Despite the fact that Christmas is still more than a month away and that I hate the over-commercialized monstrosity that November 1st-January 1st has become, Christmas is beginning to be unavoidable. I bought eggnog on the weekend, I’ve caught myself humming Christmas carols, and I started mentally saluting those who have decked the sidewalks of the city with the first tricklings of twinkle lights.
Christmas is coming, and along with it, a slew of online pieces declaring the best thing to get the X in your life. Most of the items on these lists are cute but costly, and the lists of adorable DIY gifts are oriented to talented people who have time.
University students have neither an abundance of pocket money or the time to make something thoughtful for the important people in their lives at Christmas. While I don’t completely buy into the idea that everyone IS COMPELLED BY THE BLAZING PITS OF CONSUMERISM HELL to give presents to absolutely everyone they know ON PAIN OF DEATH, I understand the desire to give your friends and family something for the trouble they go through in simply knowing you.
So here we are, you on that side of the screen and me on this side. Hi. Thanks for still sitting there. You must be pretty cool.
Finding gifts for your family will be a little easier–you’re likely more willing to spend what little money you have on the people who created you and are responsible for your survival up to this point. But what about tes amis? I mean, you love the people in your tutorial for That One Interesting Class You Have, and you still feel like the members of your high school gang are your beloved homies, but you can’t buy cute things on Etsy FOR EVERYONE.
And with finals taking place just before Christmas, you’re going to be too busy
sleeping studying to make a hundred decorative clay owls.
Here are a couple gift ideas for your fellow university student. 😉
1. FREE BACK RUBS.
Seriously. University is stressful, and everyone is tense and tired by the time the end of the semester rolls around. Maybe they’ll return the favour. This could be a bonding experience. Or maybe it could be creepy. Mostly it’ll be awesome for them.
Maybe they’re cute and this could be your chance. LOLOL.
2. FUZZY SOCKS.
Dumbledore and Dobby got it right. Socks are awesome. And cheap (thanks, Dollarama). And come in a variety of colours and patterns. Not to mention super practical because winter is coming and chances are, like you, your friends have yet to invest in a pair of decent winter boots. This makes socks all the more welcome.
3. COFFEE/TEA DATE.
Take your pal to a cute cafe (or Tim’s–never undervalue Tim’s. Tim’s can still be cute) and buy them a hot beverage. It’s like three bucks, two if you don’t get a latte. Your company is the real gift here. If you really wanna treat someone extra special (high school homies, what up? Long time no talk except on Facebook!) bring them back to your apartment/dorm and MAKE them tea. Cost goes way down. Also you can cuddle and talk about things that ought to not be discussed in public.
If you go to Costco and buy a ton of soap, set aside a chunk for a bro. Us new adults, we’re not used to remembering to buy that stuff, so if you distribute some no-name toiletries to your friends a few less people will have to wash their hair with Sunlight Oxi Action dish detergent until next grocery day. Just put a bow on it.
(Bonus points: toilet paper. It’ll seem like a joke gift, but it will be put to use.)
Could also be perceived as a joke gift. Also very much free at your university’s student union. This is the cheapest and lamest of the cheap and lame. But hey. You never know. VOILA.
6. PAJAMA DANCE PARTY.
Recommended location: public place.
Recommended music: soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy.
Recommended attire: Santa pajamas or Star Lord costume,
Fun guaranteed. Film it. Post it. Become an internet sensation.
7. BUILD AN OLAF TOGETHER.
Everyone loves building snowmen, and for many of us it might have been awhile since we birthed one of those snowy creations. Snowball fights may or may not ensue. Weather dependent.
8. MASON JARS WITH STUFF IN THEM.
Or other kinds of jars. Like Kraft peanut butter jars. Throw in a bunch of stuff and decorate the lid with a bow and their name.
Ideas for “stuff:” tea bags, chocolate kisses, hot chocolate mix, candy canes, (or even condoms or socks).
9. ANY VARIETY OF CHEAP FOOD, BASICALLY.
Crackers, Mr. Noodle, Tim bits, Dollarama chocolate. A mini jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread. I’m sure they’ll eat it, because you know you will.
10. DO THEIR DISHES.
Lol I’m kidding. It’s Christmas. No one wants to do dishes. Take a nap together.
I admit, it can be cute, and I love individual aspects of Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate, for one. And roses. And love. Those are all nice things.
