A Guide to Gift-Buying for the Broke Student | Ashleigh Hayman

It’s that time of year. Again.


You would think after years of this season, it would finally stop creeping up on us and we’d have gotten the knack of
this buying present craic? Or at least developed enough cop on to start saving in November? But sadly, no; yet again, we all collectively scratch our heads and search our empty wallets.


It’s now December, so we have three choices:

1. Buy no one anything and just face the dire consequences. This is not to be recommended, although it has been tested out more than once.

2. Abstain from food, alcohol and lectures for the next three weeks in order to search the aisles with all available time and money.

3. Valiantly try and be cheap and thoughtless, yet still have (lovingly oblivious) friends/family come January.



If you’re opting for number 3, good luck. To give you a fighting chance, here are some fool-proof ideas:


Option A:  Leave the country.

This way you get to spend any money you do have on yourself while avoiding all Christmas obligations. However, this is only a delay technique; you will be interrogated on return as to what you brought them all back.


Option B:  Claim you are no longer a celebrant of Christmas and have joined some other faith.

Again, this has drawbacks – it is unlikely anyone will get you anything either. Not even Santa.


Option C:  Buy presents but spend as little as humanly possible.

When it comes to friends, well, you really can just buy nothing. Clearly agree you are all going out to the pub instead. If you suffer from the really insistent type of mates, suggest a secret santa (and then swear you pulled out a blank piece of paper) or offer to do the washing-up/take notes in lectures/lend them that jumper.

If you happen to be mammy’s darling, then this is the easiest one to escape. Get out the ol’ arts and crafts and make her a card.

Or a pasta shell frame. Heck, anything stuck together is likely to look like a Picasso in her rose-tinted eyes.

For fathers, the proverbial pair of reindeer socks always does the trick. Or a Christmas jumper, preferably the one Ryan Tubridy wore on the Toy Show.

If you don’t presently want to maim/kill/undermine your siblings, head to the Euro2 store (I hear they do a lovely selection of perfumes and aftershaves). Or, where appropriate, throw them your genius Leaving Certificate notes. If you are feeling very festive, you could even promise not to beat them or ‘borrow’ their clothes for a week or two.

As for boyfriends/girlfriends, the most sensible plan is to break up with them a couple days before Christmas and avoid all this nonsense. Alternatively, please see choice two above – even I wouldn’t recommend trying to avoid this one if you hope to not be single in the New Year!

Disclaimer: While I can’t see any reasons for complaints, I don’t guarantee smiley happy faces once the wrapping comes off.