Gift guide to assist you in the season of giving

November 16, 2017 — by Elaine Fan and Annissa Mu

Sophomores give ideas for holiday presents

With the holiday season approaching, many students are busting out their thick coats and furry boots to prepare for the chilly (yet heartwarming) season of giving. But alas, the season also brews the stressful and aggravating question: What presents should I give to my family and friends?

Many stress over offering the wrong types of gifts; others worry about emptying too much of their wallet.

But fear not! Through our gift guide, not only will you relinquish your festive uncertainties, but you will have the knowledge to give your loved ones the best possible presents for a reasonable price.

First, consider the recipient: The best gifts are those that are compatible with the receiver's hobbies and personality.

No. 1 — Art supplies: Consider giving your artistic friends high quality art supplies to free them from using cheap Crayola. Great choices are Copic Markers, which, although expensive, are known for their brushed tip and effective blending; Prismacolors, which cost around $25 for a pack of 48 colored pencils, are praised for their great pigmentation and creamy complexion; and the Sakura Pigma Micron Pen Set, cashing in at a price of $15 per pack, is known for its non-smearing and non-bleeding formula.

No. 2 — stationery and school supplies: Drop by Maido, Hilltop Gifts or Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle to browse a huge range of inexpensive stationery, toys and other novelty gifts, ranging from origami kits to character-themed items like Gudetama face masks. Other online stores such as Kawaii Pen Shop offer beautiful stickers, pens, markers, post-its and journals to keep your friends and family organized.

No. 3 — organizers: Similarly, an organized friend might appreciate desk organizers, mini cork bulletin boards, calendars, planners, post-its or pens, which they can use to decorate their aesthetic bullet journal. With the variety of supplies needed, you may want to raid Daiso, a Japanese hundred yen store, and take advantage of its cheap $1.50 deals.

No. 4 — merchandise: Fan merchandise will become Holy Grail items for your superfan friends. Watch them froth over hoodies, caps, pins and posters — printed with logos of their favorite band or television show — and revel in your ingenious gifting skills when they tear open their presents in unadulterated glee. If perusing the wide variety of options found on eBay and Amazon yields little success, you could always turn to DIY tutorials online and design your own apparel and accessories.

No. 5 — computer games: You can also easily buy low-priced computer games on Steam and send it to your gamer friends. Popular and low-priced games include Bomber Crew, a $15 strategic war simulation game, and Kindergarten, a $5 8-bit horror/puzzle indie game with many dark twists. If you’re wary of buying a game your friend won’t like, buy a gift card from Steam or GameStop so that your friend will be able to choose a game for him or herself.

No. 6 — tech: If you’re still struggling, take a step back and consider gifts generally suited for a wider range of audiences. In this Information age, many will appreciate gadgets like wireless speakers, earphones, headphones, phone cases, PopSockets and other tech accessories. Speakers and earphones will make amazing gifts for your music-loving friends, and they don’t have to be incredibly expensive either.

No. 7 — DIY: Personal DIY gifts can also be fun to try. YouTube and Pinterest are great resources for various ideas and tutorials. For example, you could build a holiday survival pack and fill a mason jar with candy, Fuzzy socks, candy, candles, candy, chapstick and an obscene amount of candy.

No. 8 — song/slideshow: Unfortunately, if you are a high school student who consumes boba and fast food whenever possible, your wallet might be too desolate for such weighty investments. If you are absolutely broke, impress your loved ones with an emotional performance of a self-composed song or a slideshow looking back at your memories together. Compile a collage of their ugliest, funniest and most dashing photos. This will be especially effective with your family and childhood friends.

Now in spite of all this, remember that great gifts are ones that come from the heart. So while you follow the guidelines we just laid out, be sure to keep your heart in the spirit of fun and seasonal giving!

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