Christmas giving on college student budget

DIY Christmas present ideas to save you the money you don’t actually have

by Ashlynn Phillips

Let’s face it, some of us are broke college students. So when Christmas rolls around, we find ourselves scraping together all the change we can find to buy somewhat acceptable gifts for our loved ones. But this time why not save your quarters and dimes for your late night Taco Bell runs and hand make this year’s Christmas presents? These gifts are little to no cost, and will please almost anyone as they open them Christmas morning.

Prepared cookies-in-a-jar recipe  

This recipe, from Pinterest, is perfect for the people who love spending time in the kitchen during the holiday season.

Cowboy Cookies:
Start out with a one quart jar. You can use a recycled empty one you have sitting   around. Layer the ingredients in the jar like this:
First: 1 ¼ cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp salt
Second: 1 cup cooking oats
Third: ¾ cup brown M&M’s
Fourth: ¾ cup chocolate chips
Fifth: ½ cup brown sugar
Sixth: ½ cup white sugar
Seventh: ½ cup chopped pecans
Pack each level down tightly. I mean it. Pack it in, or else it won’t all fit. To decorate the jar, cut some western bandana fabric into a 6-inch square and place on top of the jar. Tie some brown ribbon around the lid to hold it in place. Attach a small recipe card to the string with these steps written on it: Mix dry ingredients together. Then add 1 egg, ½ cup butter, and 1 tsp vanilla. Roll cookie dough into 1 ½ inch balls and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Movie night in a basket

This cheap and easy gift basket can be given to anyone who is an avid movie watcher. Take a large empty tub of popcorn and fill it with boxes of movie candy and popcorn from the dollar store. Add a couple of $5 DVD’s from Walmart, or for a cheaper option, pick up some of the offbeat DVDs at a thrift store. Now you’ve just gifted some Friday night entertainment.

Coffee mug message

This gift is something exceedingly easy to make, and is perfect for all you non-crafty people out there. All you need is a Sharpie pen and a plain, solid-colored coffee mug. Write a personalized message on the mug and then bake it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. It’s a great idea for all the hot-tea drinkers and coffee lovers you might know.

Easy scented candle

For the people who don’t like cookies or popcorn, candles are an excellent choice. A person can never have too many candles. This is an extremely easy gift that is sure to make the whole house smell wonderful. For this you will need a round, tall, unscented candle that is at least 3 inches in diameter, cinnamon sticks (which you can buy at the grocery store for a few dollars), scissors and a hot glue gun.

Measure the candle height and cut the cinnamon sticks to that length. Run the hot glue along the cinnamon stick and stick it vertically to the side of the candle. Repeat to cover candle. Tie some colorful ribbon around the candle to give it a festive look.  

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