THE LO-DOWN: The ultimate affordable holiday gift-guide

All I want for Christmas is a coronavirus vaccine


Makenna Roy

Graphic by Makenna Roy. Illustration by Tara Gnewikow.

Lauren Vannucci

All right, now that we have Thanksgiving under our belts, we are diving straight into the holiday season.

Mariah Carey has been defrosting all year and it is finally her moment! 

I don’t know about you guys, but I am SO tired of the holidays being stressful! I’m always stressed about money this time of the year and making sure I get everyone gifts. (I also wait until this last minute to get everything.) 

But… I do think I am a good gift-giver! And this year I want to focus my time on getting my loved ones meaningful gifts that don’t cost an arm and a leg! 

Sooo, I went straight to the Urban Outfitters website on Black Friday to get some gift inspiration, because it’s Urban and they’re the best. But even their BF prices? Gag. 

(Side note, this is a message to all of the companies who made a big deal out of Black Friday sales: I WILL NOT BE PURCHASING ANYTHING FOR LESS THAN 40% OFF! LIKE BYE.) 

Anyways. I got the engine wheels spinning in my head and thought of some alternative items that are actually affordable, so I could share some ideas to help you give some really great gifts this year!

What to get your friends 

Blue light glasses – $15

I don’t know about you guys, but my eyes are tired from looking at my computer all day. These are the perfect light blocking glasses for anyone who works or goes to school in front of a computer or if your significant other plays video games and stares at a screen for hours on end. 

Disposable film camera – $10-$20

The best thing about disposable cameras is not only getting vibey pictures back, but not knowing what kind of pictures they are until they are developed!

Chess board – $20

Pack it up “Queen’s Gambit.”

But this is a great gift to get a friend or family member! You can take a chess board anywhere. 

Coloring book – $10

So this is actually on my Christmas list *wink wink*. I have gotten so into coloring books this year! It’s so therapeutic. Amazon has tons of different coloring books too. Pair it with a pack of colored pencils and it makes the perfect gift!

What to get your family 

Charcuterie board and cheese knives – $20

2020 has been the YEAR of charcuterie boards! I am a sucker for brie cheese ahhhhhh. This is a perfect gift for a friend who is into home decor or just loves wine and cheese. If you’re feeling generous, you could even add in a bottle of wine! 

Floral arrangement – (DIY $10-$20)

A great DIY gift would be to make a floral arrangement for your mother or grandmother! I think this would be an amazing gift and you can make them so inexpensively. Grab a vase at the Dollar Tree and fill it with an array of fake flowers from Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

Cold brew maker – $20

This is the kind of gift that keeps on giving! I’m thinking of getting one for my dad this Christmas (because I want to use it too).  

Writing a meaningful letter – $0 ($10-$15 if you write it on nice stationary)

I don’t think any gift could top a letter written to a loved one expressing how much you love them. My grandma wrote me a note back when I was in eighth grade and I have kept it by my bedside ever since. 

What to get your lover

Custom koozies or coasters$35

OK, these are so funny. Take it up a notch from a traditional picture frame and customize some koozies or coasters! Let’s leave all the rings we have left on the table in 2020. 

Polaroid camera – $140 (I just thrifted this one at Goodwill for $5!) 

Everytime I go thrifting I check the electronics section and I ALWAYS see polaroid cameras like this! My sister and I both picked one up for $5 and it works perfectly. 

Virtual concert tickets – $15

Just when you thought concerts were cancelled, THINK AGAIN! This is such a creative gift to get your lover this year. These tickets are so much more affordable than in-person tickets. You can even make it a point to get dressed up, order takeout and make it a date pandemic style! 

RELATED: OPINION: A guide to dating during a pandemic

The Bottom Line 

Use your resources! Go to your local thrift shop, paint an old picture frame to repurpose it as a gift or paint a picture. Get creative! 

I hope I could provide you all with some fun ideas to get your loved ones this holiday season! If you have any fun gift ideas go ahead and let me know what you’re getting your people in the comments. 

Be kind! And be awesome! You’re all hot, ily <3