Satire: Affordable Christmas gift ideas

To fit the budget of most university students, features editor Laura MacDonald gives a run down of affordable gifts to give this holiday season. (Laura MacDonald/AQ)

Christmas is approaching and if you’re anything like me, you didn’t save any CERB from over the summer and now you can’t spoil your loved ones with beautiful sculptures handcrafted by an artist in the south of Italy.

Don’t fear, I’m here to help you find the best Christmas gift. 


My friends and family basically have everything a person could ever own. So I’ve curated a list of adorable gifts that come straight from the heart and don’t hurt your wallet. They’re mostly crafts, but we’re using that word loosely. 

For the little anarchist in your life that loves to commit acts of vandalism, a rock is a perfect gift. You can get a rock from their favourite hangout spot like the beach or the park. To make it more sentimental, take your dried acrylic paints from when you were 11 and paint that rock with all the love in your heart. You should end up with a sweet little rock they can chuck through a window. But at least the rock will have little happy faces on it.

Everyone has that friend with the green thumb. This year, I will gift my friend a dead String of Pearls so they can revive it. I just know my friend will love the time and effort that goes into not only maintaining a plant, but also bringing it back from the dead. If you have a friend like mine, once they bring life back into your flora, snip off a piece without them knowing and you have a brand new string of pearls. 

Have a significant other? Don’t worry, I got you covered. Give them all the receipts you saved from your dates and put them in a shoebox. It’s cheaper than printing photos and they’ll be able to not only reminisce on the fun times you’ve shared but reimburse you when you inevitably break-up. 


I don’t know about you but I start getting ready for Christmas around heavy pickup, where every spring people in Cape Breton leave their junk on the curb for the municipality or random people to pick it up. This past spring I found the perfect piece of junk for my friend with big-city dreams. They planned on moving to Toronto from Halifax this April. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has put a halt to their plans. For Christmas, I’ll be giving them an old mouse cage and a mouse I found on the curb. Now, they’ll have the Toronto ambiance.

I’ve also been getting into upcycling. So for this friend, I’ll also be gifting my Scorpion by Drake CD that my grandmother gave to me in a lack of judgment. Again, to give them the Toronto vibe. Now, I can happily make room for literally any other CD. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! 

The most beautiful part of living in Nova Scotia during the Christmas season is that I can go through the recycling bins of everyone on my block, which I can’t do in Fredericton. So if you’re from New Brunswick, maybe skip this DIY. My neighbour just a few doors down is younger so she often has brightly coloured White Claw cans in her recycling that are necessary for this project. My cousin isn’t the best interior decorator so I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. This year she’ll be gifted a beautiful garland of White Claws and sugar-free Red Bull.

The dreaded gift

Now for the gift you’ve been dreading or forgot about – the one for your parents. This one requires nothing but yourself. It’s a one-person play that you perform in front of the Christmas tree. 

It highlights your family’s most memorable moments. Start by reenacting your birth, maybe throw in your first communion and the time everyone trauma-bonded over pulling the plug on Grandma. Some fun highlights could consist of the time your uncle got drunk and tried to fight a raccoon that was rabid or the infamous Thanksgiving fight of 2019 that you accidentally started when you stupidly brought up Stephen McNeil. I know I’ll be recreating the time I got T-boned while only having my license for 24 hours. 

At the end of the day, the best gift you can give to your parents is yourself. So be loud and obnoxious to remind them you’re still alive.