I am Santa — at least I try to be.

The holidays are just around the corner. And, as students, in addition to finding the perfect gift for everyone on our list, we also have to manage our budget.

We all know that person on our list who seems to have everything: they’re calm, collected and always the hardest to buy a gift for. Or they’re your parents and every time you ask they always say, “You don’t need to get me anything.”

It’s the thought that counts (and I focus my thoughts on defeating them with a loving gift). So, let’s dive into some budget-friendly and DIY gifts for the person who has everything:

Hot chocolate in a jar

Hot chocolate mix in jars.

If you’re looking for a gift for a hot chocolate lover, you could DIY a personal drink mix for them! Something never seen before—just…give it a taste test before you make a big batch.

To make your base, layer some hot chocolate mix and powdered milk in glass jars. These simple ingredients will yield several containers of hot chocolate mix which you can customize to each person on your gift list.

Then, try out all sorts of toppings like chocolate chips, marshmallows, toffee bits or crushed peppermint. Your recipient’s personalized drink mix will be ready the next time they’re craving a sweet drink—just add water!

If you want to take this gift a step further and channel your inner barista, you could use your mix to make them a specialty drink on the spot. It may not be as good as Starbucks—but it’ll be fun!

Holiday cookie boxes

You can never go wrong with baking—and with a little bit of effort, you can transform regular ol’ cookies into a luxurious holiday cookie box. This is what dreams are made of!

Get a nice box with some fun print (Dollarama to the rescue) and fill each section with a different type of cookie. Try marzipan shortbread, gingerbread, sugar cookies, jam thumbprints—whatever you heart desires. Spruce up your box with a little ribbon and it’s ready to go!

Gifts that show you listen

Taylor Swift leaning forward with head in hands and listening.

Now is the time to prove that you’ve been listening to your loved one throughout the year.

For someone looking to spend a little more time relaxing but who doesn’t enjoy feeling idle, consider a colouring book you can fill out together while watching their favourite show.

Do they want to start cooking more? Do a quick grocery trip for some basic ingredients and put on some aprons to have a cooking session together!

Finding ways to spend time together is a gift in itself.

Care packages

A cardboard box with a pink heart on it.

Throw together an assortment of items related to a cool theme.

Socks

This might be a hot take butsocks are great gifts for that person who has everything.

Let us explain!

Socks are warm, comfortable, and used every day. New socks can change up their wardrobe without the challenge of figuring out if it’s their style or fit. Plus, getting a smaller gift that’s high quality can be a great way to stay within your budget.

There’s a very delicate balance when gifting socks: either go for utility or go for style.

For that spontaneous adventurer who likes hiking or plays hockey ’til sunset, go for utility with thick cabin or wool socks. They’ll be grateful for some dry and cozy socks when snow gets in their boot (wet socks are the worst feeling).

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Floorplay Socks (@floorplaysocks)

Or, for someone with a more eccentric style, how about these sriracha bottle socks? Spicy.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Floorplay Socks (@floorplaysocks)

Decorations

Funny ornaments being picked off a wall

Every year we all scramble to dig out our holiday decorations—and sometimes a few go missing or get dropped.

So, start a new tradition!

Bring over a small decoration for each other’s home or tree to replace whatever the dog mistook for a toy. Around this time, you’ll find all sorts of nifty decorations for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and more.

Check out local vendors and holiday markets for one-of-a-kind creations. For example, Putti Fine Furnishings in Toronto sells ornaments all year round as well as miniature and vintage-style ornaments.

The one thing you can’t replace

Scrapbook with photos scattered around.

So you’ve probably seen John Mulaney’s bit titled The One Thing You Can’t Replace.

And, if not (where have you been?), spoilers—there’s no replacing antique photos of your grandmother stolen during a house party.

There’s no better time than the present to digitize any precious photos your family has lying around the house.

Create a digital or physical scrapbook showing off your best family memories. Write inside jokes between the pages and include space for the holiday photos from seasons past. Make sure there’s enough room to add to it each year!

And, best of all, spend time going through your memories together (prepare some tea, it’ll be a looong evening)!


Maybe you’re not looking for a gift—but for that special someone. Here’s how to swipe savvy during cuffing season.

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