The trick to holiday shopping is to spend as little as possible and make everyone think you went out of your way to get them a great gift.
Chances are, when finals roll around your brain will be fried and it will be impossible to think of anything creative for any of the important people in your life.
Here are some ideas in different price ranges so you can get started on your shopping before you blow all your money on an end-of-the-semester keg:
Nickel — Micro-fleece blanket wrapped in a bow by Do Your Room at Target for $19.99. Most dads will appreciate a practical gift that is warm and fuzzy.
Dime — “Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 1” for $39.99 at Target. There is nothing like Larry David’s biting sarcasm to make your dad crack a smile.
Quarter — iPod Touch for $299 at the Apple Store. The latest technology will likely create a fetish for Apple products and their touch-screen innovation.
Nickel — Two Photo Album gift set at Target for $14.99. There’s nothing better for an empty-nester than to reminisce on the children she no longer has control over.
Dime — Softest Robe on Earth at Bath and Body Works for $35. This robe is unbelievably soft and your mom will probably turn it into her new favorite outfit.
Quarter — Kodak Easy Share SV710 Digital Picture Frame for $99.95 at Kodak’s Web site. This is a wonderful gift for anyone on your list to create a slideshow of memories that last a lifetime.
Nickel — Creative Coffee Mugs from Francesca’s on 29th Street for $12. Whether they have inspirational quotes or hilarious sayings, these mugs make waking up early a little less painful than usual. You can order them online at Francesca’s
Dime — Victoria’s Secret Pajama Set for $39.50 Victoria’s Secret. These comfortable pajama sets come wrapped in a bow — a nice time-saver for the college student with more important things to do.
Quarter — Bose in-ear headphones at Targetfor $99.95. Any music lover will adore these high-quality headphones.
Nickel — “Family Guy: Brian Griffin’s Guide: to Booze, Broads, and the Lost Art of Being a Man” for $10.17 at Border’s Bookstore. Give your brother the advice that you don’t have the energy to give him.
Dime — “Entourage Season 2” for $39.99 at Target. This quality show will remind your bro of what his life would be like if he were a successful multi-millionaire.
Quarter — “Guitar Hero Three: Legends of Rock” video game for $79.99 at Target. Be careful with this one — it has been said to be highly addictive.
Nickel — Papyrus has beautiful journals for $19.95, this way your roommate can get all their complaints out on paper instead of in a drunken tirade.
Dime — “Sex and the City Season 1” for $29.99 at Target. DVDs work nicely as roommate gifts because you get to enjoy them too — a win-win situation.
Quarter — “The O.C. Complete Season Collection” at Target for $119.99. A glorious way to waste a Sunday afternoon and become immersed in the tangled romantic lives of Ryan and Marissa.
A word to the wise on gift-giving: If you question whether or not someone will like something, trust your instinct because it’s probably not the right gift. Among a hefty list of things to avoid buying for people, a few important ones to remember are clothing (they will more than likely just return it, how sure are you really of their size?), paintings (your art sense may not be as good as you think) and toiletries. When in doubt, hand a gift card out. It may seem impersonal, but in the end it may turn out to be more satisfying.
Remember that it is the holiday season, so don’t take any of your shopping too seriously, and don’t forget to pinch a few pennies for that keg that has been waiting all semester to be tapped.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Sarah Stern at firstname.lastname@example.org