On Christmas Gifts

If you know me, you know that Christmas is my favorite holiday. It’s *literally* the most wonderful time of the year. Like a true fanatic, I brought in the holiday season at 12:01 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving. The radio station in my family’s car does not move from 106.7 Lite FM from the time they start playing Christmas music to when they stop on Christmas day.

One of the best things about this time of year are the gifts. As a kid, getting gifts was the most important thing, but now that I’m an adult, I like to give as much as I like to receive. Buying multiple gifts as young adult can be hard, especially when you don’t have the money to get the people you love what they want and deserve. Most people tend to buy their presents in November during Black Friday. Some tend to buy everything last minute. I am of the latter group. Below, I’ve compiled a gift guide with some not-so-expensive items you can still put under the tree!

I. Books — Books are a great Christmas gift whether the person you give them too is an avid reader or not. The best books are autobiographies and those in the self-help/inspirational genre or “coffee-table” reads - books that can be displayed in someone’s bookshelf or living room table. Celebrities are constantly pushing out autobiographies and the end of the year is always a time where people look for ways to improve or change their lives.

My picks: Becoming by Michelle Obama & You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero


II. Candles — Now you may think that this gift only applies to the women in your life, but candles are for everyone. They improve whatever room they’re in. As a candle aficionado myself, I am telling you you can do no wrong with the right fragrance. I wouldn’t get it for your significant other, but it makes a great present for a friend. The best thing about candles are the price! Marshalls has candles for less than $10, making it the perfect add-on gift if you’re the type to prefer several small gifts rather than one big one.

My picks: Yankee Candles which come in large and small sizes.


III. Gift-cards — These also make a great add-on gift! Giving gift-cards are like giving mini-shopping sprees. With the right amount, the person you give it to can buy themselves whatever they want. I recommend knowing the exact store/service that your friends want and going with that, but it can also be generic. Pay for some more months on Netflix or AppleMusic, the next couple times they need to pump gas, or for the next time they visit their favorite store. Gift-cards are not that personal, but it may be more personal to someone than just giving them cash.

My picks: Gift-cards for Netflix, Barnes & Noble, BP Gas, or Target but if you visit the mall, you can find racks with tons of options.


IV. Skin Care/Makeup — These kinds of gifts may be small but are long-lasting. These can be a great add-on gift, depending on what you get. You may want to stay away from expensive brands, unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Simple face masks, scrubs and creams are skincare products that can make a great packaged gift. There are a lot of small businesses that sell natural products if you want to also take the time to support smaller brands.

My picks: For makeup, anything Fenty Beauty because Rihanna (duh) ; for skin care, Hanahana Beauty whose products are made with shea butter directly from the Katariga Women's Shea Cooperative in Ghana.


V. Concert Tickets — Concert tickets are definitely an underrated gift. With this kind of present, you are gifting an experience. Artists tour year round and there is nothing like seeing your favorite artist live. The only thing better than that is not paying for it. Artists also post their tour dates in advance so you can get tickets for something months in advance. This can also double as a present to yourself because you can always join them at the concert!

My picks: Amine, NAO, noname, and Anderson .Paak who are all either on tour or going to be on tour soon!


VI. Vinyls/ LPs — This is one of the simplest gifts you can get. Record players have made an enormous comeback meaning that vinyls are back too. If you’re really dedicated to this idea, I would suggest going to an actual record store (if you can find one) and getting a classic album by an artist that they like. Most new albums that come out these days are also released as LPs and can be found in stores like Urban Outfitters . These gifts are small, but they aren’t cheap so it balances out. Obviously you wouldn’t get this for someone that doesn’t have a record player, but maybe your gift can be buying one for them!

My Picks: Lemonade by Beyonce, DAMN by Kendrick Lamar, Ctrl by SZA, and Scorpion by Drake


VII. Journal/Planner — Gifting a journal or daily planner is a solid gift because during the end of the year, people tend to want to change up their life. They want to start or continue practicing healthy habits like self-reflection and good time-management. You getting it for them just means that they don’t have to buy it themselves. This gift needs to fit their taste though because getting them the wrong type can leave it unused in the new year.

My picks: Urban Outfitters has a lot of planners and journals for up to $20. They also have these really cute velvet astrology journals in-store.


VIII. Fujufilm Instax Mini Cameras — Instant cameras are also making a strong comeback. This is also a gift that lasts long and creates memories in the long run. These are pricey but definitely worth it. I would recommend adding some film so that they have some to start with. It is also a cute Christmas gift because when they open it on Christmas day, they can document the family and fun!

My picks: Urban Outfitters has some in various colors but they can also be found on Amazon.


Because Christmas is right around the corner, I wouldn’t recommend buying any of these items online. Holiday shipping is a hit-or-miss and there is no real guarantee that it will come in time. If you can’t think of a big gift, try getting smaller add-on presents that will make the ones you love smile.

Try to remember that Christmas is not all about gifts and material things. You can give gifts to the less fortunate by donating toys, coats, food, or just your time to those without.

Zari TaylorComment