Christmas gifts were wrapped and placed into a box to be shipped out to loved ones that are unable to be seen in person this Christmas. (Photo by Milan Sasaki.)
Christmas gifts were wrapped and placed into a box to be shipped out to loved ones that are unable to be seen in person this Christmas.

Photo by Milan Sasaki.

Students find their way around holiday gift-getting

December 21, 2020

Because of all of the hardships that this year has been filled with, many students are excited to say that 2020 has almost reached its end. With the end of the year comes Christmas and all of its celebrations. Christmas is full of things like delicious cookies, cozy sweaters and of course, gifts. Even if it is not what Christmas is about, presents are many people’s favorite part of the holidays. Figuring out what to get for your loved ones, as well as how to get it, is oftentimes easier said than done, this year more so than any other. 

“It has been hard to go out and do any shopping at stores because I’ve been trying to stay home as much as possible,” senior Hannah Lonergan said. “When I have gone out it’s been to an outdoor mall late in the day when there are fewer people around.” 

Numerous shops closed their storefronts and stopped allowing in-person shopping, and many put restrictions on the number of people that can be in the store. This makes the in-person shopping process significantly more difficult than in previous years. Over quarantine, many people turned to the internet for their gift shopping needs.

“I’m buying a lot more gifts online rather than in-person,” junior Ciara Belfiore said. “Because of this, I also have to try and factor in shipping costs, which I wouldn’t normally have to do if I was buying in person.”

Even though how and where we are shopping is different, there are notable benefits. Shopping virtually means that there are more items in stock and available for purchase, it’s easier to find coupons and sales and you have access to more stores.

“Honestly, I think shopping from a distance this year has been a good thing because I haven’t been shopping at any big corporations,” junior Margaret Wasco said. “I’ve been shopping more on Etsy and purchasing things from small businesses instead of, say, going to the mall or something and buying from big chain stores while small businesses go under.”

Now that the majority of shopping is getting done through the internet, everyone has a chance to shop in new places, including small businesses. Small businesses can create unique gifts that come straight from the producer and some can be personalized.

“I don’t have a favorite place to get gifts, but I have been shopping a lot on Etsy for some nice, homemade gifts that really talented people made,” Wasco said. “And I find that they are really good gifts, in that they’re high quality, and it’s also supporting small businesses that probably are struggling at this time.”

It is important to support small businesses when purchasing special gifts, but sometimes it’s good to rely on the stores and the places you are accustomed to, especially when you’re uncertain about what you want to get.

“Target, 5 Below and Burlington are some of my favorite places to get gifts,” Lonergan said. “Because they have just about everything and at good prices.”

No matter how well you know a person, it may be difficult to know what to get them, but everyone has their “go-tos”. The gifts that are considered well-liked and useful.

“Fun patterned socks are a go-to gift for me,” Lonergan said, “because you can never have too many socks.”

Many people’s go-to gifts are things like socks, candy or blankets because they are things that everyone uses. Things like that are also helpful for gift exchanges like Secret Santa, when you are not necessarily close with the person you are paired with and are unsure of what to get them.

“Fun jewelry is always a go-to gift of mine,” Belfiore said. “I am making a bracelet for one of my friends.”

Homemade gifts are one of a kind and often very heartfelt because you put time and thought into them yourself, not to mention that most are budget-friendly.

“I am making some bath salts and bath bombs for people because I like to give people relaxing spa/self-care type stuff,” Wasco said. “ I find that it’s pretty universal for people to enjoy and I think that it’s something that everyone can get use out of.

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