Meaningful gifts that won’t break the bank


Students around this time of the year struggle to find gifts to give their loved ones. With our limited funds and time, it can be challenging to show love and appreciation for everyone. 

Stress no more, because The Sputnik has affordable gift ideas for studentsyou will be able to wrap up all your love and place it underneath the Christmas tree this year. 

As the weather begins to get colder, staying warm is essential, which is why your family and friends would love to get a homemade blanket.


Photo by Alyssa Brodie / The Sputnik Photography


All you need to do is take a trip to Walmart, Dollarama or Micheals, and purchase a couple of rolls of thick yarn. 

Youtube is an excellent source to turn to for this project. 

Search up “how to create a thick knitted blanket,” and in just a little time, you will have a warm, fuzzy blanket to give away and a new skill.

Depending on how big and long you want to make the blanket, the price will vary because of the amount of yarn you will have to purchase.

Not to worry though, as prices will stay between thirty and forty dollarsa much better price than buying the blanket premade, which starts at one hundred dollars sometimes.  

Another way to warm someone up is by buying them a mug they can fill with some warm hot chocolate. At Crock A Doodle, located at 299 Wayne Gretzky Parkway, you can show up or book a reservation to paint a mug and customize it for the person in mind. 

All the pottery is already made, all you have to do is get as creative as possible and paint the mug. 


Photo by Tara Johnson / The Sputnik Photography


There are also other options if your person does not need another mug. There are plates, kettles, piggy banks and other knick-knacks. The price will vary, but it should not cost more than twenty dollars. The price also includes a glaze and polish for your gift so it will look professional.

It will take between one to two weeks before you will be allowed to pick it up, but it is worth it for the personal touch.

For a more Christmas themed gift, an ornament might do the trick. 

Malls during the Christmas shopping season, have shops set up for buying ornaments and they can be personalized.

Brantford’s very own Lynden Park Mall has one but other malls such as Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket or Square One in Mississauga, have one too. 

Chances are your local mall has one, so check it out.

In these stores, you can pick which ornament you would like, and then write on a little sticky note what you want to be written on it and they will engrave it for you. The smaller ornaments range from fifteen to twenty dollars and the larger ornaments range from thirty to fifty dollars. 

If you want a message written on the ornament, it is highly suggested to invest in a smaller one and then get the message written on it.

With some ornaments, you can incorporate names on them that will be assigned to a cute little snowman, elf, or person wearing a Santa hat. 


Photo by Alyssa Brodie / The Sputnik Photography


It is a great present for parents or grandparents from their children and/or grandchildren. Sentimental value is always a good route to go when giving others gifts. 

A great gift to give to a friend is ‘open when cards.’


Photo by Alyssa Brodie / The Sputnik Photography


These cards cost very little, all you need are some pencil crayons, markers, and a set of envelopes with cards to put inside of them.

All these tools can easily be found at the dollar store for less than five dollars. 

Basically, you write these cards that are only allowed to be opened when a certain scenario or emotion applies to the person whom you are giving them to.

It is a great way to help a friend in need when they need to hear words of wisdom, motivation or get some advice.

Once they are open, it does not mean that they cannot be reread.

It’s a gift that keeps giving once received and also leaves suspense for all the cards that may not be opened and read right away. 

Something else that could be of sentimental value to a family member is painting the hands of all the children in the household and giving it to either the parents or grandparents. 

Remember to include the furry children that may be running around the house. 

Again, take a little trip to the dollar store and invest in a canvas, paint and paintbrushes, if these items are not already laying around your house.

This gift should not cost more than ten dollars if it does, what dollar store are you going to? 

It is something they can mount on their wall and also look at to be reminded of their loving children or grandchildren. It will be something for them to cherish for the rest of their lives. 

Investing in these gifts will definitely give students a creative edge while staying within their budgets this Christmas. 

However, the most important thing to remember is that no matter how expensive the gift is, Christmas is all about giving back to the community and surrounding yourself with the ones you love. 

Putting some extra hard work and love into these gifts this Christmas may be the way to go with all the lack of hope people have experienced this year. 

The Sputnik wishes that all students have a  Happy Holidays and that they stay safe.


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