As told by Tam: five types of friends you might shop for this holiday season

Tamra Smalewitz

It’s that time of year again: the holiday season. That means presents and lots of them to and from family and friends.

Trying to find presents for your friends can be one of the hardest tasks. Yes, of course you know your friend well enough to know what to get them, but what happens when you can’t think of anything they need or would want? If that isn’t hard enough, we are all trying to do it on a college budget.


Read below for some tips on how to find the best presents for your friends during the holidays.

If you are stuck thinking “I have no idea what to get my friend,” let me tell you, you are not alone. The best thing to do is think about their favorite brands of clothing, jewelry and what they like to do in their free time. Once you figure out what they like go onto those websites and find something you can afford to buy them, if you find something they like out of your price range search the Internet for coupon codes to use to decrease the price. If your friend is into the Broncos, I know many retail stores in town, including Target and Walmart carry Broncos attire at a reasonable price. Another way to get a discount is by showing your school ID, places like Charlotte Russe, J Crew, Banana Republic, and more.

In some cases, college students just don’t have extra money to buy presents, so what do we do? Make something — it’s the most sentimental kind of gift, and it shows that you care. By making your friends something for the holiday they are seeing how thoughtful you are by taking the time to make them something from the heart. The website ‘About Money’ has many different gift ideas that anyone can make ranging from gifts in a Jar to wine cork wreaths. BuzzFeed also as a list of 39 do-it-yourself (DIY) gif ideas for the holiday season, complete with instructions for things like Instagram coasters, studded iPhone cases, dip-dyed candles and geode rings.

There are five types of friends I likely shop for during the holiday, and their general gift guidelines that may inspire an idea for the perfect present.

The girly-girl: I would suggest something covered in pink or in glitter, like a Vera Wang wallet, or a phone case.
The sporty one: I’d go for something related to her favorite sports team, like a jersey, hoodie or Rams logo clothing.
The I-don’t-need-anything girl: For the friend that always says she doesn’t need anything, I usually get her a funny present. Something like funny socks or a de-motivational calendar.
The preppy one: I’d suggest getting them a pair of Sperry’s, though they are a bit on the pricier side. Otherwise, something from Vineyard Vines or a gift card to their favorite store would be great options.
The friend that’s hard to shop for: I always go with homemade gifts like those suggested below.

I recommend good old coupons. You can make your friends coupons that they can use whenever they want. For example, you can give them a free dinner coupon, where you can either make dinner for them or take them out. I also recommend crafting. If they are a fan of wall art, you can draw them a picture of something they like, make a dream catcher or a mixed-media piece. 

Don’t stress if you don’t know what to get your friends for the holidays, because they are probably in the same boat. When in doubt, you can always ask them what they want if you can’t think of anything, though that eliminates the surprise. Happy gift hunting, Rams!

Collegian Columnist Tamra Smalewitz can be reached at, or on Twitter @tamrasmalewitz