For students, the holidays mean a short break from our studies to spend time with our families , as well as receiving and preparing gifts for our loved ones. Giving gifts offer a chance to show the people we love what they mean to us. You know how blessed you are to have so many wonderful people in your life, but the amount of gifts to prepare can definitely sound like way too much work.
Take a look at these 21 family gift ideas before your next holiday shopping spree.
I think we can safely say Harry Potter makes for one of the best unofficial Christmas movies. Harry Potter scarves will not only put your family in the holiday spirit, but will keep you cozy as the temperature continues to drop. “This year I’m thinking of getting Harry Potter scarves for my family. Giving each member the appropriate house, of course,” Felipe Montes de Oca said. If you come from a Harry Potter–loving family, these gifts will definitely win your family over.Price: $25.95
A holiday favorite, this cookie kit will bring your family that holiday spirit, even if finals have kept you from getting in the holiday mood. Whether your family gets together to make the cookies together or only to eat it, the kit will definitely allow you all to bond over the pure deliciousness. Plus, it’ll have your house smelling like you just stepped into Santa’s workshop.Price: $18.49
The holidays allow for time to bond and celebrate with the family. A picture collage makes for an inexpensive and thoughtful gift that’ll win you child of the year. “I’m making a picture collage to share memories with the family,” junior at the University of Florida Lisa Blanket said. This one gift will show your family the time and creativity you put in, while also sharing some memories that’ll get your parents choked up. Additionally, this gift can last years hanging on the living room walls.
You can personalize a coffee mug for your mom, dad or even significant other. Especially for those long days, a mug will help you out when you need a caffeine boost in the morning and a moment of relaxation with some tea in the evening. “Living in a family that thrives off of coffee, personalized coffee mugs are a good gift. To make things more interesting, I’m getting mugs that’ll show a picture of the family once hot water has been inserted into the mug,” senior at Miami-Dade College Michael Quiroga said. If your family has the same level of coffee addiction as mine does, mugs make for a practical, but also thoughtful gift. Now, when your mom sips on her cup of joe, she’ll see her family and it’ll brighten her day.Price: $12.89
With online streaming through Netflix, Hulu or HBO, people don’t sit around the TV and watch movies together as much as before. Buying a DVD—the old-fashioned way—will allow for your family to bond while watching an 80’s classic or a new release. “Nothing like an experience to share with the family. My family loves doing movie nights, so even something as simple as getting a DVD of a movie my family loves is much appreciated,” freshman at Miami-Dade College Adriana Martinez said. My family has watched Elf numerous times. With Will Ferrel as “Buddy the Elf,” this movie will have your family laughing nonstop, and leave you enthusiastic about the holiday season.Price: $12.89
I don’t know about you, but my family has a popcorn fetish. My mom, a notorious healthy eater, has made air popcorn for my siblings and I since we were young. An air popper popcorn maker will allow you to indulge in a delicious snack that won‘t break your diet. Also, with this kitchen tool, you can make up to 16-cups of popcorn—more than enough for the whole family—instead of having to heat up multiple bags. This air popcorn maker pairs perfect with your choice of movie for a cozy holiday movie night.Price: $24.90
7. Fun Socks
Last year, my siblings and I unanimously decided that buying expensive gifts would overwhelm our bank accounts too much. So, instead we decided to buy funny and/or cute socks for one another. My sister got me a pair that said, “Leave me alone, I’m reading,” which fits since I’d rather read than anything else; and I got her a pair socks covered with her favorite animal—penguins. Just like our experience, you don’t need an extravagant gift to make a gift personable and thoughtful.Price: $11.99
Who said simple gifts can’t have a meaningful touch? “My sister got my mom a customized ornament last year and she loved it,” junior at the University of Florida Lizet Huertas said. Customizing an ornament becomes the gift that keeps on giving. The person that receives the ornament will continuously see it hung on their tree throughout the holidays and remember you when they do. Whether you decorate for Christmas, Hanukkah or other religious holiday, ornaments provide a little glow of the holiday spirit.
