Christmas wishlist

Lorna Lawless

Christmas is just around the corner which means panic shopping is beginning. It can be a notoriously expensive time of year, especially when your still a student. When we are all busy trying to prep for exams and handing in our final assignments for the end of the term, the last thing you want to be thinking about is what to buy for your loved ones. It can be really difficult to think up a good present that won’t break your already low student bank balance.

When we are discussing gifts for loved ones it’s essential to first write out who you need to buy for. Cut it down to a concise list of people, and then write beside each an estimate of how much money to spend. Now it’s very important to be realistic for your personal budget. You may want to treat this person, however, sometimes your bank account can’t handle it and smaller more meaningful gifts are always better. So be real with yourself and eliminate expense which could potentially put you in debt come January. It’s time to be smart with your money and not get overwhelmed with the retail frenzy that comes with Christmas.

Fathers, brothers and boyfriends can be extremely challenging to buy for. It is hard to know whether they already have the cologne or if they need the new beats etc. It is always a good idea to try an original cost-effective present that will be meaningful or just funny. One idea is getting a book, every year some of the top sports people in the world just before Christmas launch their latest biography which shops can’t keep on the shelves. Last year it was Paul O’Connell this year it looks to be ‘At All Costs’ by Davy Fitzgerald which comes in at a reasonable €19.99 in Easons. Also, something which is noteworthy about Easons is they offer 10% off for students, you can get this discount storewide, all year around. If sports isn’t their thing why not look into some comedy Tommy Tiernan’s new book ‘Under the Influence’ is guaranteed to give them a good laugh and they can read it over the Christmas break.  This book comes in at just €14.99 in Easons or on Amazon. If this guy loves a hot whiskey during the Christmas season and is a McGregor fan,  why not get a bottle of ‘Proper Twelve’ for €35.

Some guys don’t focus on skincare and sometimes it’s nice to treat them to a few nice products they can use every day. Bulldog is always a solid favourite for guys. Bulldog has a range of products to suit all skincare times. One Christmas set they offer is the full-sized original moisturiser, face wash and face scrub which all comes in a washbag for just €20. A very inexpensive idea is to print wallet size photos of you both and give it to them in a Christmas card for them to stick in their wallet. Not only is it a meaningful idea, but it is really inexpensive if your scrapping this season. If you have the money, why not buy a nice wallet from River Island and put the photo in it. Lastly what guy doesn’t like to smell great? Boots this time of year offer some really great value on cologne. Another place which is amazing for scents for guys is The Body Shop they offer some great scents for great value. It worth shopping online for these fragrances because when you shop around you tend to get better value.

Its proving difficult these days to buy good gifts for women without spending a small fortune. When making a list of who to buy for, it can become never-ending. The mother, the best friend, the sister, the girlfriend, the godmother… You need to narrow it down and again set a realistic budget, it can really help if you research how you can get value for money. A simple but very cute idea is to make a scrapbook. Most bookstores do multiple scrapbooks at a range of prices. When printing photos there is a fantastic site called which allows you to upload your photo, decide on the size and design. Then these photos get them sent to you by post in no time. This really helps during study weeks when you just don’t have time to stand in the chemist waiting for photos to print. A can’t go wrong gift is a planner. Planners are handy and can always be used by everyone, plus if they have a cute design who could refuse? an Irish online retailer offers some of the best value on these. The planner classic size sells for €25.00 and their designs are very cute and nicely laid out. This website also sells Kate Spade planners too if you are willing to splash out more cash.

Another can’t go wrong gift is a jewellery box, on this website, there are so many options. One of the best sellers stating “Random Crap” costing only €20.00 will provide a good laugh and comes in handy for any woman who leaves her jewellery hanging around the place. A thoughtful gift for any woman would be to make a box of her favourite things. You buy the gift box in Hallmark from €7.99 and fill it with her favourite bits. For example include her favourite chocolate, a new pair of pyjamas and fluffy socks along with a nail varnish and maybe some skincare like a face mask. It shows you put the effort in, but you didn’t have to overspend. Lastly the obvious one the makeup sets. Benefit offer amazing deals this time of year, with some great sets including some of their best selling products. Mac also offers sets of mini lipsticks and eyeshadow pigments for €30. Shopping online for these gifts is advised, you have the option of shopping around many different stores for the same item and see the markup in some stores.

In all cases, it’s better to plan and budget before shopping. Make the list, yes it’s simple but you will have more money for the night-out if you are more careful. Be mindful people will remember the gifts you put effort into rather than the price tag.

Lorna Lawless

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