the stress. It’s a war to get to the best deals and presents first, and it’s every man for himself.

If you’re struggling with picking out holiday gifts, you aren’t alone. Tons of people have a hard time coming up with gift ideas. Plus, everyone has that important person in their life who is impossible to read. They’re stubborn and even though they know that you will get them something, regardless of how much they lack when it comes to hints or how much they insist that gifts aren’t necessary, they won’t help you. It’s exhausting.

It can also be hard trying to decipher where the line is when it comes to gift appropriateness between an acquaintance, a good friend and a family member.  Who should you purchase gifts for and how much should you spend? Everyone seems to have different standards for this, so it’s impossible to predict completely. Despite this, here are some gift ideas that are sure to work for almost everyone.

Candy

Candy is an easy and relatively cheap go-to gift that works perfectly from acquaintance to grandparent, and even makes an excellent stocking stuffer. Whether your loved one likes fruit, nuts, creams, caramel or simple milk chocolate, you’ll be able to find something for everyone on your list. You can also use it to fill other things, such as mugs, and make really cute DIY gifts. A great idea for an acquaintance is to fill a small stocking with candy. Then get your favorite ribbon, make a small card and tie it to the hanger inside the stocking. Next step: personalize! You can get some glitter glue and write their name on it or simply make a pattern. If you want to go even further with it, take a pair of scissors, open them and carefully run the ribbons over the blade to curl them. It produces a really nice effect.

Homemade Cards

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to show how much you appreciate your friends and family members. Homemade cards are the perfect way to show them that you care. This works for close friends and most family members who you know will appreciate your effort and words. Even if you aren’t super artsy or someone who likes to draw, you can still make really nice cards. Get crafty! Use colored construction paper and markers to make easy designs. Then just write a simple message inside and you’re good to go!

Homemade Sweet Treats

Another great gift idea and easy way to save money on gifts this holiday season is by making homemade baked goods. Most families have their special holiday cookie recipe or tradition. If you’re going to be making them anyways, why not mass produce them and give some out to all of your friends? If cookies aren’t your thing, brownies, cupcakes and peppermint bark work just as well! If you simply don’t enjoy baking or aren’t the best at it, there are ways to make gifts without even using the oven. For example, you can fill a mason jar or mug with hot cocoa and marshmallows. Then feel free to embellish it with holiday ribbon or add a candy cane and Hershey kisses!

The Gift of Comfort

If you don’t want to give candy or make cards or baked goods, there is something else that is sure to please people of every age: anything comfy! Whether you go for leggings, fuzzy socks, slippers, pillows or blankets, you can’t go wrong. Everyone likes comfy things to cuddle up with next to the fire. At this time of the year, you can get many of these things in holiday editions, which is the perfect way to set the mood.


Cynthia Reinert is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at cynthia.reinert@uconn.edu