With the holidays ringing in, Christmas parties and exchange gifts are just around the corner, leaving already-skinny wallets empty and dry and many people scrimping on gifts. But fear not! There are many options for last minute gifts to fit in any kind of budget.
1. Gift cards
Gift cards are not the most personal of gifts, but they’re one of the most useful and versatile things one can give and receive. They’re easy to purchase, and there are a variety of options available for every personality and taste. Starbucks cards, National Bookstore certificates, and H&M gift cards are just some of the great choices that many would love to receive.
H&M gift card minimum: Php 500
Starbucks card minimum: Php 300
National Bookstore gift certificate: Denominations Php 100 and Php 500
2. Care packages
Stress levels are about soar high with the next semester quickly approaching. Help your friend unwind during the holiday break by putting together a care package full of stress-relieving goods. This could include tea bags, sweets, face masks, and maybe even a personal note for some extra encouragement. It’s up to you and the recipient’s interests as these items can be mixed and matched to your liking. Get creative as you can.
The Face Shop face masks minimum: Php 100
Etude House face masks minimum: Php 78
Herbal teas pack minimum: Php 175
In Ateneo, it’s not uncommon to have your umbrella nicked from you sometime within the semester—or the school year, if you’re lucky. Given the country’s temperamental weather, one can never really tell when the sun will be glaring down or when the rain comes crashing down. An umbrella is a great gift to remind a friend to always be prepared for whatever weather. Pro-tip is to get it in a bright or unique color so it’s recognizable from the rest (and making it harder for umbrella thieves to steal).
SM Department store minimum: Php 200
A tumbler is the kind of gift that everyone would use and that won’t likely end up collecting dust on a shelf. Not only is it convenient, but it also much more eco-friendly than having to buy plastic beverage bottles or cups all the time. Make it even more special by including a personal message, a photo, and/or their favorite items inside. Albeit a bit pricier than the rest of the items on this list, it is the perfect gift for those who always need to stay awake on the go.
Starbucks minimum: Php 525
Oftentimes we forego getting a good night’s sleep for the sake of maintaining our QPIs. It’s always nice to remind ourselves that after a long day of working, we too deserve to rest. Pillows are easy gifts because there are so many kinds to choose from: Be it the cute animals at Mumuso or just the simple, solid-coloured ones from the department store. You’re bound to find something that will be great for everyone.
Mumuso minimum: Php 200
6. Chocolate packs
When money is tight or your friend is hard to shop for, food is always a good back-up plan. The Christmas season brings around very nicely packaged, holiday-themed chocolates that can easily be small exchange gifts or stocking stuffers. There are even assorted bundles of miniature candy bars so you get more bang for your buck. Pick some up for your friends to make the Yuletide season a little sweeter.
Minimum: Php 200
Christmas break is a time for winding down and getting comfortable, especially as the days get colder. Socks are one of the comfiest things to gift someone because there’s so much variety to them: Ankle socks, tube socks, foot socks, and more. Brands come out with different patterns and colors so there’s a pair out there for everyone. It’s a simple and fun way to add color to anyone’s wardrobe, be it for family or friends.
Forever 21: P90
Iconic Socks: P150
8. Phone cases
Simple yet useful, one can never go wrong with gifting a phone case. Help your loved one upgrade their phone’s look with a cute and stylish case available almost anywhere. Picking the right one may need some careful consideration, but it won’t be hard to find one that suits the different tastes of your friends and family members. The bazaar stalls in UPTC have a wide variety of budget-friendly phone cases worth checking out, including those in basic colors and trendy, geometric patterns.
Price range: Php 180-400
No matter how pressed for time you might be, there is no need to sacrifice quality for what you can get in a rush. Last minute gift shopping can be less of a drag when you know your options and put thought into what they are. Cram culture is unavoidable, but with a little bit of effort, even the simplest gifts can make the season merry and bright.
Photos by Regine L. Salumbre