Gift giving, aka the worst part of the holidays

The girl you sit next to in algebra class hands you a present. You open it, and realize she got you bacon socks. Even though you are a vegetarian, you begin to panic because now you have to go buy her something. It is hard to buy presents for people, especially if you don’t know what to get them. Unless you want to be stuck in an awkward gift exchange, at least listen to these suggestions.

Gift giving has many subcategories, and they all depend on your relationship. Giving money, gift cards, or those basic little mugs with hot chocolate are all appropriate for the different people in your life. The key however, is to know which person fits into what category of gifts.

Person 1: Friend, but not a best friend- Friend gifts can either be super easy, or super difficult. You know each other, but you don’t know each other. If you absolutely have no clue, buy them chocolate. If they don’t like chocolate, unfriend them immediately because you don’t need someone in your life who doesn’t like chocolate. Well, unless they are allergic, but that is the only exception. However, if you do know some of their likes, buy little stocking stuffers based off of that. For example, if blue is their favorite color, buy a little stocking and stuff it with blue things. Even if some of the little gifts are basic, it is the thought the counts, right?

Person 2: Best friend- Very different from a friend because you know the likes and dislikes of a best friend. You could just buy a present based off of their likes, or you could create a unique gift based off inside jokes.  Best friends are a little tricky to generalize, but by this point, you should know your best friend well enough to get them something they like without too much thought. To-go cups are very popular this year, so buying a cup and personalizing it with their initial, a quote, or their favorite sports team is a good idea. In addition, if you are best friends then you probably have inside jokes, so buy some small gifts according to the jokes. One time, my friend picked the ugliest picture of her best friend, framed it, and gave it to her. It might be awkward, funny, or embarrassing if the person is opening it in front of other people, but at least the two of you will understand the presents.

Person 3: Parent/Guardian- This person, or people, are by far the hardest to shop for. My parents either tell me they don’t want anything, or tell me to buy them this expensive gift that they know I can’t afford. I suggest to follow two guidelines, each one for mom and dad. For your mom, go out to the store and buy her some makeup or nail polish. Now if your mom doesn’t wear makeup, or you are just absolutely clueless when it comes to beauty supplies, her favorite candy, perfume, or cheap jewelry that you think looks nice will work. For you dad, anything sports-related will do (or anything related to his favorite musician, hobby, etc.) My dad is the harder parent to shop for, so for the past couple of years I get him items related to his favorite sports team, the New York Giants. I’ve gotten him a cup, slippers, and a blanket, and who knows what I will get him this year. However, if your parents do not like sports or beauty items, make a DIY gift, buy them a gift card, or just make them a regular card and simply write “I didn’t know what to buy you so here is your present.” Again, it’s the thought that counts.

Person 4: The person who got you a gift but you didn’t get them one so now you have to buy one- This is one of the most awkward situations, but it happens. If you are caught in this dilemma, categorize them into the correct category, and buy a present based off of the previous information given. However this method is relatively time consuming, and if they don’t fit into a category, go with a Chick-fil-A gift card. If they don’t like Chick-fil-A, toss them out with the chocolate haters because who doesn’t like Chick-fil-A? Seriously, nothing says Happy Holidays like a CFA gift card.