Countdown to Winter Break: 12 Holiday Gift Ideas for Family and Friends


Gina Ngo, Editor-in-Chief

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Every December, shopping centers and malls are flooded with crowds rushing to find the perfect gifts for their family, peers, teachers, and coworkers.  Finding decent, yet affordable gifts can be difficult, especially if you only have a few weeks until the holidays.  Here is a list of gift ideas that are versatile for a variety of people, ranging from close friends and relatives to your teachers. 

1. Watch

Watches are great fashion accessories that can spice up an outfit and are convenient for telling time.  A watch can be gifted to a friend or sibling, who enjoys wearing jewelry and would appreciate a two-in-one type of gift that both enhances an outfit and provides a source of telling time.  

2. Slippers

The frigid weather in the winter puts most people in the mood to cuddle up in a blanket and stay cozy by a fireplace.  A pair of slippers may bring extra comfort and warmth to anyone’s feet on a cold winter day. Slippers, which come in many different colors and designs, are accessible in stores, such as Target and Macy’s.

3. Wallet

A wallet is a practical gift that is essential for everyone.  We all need storage for our gift cards, IDs, and cash.  Perhaps, purchasing one that has a pocket for a smartphone, as well as a ring for a keychain, would be most convenient.  

4. Aromatherapy Diffuser

In this day in age, most people are overwhelmed with work, school, socializing, and balancing everything in life.  It would be nice to take some time to sit down, read a good book, and breathe for a few minutes.  An aromatherapy diffuser is inexpensive and would be much appreciated by your parents, siblings, and even teachers.  The receiver of this gift could use whatever type of essential oil they please and change the diffuser to a color they like if it comes with this function. This would be a nice de-stresser for anyone to use during a busy day.  

5. Mug

Giving your coworker, teacher, or family member a mug would remind them of you, as they sip warm coffee or tea out of it everyday.  Drinking out of a mug that makes you smile would boost your mood during any time of day.  Most affordable mugs are sold at your local grocery, dollar, and furnishing stores, as well as online.  

6. Picture Frame

A picture frame with a photo of your family or friends is a sentimental gift that a receiver could place on their bedside stand, office desk, living room table, or counter.  It not only decorates an environment, but it also reminds them of you everyday when they glance at it.

7. Gloves

It is almost the middle of December and temperatures are dropping quickly.  Most people are wrapped up in their puffy winter coat, beanie, and scarf, but probably realize that they neglected their hands when they feel them numbing up in the frosty winter air.  High-quality and warm, yet affordable gloves are essential for getting through the winter.  Most local department stores, such as Kohl’s and Macy’s, offer a wide selection of warm gloves.  

8. Throw Blanket

In maintaining the theme of the chilly winter, anyone would appreciate a soft blanket to wrap themselves in, whether they are on the couch watching a movie or getting some homework done.  Blankets are not only great for providing warmth, but they also make perfect decorations for couches or beds.

9. Pajamas

Most people simply wear an old oversized sweatshirt and a pair of cotton pants to go to bed.  Few people go out of their way to purchase a nice set of pajamas for themselves.  Parents, friends, and siblings would be happy to receive a comfortable pair of pajamas this holiday and wear it throughout the winter.  Pajamas are cozy to lounge in around the house and also create a put-together outfit to wear when completing daily household chores.

10. Shower Gel and Body Lotion

Bath & Body Works has many good sales and deals throughout the year, especially around Black Friday and the holidays.  When you walk into the shop, it is hard to resist buying everything once you become immersed in the wonderful scents of candles, mists, and shower products.  Shower gels and body lotion, in addition to other fragrant products sold at Bath & Body Works, are not only practical, but they also make people smell fresh.  

11. Tea or Coffee

Many people enjoy drinking a warm cup of coffee or tea when they wake up and begin their day.  Perhaps, you could save your friend or teacher a trip to Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks for a month by gifting them a coffee or tea set.  Purchasing this would give you the opportunity to explore unique flavors of tea, such as cucumber mint, ginger lemongrass, and apricot amaretto, and unique flavors of coffee, such as macadamia nut, pecan pie, and toasted coconut macaroon.  

12. Books

As we live in an era in which many are so consumed by the distractions of ever-evolving technology and gadgets, reading books for leisure is not as common as it used to be.  Gifting books to your parents, siblings, or friends, may encourage them to step away from their smartphones and television screens, and instead pick up reading as a new hobby.  Perhaps you can pass on a book that you have read and enjoyed or research some newly released ones, which may include biographies, memoirs, fiction stories, and even cookbooks.  You can never go wrong with books because you can tailor your choices according to the interests of the receiver.  

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