9. Wii Sports
If you have younger siblings, any video game will win your siblings over. “My siblings and I really bond over Wii Sports so I’d like to get them a game that we can play together,” senior at the University of Florida Cecilia Martinez said. After all gifts have been open, you can set up the Wii and get competitive against your siblings in a game of tennis or bowling. Wii Sports will suit everyone. This game encompasses a myriad of sports and activities at different levels so people of all ages can join in. Even those with two feet, like me, can play and not feel embarrassed at their lack of athletic ability.Price: $33.95
10. Foosball Table
Unleash your competitive side with a foosball table. Not only does the table fit inside the house, but it also compares to a much cheaper price than a pool or ping pong table. My younger cousins got one last year for Christmas. A busy household with a family of four boys and one girl, this foosball keeps them occupied and prevents them from raiding the other parts of the house.Price: $98.25
11. Board Game
One year my family was gifted a game called “Sequence.” Since you have to play in teams, it was a good way for us to bond—even though we did get quite competitive. To this day, my dad and I can’t play on the same team—but that’s just because we beat everybody (lol). Board games provide a role for every family member. You can bond throughout the game and celebrate each other’s wins.Price: $11.99
While some may argue that obnoxious and embarrassing sweaters don’t fit any season, ugly Christmas sweaters stand their ground during the holidays. “I got the sweaters as a joke, but my family actually wore them all Christmas morning long. We also got some great pictures with them,” senior at the University of Florida Amanda Fernandez de Castro said. There’s nothing like tacky sweaters to bring on the holiday cheer, especially if they match. You won’t feel closer to your siblings than when you decide to match in reindeer’s sweaters that light up.Price: $39.95
My mom was given a necklace by one of her students that has three figures of kids on it. Although she got it nearly ten years ago, she still wears it for what it represents. This simple gesture may just get your mom teary–eyed (don’t say I didn’t warn you). Whether you give an Etsy necklace, Pandora charm or Tiffany bracelet, the memory a piece of jewelry holds can last a lifetime.Price: $22.50
14. Ninja Blender
My mom and aunts swear by this. It not only serves as the best blender you’ll ever use, but also works to make homemade ice cream—a fun activity that rewards you with a delicious treat. Anyone who loves to cook—or just loves to eat—will die after opening this gift. The blender represents many gifts in one—giving you smoothies, shakes, ice cream and more to enjoy by yourself or with others. If your family already has a blender, I can assure you they don’t have one quite like this.
15. Nintendo Switch
“The Nintendo Switch is the all family gaming console of this generation. It’s portability, games and different styles of play that ensure a good time for the entire family,” Montes de Oca said. Just a couple days ago I saw a group of college students playing this on campus. So, if you were thinking that only children would enjoy this, it seems otherwise.Price: $299.00
What better way to savor all those beautiful family moments than with a professional camera? While an iPhone can technically work, the resolution just won’t present the same quality. If you didn’t catch that Black Friday sale, don’t worry because cameras tend to go on sale all around the holidays. Not only for the price, but for what you’ll get, a camera captures the moments you’ll look back on years from now with a smile.Price: $419.95
When you get to that age that you can drink with your parents, matching shot glasses might hold as the perfect way to celebrate. Personalize your shot glasses by addressing each with the initials of each family member, or any creative way you want. Then celebrate with some eggnog shots. This gift will always remain useful, and will come in handy for those family parties. The matching shot glasses will become the cherry on top.
18. Karaoke Machine
Who doesn’t love music? At least once a year my family does karaoke together. Whether with friends or family, you can bond by singing duets together, or by laughing at the others that have skills not including singing. Whether it becomes the focal point of a party, or an activity for the younger kids to stay busy with while the older one’s drink, you can’t go wrong with karaoke.Price: $79.99
Okay, yes, a trampoline definitely leans on the more expensive side. However, if you plan to make a big purchase, a trampoline won’t disappoint. “Trampolines are a good gift for the fam because no matter what your age, everyone can use it and it brings everyone outside,” junior at the University of Florida Lindsay McKishnie said. Children, teenagers and even adults can find a lot of fun uses with this one. Whether in a game of hot potato or dodgeball, all ages can get involved.Price: $429.99-$539.99
Nothing brings more holiday cheer than listening to your favorite holiday music. Whether you listen to Mariah Carey or Harry Connick Jr. while putting up the Christmas tree, a speaker will allow you to hear your favorite artists in a whole different way. Listen to the amplified holiday cheer ringing through the house and let loose with those jingle bells dance moves. A speaker will set the holiday tone just right.Price: $29.99
Nothing can bring smiles to the faces of children—and even adults—than a puppy. “Dogs are the best gift a family could get,” junior at the University of Florida Lindsay McKishnie said. Also not the cheapest of gifts. Nevertheless, McKishnie has the right idea. Puppies will get everyone in your house participating in some physical activity while trying to chase after them. Nevertheless, their innocence and playfulness make the hard work well worth it.