Gift giving on a budget

Even for people with stable incomes, gift giving during the holidays can be a stressful time of dwindling bank accounts.  For college students, it can be even more daunting.  The Butler Collegian is here to help. We’re offering our best advice for Butler students looking to get creative with gifts this holiday season.

Tip #1:  Get crafty

Make the gifts yourself.  Sophomore Sami Smith crochets hats, scarves and stuffed animals for her friends.  Last year, Smith made nine hats for around $20 total.

“It’s more personal than buying gifts so it’s okay that you don’t spend as much money,” she said.  “Making gifts really adds a personal touch and since it’s not as expensive you can give more people gifts.”

And if crocheting isn’t your thing, try hand making a personal card.  Regardless of your card making abilities, anyone would enjoy a personalized holiday greeting.

Tip #2: Have a white elephant exchange

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

A white elephant exchange is similar to a traditional gift exchange, but every participant brings something unwanted from their home.  Junior Kristina Albarello is running one this holiday season.

“Anyone can do it because it literally costs nothing,” she said.  “It’s fun to see all of the crazy things people come up with.”

Tip #3: Run a “Secret Santa”

Put a spending limit on it.  A “Secret Santa” exchange is when each participant draws a name and focuses solely on getting gifts for the one person.  Sophomore Erin Ellsworth was in a secret Santa exchange with her unit last year.

“It’s nice to receive one nicer or more useful gift as opposed to lots of little junky gifts from all your friends,” Ellsworth said.  “It’s also a fun excuse for a party with friends.”

Tip #4: Forget about the gifts

Make a memory instead.    Go ice skating. See “The Nutcracker.” Bake cookies. Sing Christmas carols. Go out in the snow (if there is any). Go out for hot chocolate downtown. Take a walk down Meridian before you leave for break and take a look at all the lights. You’ll remember the fun times more than a gift.