We really don’t need any more stress, but here we are
Many of us are heading into the holiday season with a lot of stress and fatigue. After fighting endless zoom meetings, assignments and essays, it is fair to say your Holiday list is not at the top of your mind.
After years of going to college, I think I might be an expert in last-minute, cheap holiday gifts. So here are some tips and ideas from a fellow procrastinator.
Realize the expectations
The best first step is to breathe and try to stay realistic about the expectations that are put on you, a broke college student. Your mom is not expecting a whole charm bracelet, but a single charm might do. Your dad may not get that grill set he wanted but maybe a cheap funny apron would be cool. And your friends are not going to expect a gift from you, trust me.
That being said you may have a special someone that you met after ogling over them in a zoom call. You know the one that you hoped would keep their camera on. For that one, you may have to use some of your plasma donation money. Finding this balance in gift-giving is crucial when you only have a couple of weeks to find something.
Your memory is your best friend
This is where you might need to use your intuition or ingenuity, to find out what they really want. Depending on how long you have known them, that special someone has probably told you about their hobbies and passions. So really think back to conversations you have had about what they love.
A present is not necessarily something that they will use for years upon years, it could just be something that shows you listen and care enough to remember what they love. If you can’t remember, or you are stuck between ideas, message their friend about your problem. They will probably find a way to help you out.
If goods won’t do, services may be required
Your mom may not need something she can put on the mantel. If you are like me, getting your parents something cheap that they could definitely just buy themselves, is kind of useless. In these circumstances, the best resort may be to do something for them.
Maybe you could shovel the driveway for the whole winter break. Your parent(s) probably have baking supplies, make them brownies or cookies. Both of these ideas are free or nearly free, they just take time (which we already have too much of anyway).
I am very thankful to have all of my grandparents with me this year. Most of the time, your elders are just looking to spend time with you. This has never been a challenge until now, like a lot of things.
This makes it all the more important to find a way for them to see your face and tell you that you are looking too skinny. Social distance outside their home, or find a way to zoom. If not that, call them, just call them.