Shopping advice for the holidays

Tips for getting your friends and loved ones the best gifts

By Davie Wong, Sports Editor

It’s that time of year again! There are Christmas decorations everywhere, festive feelings in the air, and most importantly, festive drinks for sale! Like, seriously—why can’t they sell the eggnog lattes all year round?!

And while drinking your life away in festive jubilation might be your reason for celebrating the Yule season, your friends and family probably love it for another reason. I am talking, of course, about the exchange of gifts that society expects us to uphold as tradition! While you may not be able to weasel your way out of that one (trust me, you can’t), I’m here to make your holiday shopping take less of a toll on your heart, and lessen the damage on your wallet. Here are just some of my tips to get you through the money-gouging season!

First off, the timing of when you go to buy your gifts is one of the most important parts of not getting yanked by corporate scams. It’s a well-known fact that companies raise the prices on everything during the buying season. It’s also widely known that every store puts away stock in the back for one specific day of the year: Christmas Eve, of course! Once Christmas Eve comes around, everything comes out. But everyone knows that, so the best time to go do your shopping isn’t actually during the day, it’s during the evening of Christmas Eve. It’s assumed that everyone has done their shopping by then, so stock is plentiful, and lines are minimal. And while prices may still be sky-high, most store employees can be convinced to give you their store discount when you tell them that a certain big man in a red suit won’t be able to afford to come tonight if they don’t budge on the discount.

That takes care of the when, but the hard part is often thinking of what to get people. Well, I’m here to help with that too! The best advice I can give you is to be spontaneous! Don’t put thought into it! If you do, you run the risk of overthinking it, and they’ll end up hating what you get them. Just get them what you think is cool. Make sure it’s what YOU think is cool. Sweet Saint Nick forbid you actually ask them what they want. What’s the fun in that?

Next on the list is one of the bigger taboos of Christmas giving: The dreaded cash/gift card. Who the heck actually likes unwrapping their box only to find some cheap plastic card inside, or even worse, paper¾or whatever the government makes it out of now¾currency! The best part about Christmas is getting boxes with actual gifts in them! So no, cash and gift cards don’t count.

The other taboo is alcohol. While it may seem cool to gift your friends a nice bottle of something to help them get through some tough times, it actually isn’t. I mean, no matter how you wrap that sucker, they’re going to know what it is the minute they see it, which instantly makes it a lame gift. Save the booze; you’ll probably want it later, anyway.

So if you can’t get them cash or gift cards, and you can’t gift them the sweet embrace of intoxication, what can you give them? Well, I’m glad you asked! Following in line with my point about being spontaneous, skip the clothes. I mean everyone gets clothes for Christmas. You don’t want to be a plain old Joe, do you? Obviously not, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.

What you want is actually pretty easy to find. Just go into the toy store and buy a bunch of defective toys! I mean, who doesn’t like toys? By buying the defective toys, you’re buying the unique ones. The ones that have a story, and don’t look like the rest. By buying your friend a defective toy, you’re buying them a story. Now tell me that doesn’t sound cool! And it fits into the rest of the guidelines! It isn’t cash or a card, they can’t drink it (hopefully), it isn’t clothing, and you can bet that it’s cheap and easy to find! Now that sounds like a killer Christmas gift. Easy on you, and pleasing to all. This leaves you more time to eat all of Santa’s cookies and drink all his milk. I hope he likes wine, because if your friends didn’t read this article, I know what you’ll have a lot of!

Happy shopping my little experts! Go out there and make your holiday season that much easier on yourself. I know I will!