Christmas shopping on a student budget

By Sofia Holowatsky

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…except for our wallets. This is especially true for students that may be unemployed and want to find meaningful gifts for their loved ones. So how can you keep the magic of Christmas alive on a student budget?

Here are some suggestions that might help make the holiday season a little less stressful and a little more affordable:

  1. Who doesn’t love the smell and taste of freshly baked cookies during Christmas time? Get your aprons and recipe books out for a home baked or cooked present. For a Ukrainian twist, how about some freshly homemade varenyky, borscht or holubtsi? 
  2. Rather than your typical go-to gift card, try making a personalized kit — university survival, destresser or hobby kits are just a few ideas to make your present a little more unique.
  3. Hit up your local Ukrainian bazaar to support small Ukrainian businesses! Here you might find beautiful Ukrainian hustky, handcrafted ornaments, and other traditional pieces.
  4. For a more sentimental gift, try a DIY photo book sharing your favourite memories. Reminisce about the pre-COVID days of zabava going and in-person USO events!
  5. Make Baba proud and learn how to knit or crochet. Then you can use your new talent to make socks, hats or even trendy tops for your friends! If you’re feeling really ambitious, why not try embroidering your own vyshyvanka?
  6. Get creative and design matching t-shirts for you and your best friends. All you need is a printer and transfer paper to iron on your customized design. 
  7. Give the gift of time and get Mama what she really wants — a clean house and a night sipping hot cocoa and watching Christmas movies.
  8. Got any artistic talents? Record your own Koliyada album for Baba and Dido for a gift they’ll never forget. 
  9. Have a funny sibling photoshoot and frame the photos to give Mama and Tato a laugh this Christmas season.
  10. Last but not least, never underestimate the power of a homemade card. Pair your present with a personal message and Christmas cheer.

These are only a few ideas to keep your Christmas spirits high without taking a hit to the bank account. In the end, Christmas isn’t all about the gifts and how much you spend. The most thoughtful gifts are the ones that come from the heart. Merry Christmas and Веселих Свят!