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The Broke College Student’s Holiday Gift Guide


Winter break is right around the corner at the University of North Georgia, and many students are excited to spend the holidays with their friends and family. However, winter celebrations bring this inevitable and often dreaded task: holiday shopping. For broke college students living off ramen and instant soup, this annual chore can cause considerable strain. Before you break the bank this season, check out these inexpensive holiday gifts for everyone on your list.

For Parents:

Girl holding holiday card

Karen Sapecky is a 56-year-old mother to three college students, and she suggested making a card with family photos. “Something as simple as that would mean a lot,” she said. She also recommended college gear, as she loves supporting her kids. For those with extra cash, check out these gifts from the UNG Bookstore. For low-cost UNG gear, check out this ornament from Etsy as well as this mug and magnet from TeePublic. If you can’t spend any money this year, the best gift you can give may be your time.

“You could make cookies with them or take them to the park. You could also make them a coupon book; it could be coupons for hugs, watching a movie or just spending time together.” – Karen Sapecky

While many of these gifts would also work for dads, 58-year-old Tim Sapecky gave some insight on what to get the fathers on your list. “Any hand tool that I can put in my toolbox would be great,” he said. Take a look at this multitool on Amazon. He also recommended getting them their favorite food or drink. As an avid coffee drinker himself, he suggested this coffee gift set.Holiday Cookies

For Grandparents:

Shopping for grandparents may seem tricky, but if you know your audience, it’s a piece of cake — literally. When asked what she wanted for Christmas this year, 81-year-old Linda Sapecky had a simple answer: “Food.” Getting your grandparents their favorite dessert or candy is a simple way to show you care. The grandmother of 11 also suggested framed photos. “Framed photos are great because you can always look at them on your shelf and say, ‘That’s my wonderful grandchild!’” Donna Brookshire, 61, agrees. However, she likes receiving photo ornaments from her grandkids so she can look at them on her tree. Check out this $8 photo ornament on Amazon.

For grandfathers specifically, hand tools would be a great option, such as the multitool linked above. You can also “get him something that he likes personally,” said Brookshire. “If he’s a golfer or fisherman, get him some tees or lures.”

Starbucks cup

For Friends:

For friends and fellow college students, you can never go wrong with gift cards. UNG student Josh Seard said that college students like “any sort of gift card that they can get their hands on because they’re very cheap. I should know — I am one.” Amazon offers eGift cards that you can send your friends via text or email. You choose the amount which ranges from $1 to $2,000.

Simply buying your friend their favorite drink or candy is another great option. As an often-tired college student, Seard likes Monster energy drinks. Other students may prefer a sweet treat from the Coffee Shop at UNG Gainesville.

For Your Significant Other:

You may be tempted to buy something extravagant when it comes to your significant other. However, 21-year-old nursing student Gisselle Adame said the best gift she ever received from her boyfriend was “a big pack of photos, and he wrote something cute on the back of each.” She also recommends anything cozy for winter such as socks and blankets. Check out these fun socks for couples on Amazon.

A camera and some photos

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The Broke College Student’s Holiday Gift Guide