Glitter. Glitter everywhere. Anyone in a sorority knows this word is synonymous with the week leading up to big/little reveal commonly referred to as clue week. If you’re one of those people that hates this girly aspect of sorority life, leave it to us to make sure your little knows just how much you love her. Pro tip: add a nice touch to any of these gifts by having a frat boy deliver them—it couldn’t hurt.
Treat you self and your big or little to matching tanks that will show campus who’s boss:
Check out the best big little gifts money can buy.
1. A Canvas
You don’t have to be Picasso, you just need to own a paintbrush. It’s easy, fast and inexpensive, but the best part is that they’ll work for any type of girl. Head to Pinterest and pick out a quote or design that relates to your little, and then Pinterest will take you through it step by step.
2. Decorated Letters
Craft stores sell every letter in the alphabet, but your imagination can do the rest. Spell out your little’s name, her initials, or a basic word for decoration. Take the simple approach and use puffy paint to create a design, hot glue fake flowers for a more 3D look or mod podge on some pictures for a more personal touch.
Isn’t that why you joined a sorority in the first place? This is the ideal opportunity to give away all of those old shirts taking up space in your drawers and the perfect excuse for buying the lettered clothing you could never really justify. One for her and one for you, right?
Need we say more? Surprise your little with some of her favorite meals, her coffee order, her favorite candies and snacks and she’ll love you forever.
5. Everyday necessities
It could be anything, as long as you personalize it just a little. Decorate wine glasses, shot glasses, a water bottle, a mason jar – really anything you might find around the house. What’s great about any of these is that you know your little will get use out of them.
6. A Stuffed Animal
It doesn’t matter how old you are, there’s nothing like a stuffed animal to brighten your day. You can find large teddy bears at any convenience store, or add a personal touch and create your own at Build-a-Bear.
7. “Open When” Letters
This is a gift that lasts. Write about 20 different letters, and label each one with a different situation your little might find herself in. Writer her a letter for when she’s feeling lonely, one for when she’s stressed or even one for when she’s homesick. It will remind her that you’re always thinking of her.
8. A Girl’s Night in Package
Part of the point of having a big is that you have someone who will have just as much fun staying in with you as they would going out with you. Put together a little basket with her favorite movies, popcorn, candy, magazines and some spa supplies. It might be cheesy, but it’s a classic.
9. Decorated photo frame
10. A nice gift
Finish out the week with a simple but classic gift, such as a nice piece of jewelry or a designer perfume. A girl can never have too much of her favorite guilty pleasures.
The best big little gifts are tank tops. So you can match all day, every day.
Check out even more gifts to make a big impact on your little’s holiday.
Written by Elise Vocke.
Surprise songs impress girls outside of awkward prom-asks. Round up those frat brothers on campus or your best guy friend and his squad and get them in on your gift idea. Find out when and where your Little has class. Have the boys wait outside the classroom until she walks out and sing a song to remind her how special she is. “I loved when I got serenaded. I thought that was so surprising and I felt very special because not all Bigs do that for their Littles,” said University of Connecticut junior and Alpha Epsilon Phi sister Lydia Parapimon.
You don’t need to be a Shakespeare expert to do this. Don’t think you don’t have the capacity to write poetry—you SO do. If you choose to handwrite on beautiful stationery, your Little can hang up the poems and smile when reading them. Stir up those creative brain cells and come up with a rhyme or tune. Make sure to personalize the poems to further emphasize the connection you have with your little. “My favorite items I got from my bigs during big/little reveal were the ones that were really personalized. The poems they wrote were hysterical and showed that they knew me,” said University of Michigan sophomore and Sigma Delta Tau sister Emma Bruder.
13. Kitchen Items
We all know that feeling (well, at least those of us in regions with four seasons) when we walk to class with the cold fall air scraping against our cheeks turning them bright red. Oh, how we fantasize about curling up in pajamas underneath warm blankets with a cup of hot chocolate. Get a mug for your little to make this fantasy come true. “I knew [my little] liked coffee so I made her a coffee mug that had a little Yoda on it and said, ‘Yoda One for Me, Little,’ since she is a Star Wars fan. Another gift I gave her was a shark oven mitt because she loves to bake and is obsessed with sharks. I wanted to give my little gifts that would hold meaning to her and that I knew she would appreciate because of how much thought I put into them,” said Montclair State University junior and Alpha Iota Chi sister Sarah DiPirro.
