10 Christmas gift ideas on a college budget

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give a good gift


A self-care package is a great gift to give this Christmas season if you’re on a budget. (Photo illustration by Madison Duong)

Christmas is upon us and that means many will gather with their loved ones to exchange gifts with each other. If you want to give gifts but are worried about finances, look no further and check out this list of 10 gift ideas to give if you’re on a college budget.

This list of gifts features ideas that are all under $25 and can be gifts that are loved and appreciated by anyone.

  1. Gift card

A gift card may sound boring to some, but it’s the best option to give someone, after money, if you’re not exactly sure what to get. Getting a gift card is a good gift because they can use it to choose something they actually want, which relieves you of the worry of what to get them because they’ll get it themselves. If you’re unsure of what gift card to get, Amazon, Target and Doordash are all safe options because there are many options on what to buy at these companies. You can also add whatever amount you please to the gift card, but if you’re sticking to a budget, $10-$25 is a good price to put on it.


  2. Spa gift

A spa gift is a set of various items that can be given to someone that will help them stay clean and pamper themselves. Hygienic items are great for a spa gift, so adding things like sheet masks, bath bombs, hand cream, lip balm, lotion and more would be a great gift.


  3. Hot chocolate set

Hot chocolate is a popular beverage for this holiday season and is also very nice to have as the weather gets chillier. In a hot chocolate set, you can add a mug, hot chocolate packets, marshmallows or even pre-made hot chocolate bombs. There are also hot chocolate gift sets that are already pre-made and wrapped which you can find online or in stores like Marshall’s, Amazon, TJ Maxx and Target. 


  4. Cozy gift

A cozy gift is anything that can give the feeling of warmth, comfort and relaxation. For a cozy gift, you can get fuzzy socks, a pajama set and a blanket. It’ll be the perfect gift as the weather gets colder as well.


  5. Housewarming gift

Even if the person you’re gifting to isn’t moving to a new home, you can still get them a housewarming gift that can be useful and used in a normal household. Ideas include candles, chopping board, oil diffusers, houseplant, cookbook, glassware or really anything you can think of that would be fitting to use in a home.


  6. Tech gift

When you think of technology you may think it’s expensive, but you can still find good tech gifts for under $25, such as portable power banks, portable Bluetooth speakers, digital clocks and more. Or you can even get tech accessories like earphone cases and phone cases. A technology cleaning kit is also a great idea for anyone. 


  7. Customized photo gift

A customized photo gift is a great idea if you want your gift to be genuine and have sentimental value. You can get things like shirts, mugs, ornaments, keychains and blankets customized. If you’re interested in gifting a customized gift, visit websites like Shutterfly, Etsy and Snapfish.


  8. Food

Food is a great gift to give because it’s a way to show the person you’re gifting that you want to share food you like or that you know what they like to eat. When getting a food gift, make sure it doesn’t go bad by the time you gift it. You can get someone their favorite snacks, snacks you want them to try or even pre-made food sets like a popcorn kit, box of chocolates or a charcuterie board.


  9. Self-care 

A self-care package is a gift that will help someone take care of themselves. A few good ways to promote self-care is to journal, sleep and exercise. You can get someone a diary or even an activity book, a melatonin bath set and exercise tools, like a yoga mat or exercise clothing.


  10. Handmade gift

If you’re crafty and want to save money, a handmade gift is great because it is genuine with the time and effort put into it. If you have supplies and a crafty hand, you can give someone a painting, drawing or even something you knitted like a scarf, beanie or mittens. The best part about giving someone a handmade gift is that you get to choose what it is and use your own creativity.