Presence of presents


Photo by Josh Kim

As someone who starts celebrating Christmas in November (controversial, I know), I always get excited to start my gift shopping early. I usually have a difficult time trying to figure out perfect gifts for my picky family, so this year, I made an easy gift guide. Here are a few ideas of presents to purchase for your family:


Gifts for your mom, grandma or any other woman/mother figure in your life:

Heated blanket– My mom and I’s favorite place is the couch with big blankets on, since we are both always freezing. I know the second I give this to her she will open it up and put it on. It’s a cozy present perfect for Christmas morning. 

UV phone cleaner– A device that disinfects your cell phone would be a great gift for everyone this year. The coronavirus has made me paranoid about the things my phone touches but, even without COVID-19, this would be a thoughtful gift.

Essential oils– Almost all women have a collection of essential oils, and if someone you know doesn’t, it would be a great idea to start their obsession.

Custom puzzles– On the Shutterfly website you can craft a custom puzzle from a photo of your own. I gave one to my grandmother last year with a family photo and she loved the idea of it, not to mention it was an enjoyable family activity to complete the puzzle on Christmas day.

Perfume– Perfume could go either way: a nice modest gift if you don’t have a lot of money to spend or, if you happen to have lots of money to spend, an expensive gift to someone in your life. 


Gifts for your dad, grandpa or any other man/father figure in your life:

Blue light glasses– These glasses are supposed to protect your eyes from the light your phone and electronics give off. Anyone could benefit from these, especially people who get headaches or dizzy easily.

Keurig– I feel like all men over the age of 30 are somehow obsessed with black coffee. I could never. A new Keurig is a nice gift to make it easier for dads to drink coffee daily. 

Temperature control mug– A perfect gift to go along with the Keurig – a temperature control mug will keep coffee hot and cold drinks cool. 

Wallet– It seems like every man has had the exact same old wallet for at least a decade. Keep your dad humble and finally be the one to get him a new wallet. 

North face fleece– These fleeces from North Face are comfy for anyone of any size and age, and perfect for the somewhat-cold-but-not-freezing winters we have in Texas.


Gifts for your friends:

Ukulele– A fun hobby I took up in quarantine is playing the guitar, which I really enjoyed when I had nothing to do. For your friends doing online school who don’t really leave their houses, a ukulele, guitar or really any instrument is a creative gift. 

Record player & vinyls– I’m obsessed with the oldies trend of owning record players and vinyls. Cheap vinyls can be found at thrift stores, but even popular artists are offering vinyls of their albums being sold at Target and on Amazon. 

Masks– Whether it be skin care face masks or COVID-19 protection masks, these are perfect for small ‘stocking stuffers.’ 

Portable charger– Almost everyone I know has asked to borrow my charger at some point or another, and a portable charger will solve the problem of never being able to use my OWN charger. Or, if you’re that friend, you could give yourself a portable charger to inherently give your friends their own chargers back. 

At home escape rooms– Most Christmas traditions that consist of big families and going places aren’t going to be able to be done this year. Board games or escape room games are a fun activity that could be done with friends and family on Christmas Day. 


Funny White Elephant gifts: One tradition my friends and I have is playing the White Elephant gift exchange game and finding the funniest random items to give each other. Here are a few ideas for gifts if you would like to take on this tradition:


Funny socks– You can’t ever go wrong with socks, I mean, except when they’re just a boring gift. But when there’s a funny image or an inside joke between you and your friends printed on the socks, it’s a comical, functional and cheap gift.

ComfyThe Comfy is something I’ll be asking for this year. It’s a huge blanket-hoodie combo, which fits its name perfectly. It’s also one-size fits all, so it would be a great gift for anyone.

Shaped waffle maker– I never hesitate to admit my love for waffles, and who doesn’t love them? A waffle maker that’s mini or shaped in some way would make the waffle-consuming process even more enjoyable for a friend. 

Mini wavy inflatable tube: This one sounds weird, but trust me, you’ll understand when you search up those words. It’s a staple to anybody’s childhood, or at least something recognizable by anybody. I got it for my brother last year as a funny gag-gift and it was definitely a success. It has a button where it can blow up and move around, just like the ones you see in front of car dealerships. Tell me that’s not enjoyable. 

Crocs– I’m extremely proud of my crocs with watermelons on them and, although they’re relatively ugly, I think something like this could pass as a funny and functional gift. 


Expensive gift items to save on Black Friday:

Stand mixer (& cooking supplies)– A Kitchen Aid mixer is a dream for your family members who love to bake. As an owner of one myself, it makes the baking experience so much more convenient. 

Apple watch– An amazing gift for anyone who loves to exercise, or just enjoys convenience. An Apple Watch is basically a mini iPhone on your wrist and makes it so you don’t have to bring your phone everywhere you go.

Projector– One of my all-time favorite presents I’ve ever received – I can watch movies from the comfort of my own room, or even just scroll through TikTok with a projection of my phone on my ceiling. 

Smart notebook– The notebook that has gotten famous on TikTok, with which you can write in it and the writing automatically transfers onto your devices. It makes for easily organized and handwritten notes. 

Nintendo Switch– A somewhat oldie but a goodie. It seems after three years of the first one having been released, Nintendo Switches haven’t ever gone out of “style” or popularity.