Presents with a purpose


Ashwini Manokar

Christmas tree in upper commons

Ashwini Manokar, Writer

With the holidays creeping up, the question of what to give loved ones floats in the back of everyone’s mind. Whether it is for family or friends, most look for a gift that has sentimental value, but does not break the bank. It can be difficult to budget expenses during the holiday season, especially for many teenagers who have to juggle a job, school and extracurricular activities. It can be very beneficial to know in advance what to purchase before spending money on last minute gifts.

Secret Santa

Secret Santa is a well known holiday tradition that can save a group of people money. Secret Santa is a gift exchange where everyone puts their names together and each person draws a name randomly and secretly. The person who draws the name is the only one who buys for that person. During the exchange, everyone has to guess who their Secret Santa is and this is the best part. Secret Santa is ideal for a group of friends, classes, teams and even family, as each person does not have to purchase a gift for everyone else. Popular gifts are: socks, candy, and gift cards. Senior Jordyn Daley said, “I love doing Secret Santa because it’s nice to be able to give and receive a gift along with the element of surprise that comes along with it.”  

Do It Yourself Gifts

Many people enjoy DIY (Do It Yourself) gifts, which are gifts made by the person. Common DIY gifts include baked goods, decorated mugs, custom picture frames and even tie blankets. The gifts are simple, easy and inexpensive that anyone can make. Pairing a custom made item along with a card, can be a quality gift that sends the message that time and effort was put into it. Websites like this one, has over 100 DIY Christmas ideas for everyone. OHS Magnet’s Pinterest also has a Christmas DIY board that has many creative DIY ideas that are even linked to instructions for the DIYs. Although some time, they are usually very cost friendly. Junior Ruth Livingston said,“ DIY gifts make you feel like the giver really cares about you, and that they put in the effort to make a gift that is made with you in mind.”

Pullquote Photo

Go and check out the Magnet’s Pinterest Christmas board!

— OHS Magnet staff

Gifts for Friends

Shopping for gifts ahead of time is also a good way to look for deals and coupons when looking to purchase a gift on the pricier side. Post Thanksgiving is the most common time to find sales in stores and online. A useful tactic that many use is purchasing a couple small items like socks, bakery items, stickers, etc and giving them all together in one gift. Many enjoy gifts like these as there is more of a variety, but it is not too costly for the gift giver.  If adding gifts for friends is too difficult on top of gifts for family, agree on a compromise. Some decide instead of gifts, to spend time together or go somewhere fun like bowling, movies, ice skating, or even just hanging out at home. This gives everyone an experience and a fun memory for the holidays.

In the big picture, holidays are a cheerful and jolly season. Gifts signify the love and care people have for each other no matter how expensive or valuable it retails for. A thoughtful gift can have a positive message and show the person receiving it how much care went into it. Although the holiday season can be a stressful time to search for or create the perfect gifts for loved ones, it is all worth seeing them love the gift along with the meaning behind it.