12 Christmas Gift Ideas For The Broke College Student Who Refuses To Be A Scrooge

12 Christmas Gift Ideas For The Broke College Student Who Refuses To Be A Scrooge

After all, it's the thought that counts.


Christmas is right around the corner and it's the time of the year when you're trying to find Christmas gifts for everyone on a budget of about twenty dollars. You don't have to have a lot of money to still give gifts that people enjoy. While the people in your life deserve more than you can give them, your gift will mean a lot to them, especially if you make it personal. After all, it's the thought that counts.

It's OK, we've all been there. Here are 12 Christmas gift ideas that won't break your bank.

1. Baked goods

There are tons of different sweets to make this time of year, like a southern favorite, Christmas white trash. You can simply make the holiday sugar cookies everyone loves or use Pinterest to make your baked goods look so good no one will want to eat them.

2. Bath salts

These are extremely simple to make and smell SO good. All you need is Epsom salt, essential oils, and food coloring if you want to add some color.

3. Gift card

You can get a gift card from almost anywhere, add ten to fifteen dollars and your gift shopping is done. If you're feeling creative, you can make a cute gift card holder.

4. Books

Paperback books are typically inexpensive. You can get a book that you love or one that the person has been wanting. It's the perfect gift that can be used while snuggled by a fire or laying out on the beach.

5. Mug

Mugs are relatively cheap and make a really good gift. You can paint your own or buy one with a design on it already.

6. Painted canvas

All you need for this gift is paint and a canvas. You can paint their name, favorite quotes or a Christmas design that they will be able to hang up during the holidays.

7. Ornament

These are super easy and fun to make! You can go really fancy or more simple, but either way, the person will always think of you when they add the ornament you made to their tree.

8.  Candy or snacks

Buy the person's favorite candy and attach a Christmas pun to it. You could even buy their favorite snacks if they're not a big candy person.

9. Picture frame

You can buy a cute one or you can design one yourself. Add a picture of you and your friend, family member, or boyfriend/girlfriend and you're good to go! You can even add a personal message on the back to make it even more special.

10. Sugar scrub 

All you need for this DIY gift is granulated sugar, coconut oil, an essential oil, and food coloring. Mix all of these ingredients together and you're finished.

11. Water bottle

Everyone could always use a water bottle and you can fill it with whatever you want! From a hot chocolate kit to things that the person likes, for example, fuzzy socks or a key chain.

12. A letter full of reasons the person is so important to you

This is really special to anyone you make this gift for; your parents, relatives, or even friends. You can fill it with inside jokes, things they've done for you, or anything that you love them for. You can get really creative with this, it doesn't just have to be a letter. You can also include fun dates or trips to do in the future.

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Friends: The One With The Nine Christmas Episodes

Which One Was Your Favorite?

Friends is one of those shows on Netflix that will have a Christmas episode every season. During its ten year run, every Christmas episode has been just the right amount of cheesy, funny, and quirky.

Season 1 Episode 10: The One with the Monkey

During this episode, Marcel the monkey is brought into the six friends' lives. Because this episode was a combination of New Year's Eve and Christmas, they each scramble to find a date right before the clock strikes twelve. Rachel shows up to the party all bruised up from a fight at the airport, Phoebe falls in love with her scientist guy David, and of course, Chandler invites his ex-grirlfriend Jaaaaaanice.

Season 2 Episode 9: The One with Phoebe's Dad

This year, Monica decides to throw a Christmas party and the heat gets cranked all the way up. She also decides to tip with cookies instead of money, and well... it didn't work out so great. Phoebe decides to go look for her father, but can't work up the courage to walk up to his front door. Rachel's mad at Ross for making a Pro/Con list about her to compare her to Julie, and Joey and Chandler gives the group their presents from the gas station.

Season 3 Episode 10: The One Where Rachel Quits

Chandler and Joey convince Rachel to quit her job at Central Perk. Monica and Joey decide to surprise Phoebe by filling the living room with all the dead Christmas trees from Joey's work, and Ross has to go door-to-door selling cookies because he broke a little girl scout's leg.

Season 4 Episode 10: The One with the Girl From Poughkeepsie

Ross can't decide if he should date someone interesting who lives two hours away, or someone who he finds mediocre but is right in the city. After falling asleep on the train, he ends up in Canada. Phoebe attempts to sing Christmas songs that incorporate all of her friends' names. Monica, at her new job, is feeling excluded so she gets Joey to work there so she can fire him on purpose to demonstrate authority. Her plan doesn't quite go as well as she'd imagined. Meanwhile, Rachel is on a date with a work-friend that Chandler set her up with.

Season 5: Episode 10: The One with the Inappropriate Sister

Kind-hearted Phoebe decides to volunteer to collect money for charity. Rachel's date, Danny, is inappropriately close with his sister (they take baths together!). Monica and Chandler are also secretly dating!

Season 6: Episode 10: The One with the Rockin' New Year's Eve

Ross and Monica are ecstatic to be in Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve. In this episode, they perform their famous "routine" for everyone. Meanwhile, back at home, Phoebe, Chandler, and Rachel have no idea what to get Monica for Christmas so they desperately ransack the apartment for her gifts.

Season 7: Episode 10: The Holiday Armadillo

The costume shop runs out of Santa costumes around Christmas, so Ross gets the next best thing: The Holiday Armadillo. He becomes Santa's half-Jewish friend to teach his son Ben about the significance of Hanukkah. Of course, Chandler ruins this by coming in as Santa and distracting Ben. Rachel is living with Joey, but Phoebe wants her back so she gets Joey presents like a drum set and a tarantula to try to scare Rachel out of the apartment.

Season 8: Episode 9: The One with the Creepy Holiday Card

Ross is dating Mona, and they talk about whether or not they should send out a Christmas card together as a couple. Monica and Chandler are married for their very first Christmas, and they try to avoid Chandler's boss and his invitation for dinner. Rachel is pregnant with Ross's baby, and her hormones lead her to flirt with Joey.

Season 9: Episode 10: The One with Christmas in Tulsa

This episode is mostly about Chandler, as he struggles to commute back and forth to his work in Tulsa. He finally decides to quit his job, while his friends all reflect on the past Christmases they've had.

Cover Image Credit: RecapGuide

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.


Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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