14. Tea or Coffee
As an added bonus to any gift of a mug or drinkware, put some packets of fancy hot cocoa or nice tea inside the mug and make it both the wrapping and gift itself. This gift makes a night in with your little easy and cozy. Make sure to pick up her favorite flavor of tea or favorite coffee grounds. Bonus points if you scoop up some bags of a seasonal flavor that she waits all year to drink.
15. Key Chains
Whether you live in a dorm, an off-campus apartment or house, you need easy access to your keys. We’ve all had those moments where we spent five minutes digging through our bags looking for our keys which we swear we saw, like, two minutes ago. One day your Little will freak out about how she can’t get into her living space with the door locked and her roommates not home. Get her a keychain and turn this into a non-issue. “My Little really appreciated receiving a keychain since she was always one who couldn’t find her keys. She wears the keychain every day,” said Parapimon, who got her Little a keychain with the Alpha Epsilon Phi letters on it.
16. I Want CANDY (you know the song)
Except for your teeth, who doesn’t love a sugary treat to boost their mood and please their taste buds? College students really appreciate having late night sugary snacks to keep them up while they cram for exams, make deadlines and write papers. Save your Little the money they would spend on Starbucks each day by giving them candy to keep them energized instead. “I got my little candies and she was so happy. I picked out her favorite ones. Reese’s, Kit Kats and Butterfingers. She said she snacked on them when she had a large homework load to help her get through it,” said University of Michigan sophomore and Alpha Omicron Pi sister Jessica Hellner. You just might want to give your Little some toothpaste, too, to ward off cavities.
17. Sorority or School Mascot
Delta Zetas love turtles and Chi Omega’s love owls. Your own school has its own mascot to cherish too. Give your little something to remember the best four years of their life even after graduation with something that represents their favorite sorority or school spirit animal. University of Connecticut junior and Kappa Beta Gamma sister Mairead Deacy talked about how she got her Little a stuffed animal. “Her favorite animal is a dog and our mascot is the husky so I️ bought her a little stuffed husky which she thought was adorable. She cuddles with him at night,” said Deacy. Can someone get me a stuffed animal Wolverine? I’m sold.
18. Laptop sticker
A lot of times people express themselves with stickers of groups they’re involved in, favorite jokes, where they are from or their political views on their laptops. You can learn a lot about a person by walking around the library observing what kinds of stickers people have on their laptops. Girls want to show their pride in their sorority and laptop stickers prove it. “Many girls have laptop stickers at school, and everyone in sororities has a laptop sticker with their sorority name on it. I gave my little an AEPhi sticker so that she can show that she is part of a group that values sisterhood and love,” said Parapimon. What better way to make your little feel like part of the family?
19. Inspirational note cards
When the gloomy days hit and you feel like you have a dark cloud over your head the entire day, don’t let these feelings rain on your parade. Having some inspirational messages to look at can cheer you right up. That’s why Bigs love giving inspirational note cards to Littles. Sometimes, Bigs will write, “Be your best self” or “Never give up my little one” or “My little is beautiful inside and out.” Girls appreciate these. “One small thing that I loved was my Big made me little inspirational note cards that I would find in small boxes she made. These notes are now hung up in my room and it makes me smile every time I am feeling down,” said DiPirro. And if you make these note cards, they don’t cost you a dime.
Help your Little schedule her life the old-fashioned way. What if your phone malfunctions and you lose all your important dates? A personalized, paper calendar works as a cute way to stay organized. “[My Little’s] a Disney fan like me, so I️ got her this really fancy Disney calendar by this Disney artist. She was sick of using mobile calendars and thought it was really cool. Since it’s November she wanted a calendar for the upcoming new year basically,” said Deacy. Giving your Little a calendar works as a double gift; it counts as both a planner and the gift of organization.
21. Crafting supplies
We all know that being a Big means you need to get a little artsy here and there, too. One of the best gifts Sarah received was a Dory Canvas from her Big. Her Big painted Dory’s blue, yellow, and black body on the top of the canvas. She painted one of Dory’s famous quotations with a “Little” twist at the bottom in yellow. “She knew I loved Dory so she made me a canvas that says, ‘I shall call her my little, and she shall be mine, and she shall be my little’,” said DiPirro. Some day, your little will want to make her little just as happy as that. Minimize the cost of your grandlitte’s crafts for your little by supplying her with the products you used.
*Updated on December 14, 2017 by Elise Vocke to include gifts 11–21.