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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Save Money, Give Better

(Photo by: Cara MacDonald | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which also means that the busiest shopping season of the year is upon us. Family and friends rush to buy the perfect presents nearly two months before Christmas day. We all want to make a good impression and the holidays are the best time to do that. I, for one, will frantically run to Target and the mall searching for top wishlist items. While shopping for the perfect gift is certainly easy, it’s only one of two options. Making gifts is the other choice and it can be equally meaningful. Here are some pros and cons of both purchasing and crafting presents.

Shop ‘til You Drop

Let’s face it, grabbing an item from the store is the easiest gifting resolution — it takes little to no time and you can be out of there in a breeze. Spending five minutes on putting gifts together can be stressful to those with an extraordinarily full agenda, and we all have busy schedules and ought to stick to them. There’s little time for many students to spare between school, work and personal relationships. Dashing to the store on your way home from class or work is convenient.

(Photo by: Cara MacDonald | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Additionally, businesses make it simple to save a whole lot of money during the holidays. The products that our loved ones want can be expensive and may ordinarily break the bank. Black Friday is the best time to save cash on electronics, clothing and furniture. Although it’s only a day after Thanksgiving, the discounts are worth a trip out of the house. Siblings, partners and friends secretly desire some brand-new product on the shelves. Appeasing them is relatively effortless and only requires a flick of the wrist. Black Friday may offer the best deals, but these are not the only discounts. From mid-November until the beginning of January, bargains are aplenty. Keep a look out online and in stores for the biggest markdowns. You might even find something nice to take home for yourself.

Swiping your credit card is simple, yet it can be frustrating. We want to grant those we love an ideal Christmas, so we give to them until we have nothing left to offer. Spending above your budget is likely. Moreover, the item we need to buy as a present isn’t always in stock. We can sprint from store to store until we find what we’re looking for, and this results in wasted time and quite a bit of disappointment. Shopping can be incredibly aggravating, especially during the busy holiday season.

Crafting Corner

Shopping might be easier, but crafting is enjoyable and unveils a deep admiration for someone. If you want to show a loved one just how much you care, this is how you do it. A homemade present doesn’t even have to be for someone you have a close relationship with. Colleagues, bosses, classmates or even your local mail carrier will appreciate this type of gift.

(Photo by: Cara MacDonald | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

There’s more than just who the gift goes to, however. What goes into a present is what truly counts. More often than not, a homemade gift turns out really cool and exceeds expectations. Mason jar mixes, bath bombs and photo albums are only a few options. When you lack all hope, recall that the internet is there to help you. If all else fails, I suggest staying minimal. I’d appreciate a homemade card just as much as a complicated, knitted hat.

Unfortunately, homemade gifts aren’t always completely original. Besides, the materials that a craft requires can be pricey. Whether it’s merely candy or art supplies, costs add up. When attempting an artsy gift, make sure it’s something that will be in your price range. If it’s not, don’t be too hard on yourself. While we wish that it did, money does not grow on trees.

Presents can be expensive, but they also demand a lot of creativity and time. Hundreds of online tutorials on Pinterest may fix inspiration, but a sentimental moment can’t be replaced. If you don’t have a few hours to spare, this kind of project might seem futile. I would avoid crafting gifts if you’re cramped with work and school. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing something from the local store.

One of the hardest parts of the holidays is pinpointing an exquisite gift. Luckily, you can either race to a nearby business or construct a gift with your own two hands. No need to feel pressured to give a present, though. The holidays aren’t about the items that you get, but the closeness you have with those you love. Remember, appreciate the little things. Ultimately, presents aren’t important— it’s those around you who are.

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