**warning: next paragraphs are over-exaggerated, melodramatic, and full of gifs**
Buuut, it’s basically a holiday that boosts the greeting card industry, lingerie sales, risk of diabetes, attendance at bad romantic comedy films starring Taylor Swift, and stress (which in extreme cases over time can cause health problems and even death).
We single ladies/men are expected to moan about being alone, sitting at home eating ice cream from a container and watching The Notebook in our pajamas. We single ladies/men are expected to be unhappy.
See this BuzzFeed post. While it’s funny, it’s sarcastic implications are concerning.
I’m not going to dwell on this, because of course everyone knows Valentine’s Day is a great time to be single. While all your attached friends are out having awkward dinners and forgetting to take their birth control, you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT. It’s like Christmas, but without the loud relatives and Michael Bublé music blasting from every radio station.
Here are some suggestions for how you can spend your Valentine’s Day, if you’re single or not.
1. You can go out.
Alone or with friends. Or with the Dark Lord. Source here.
2. You can stay in.
…we probably have similar definitions of staying in. You know, pajamas, friends, etc. Source here.
3. Chocolate. I mean, it’ll be on sale tomorrow so you could wait. But you probably shouldn’t.
Filch it. Filch them all. Source here.
4. You don’t have to shave your legs. (You don’t have to shave your legs, ever.)
Even Snape is happy about this. No more Venus razors for me, suckers. Source here.
5. Watch endless episodes of Simon’s Cat.
This is why they invented internet, for ancient Egyptian cat worship. Source here.
6. Dance to your playlists from highschool in your underwear.
Pretty sure I have the Lovegood dancing gene. Just let loose, man. Dance. Source here.
7. Invite your other single ladies/men over and play board games — because playing board games with your friends is highly underrated.
I’m no chess wiz. I’m more of a checkers type girl. Source here.
8. You can do nothing. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to exist. You can go about your life as usual and ignore consumerist attempts to get you to buy heart-shaped pillows that match absolutely nothing in your house.
Harry is talking the talk. Source here.
9. Buy your cat another bag of Temptations (because I’m sure you already have at least one bag).
Especially if he eats ears. Give the cat some treats. Source here.
10. Send your mom an embarrassing collage of all the selfies you’ve taken together.
No source necessary. We all know where this came from.
11. Rearrange your Harry Potter books.
Because you’re the only one who knows how to do it correctly, and with love. Source here.
12. Send terrible jokes to Facebook friends you don’t really know.
How many wizards does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Source here.
13. Cuddle.With a pillow, a cat, a dog, a friend, your favourite stuffed animal left over from childhood. Cuddle.
Nothing is better than a long hug. I’m sirius about this, guys. Source here.
14. Blast Serena Ryder.
Dumbledore knows what’s up. Source here.
15. Stalk cute people on Twitter even if they live in a different country.
Twitter flirting is the best flirting. @LibbySometimes 😉 Source here.
16. You should probably be nice and share your chocolate with others. Sharing is caring (even if it’s hard).
Bless her heart. I could never do it. Source here.
17. Spend hours on IMDb planning all your trips to the movie theatres for the next year.
Research is important. Source here.
Reminisce about your exes. Laugh at all the poor attached people having to suffer through dates and other assorted pressures.
Gotta love uncomfortable social situations. Source here.
19. Eat lots of food for no other reason than because you can.
My life. Source here.
20. Write a passive aggressive blog post/Facebook status/Tweet about Valentine’s Day.
Vent your feelings. I am. Source here.
21. Watch Jurassic Park.
And do you best raptor impression. Source here.
22. Watch V for Vendetta.
Hugo Weaving causes excitement where ever he goes. Except future British governments. Source here.
23. Watch Sherlock.
MY FEELINGS. Source here.
24. Watch The Big Bang Theory re-runs.
I applaud your nerdiness, Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Roj. Source here.
25. Watch anything with Liam or Chris Hemsworth’s pretty faces and impeccable
One gif for Chris…
26. Practice your axe-throwing. (Maybe start with darts. Or packing peanuts.)
You know, safety first. Source here.
But I won’t judge you. Source here.
28. For each person you love, send them a single, anonymous red rose with a note that says “I’m watching you.”
That’s a special kind of love. Source here.
So happy Valentine’s Day, if you’re single or not.