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Thanksgiving has come to an end and now it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. With decorations being pulled out of their storage containers and the holiday joy spreading around, there may be some hesitation when it comes to gift giving.

Between paying for books, tuition and other expenses while not always working a full time job, there is little money in the bank for college students who are already notorious for being broke. When Christmas time rolls around, the anxiety of buying gifts starts to boil over. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two very good ways to buy presents on the cheap side, but they aren’t the entire answer. Clothes, shoes and other gift ideas are still expensive, even when they are on sale. 

Here are some ideas for gifts for your loved ones while being on a budget. 

DIY Diffuser 

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The Wellness Center is hosting an event Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 3 to 4 p.m. for participants to make their own diffusers. These can be a great gift for friends that are stressed out college students or hard working parents in need of some relaxation and self-care. The smell of lavender or citrus can really help someone relax and take time to slow down and de-stress from the crazy, hectic world we live in. 

Google Home Mini

Google Home Mini at Barnes and Noble for $49.99 -Photo courtesy of Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Nobles is located right on Rowan Boulevard, which is an easy access for college students to get some pretty great gifts while also being able to use their Rowan Bucks. The Google Home Mini is for sale at only $49 in store. It is a perfect gift for the tech-lovers in the family. 

Rowan Apparel 

Rowan University sweatshirt for sale at Barnes and Noble for $39.98

Who doesn’t love getting more Rowan apparel for Christmas? Parents and siblings love getting sweatshirts and t-shirts that represent the school they pay thousands of dollars for their kid to attend. Barnes and Noble at Rowan University sells sweatshirts that range anywhere from $20 to $40, depending on sales. Head over to the local bookstore and check out their sale rack, which occasionally has some great finds. 

Fun Mugs

Anthropologie mug gift for the coffee or tea drinker in your life. -Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Whether it’s coffee or tea, college students are avid caffeine drinkers. Not only is coffee a staple in a college student’s life, but also in the real world. Mugs are almost always useful. They can be used for hot chocolate by the fire or the first sip of a hot cup of coffee early in the morning. Having a fun mug that is specifically designed and gifted for you makes the drink that much better. Everybody loves fun mugs and Anthropologie sells Tiled Margot Monogram Mugs for only $10! 


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RAH is hosting a Craft-a-Palooza on December 6th at 9:00 pm in the Student Center. Students can come out and make favorite crafts from the fall semester. Options include mosaic tiles, dream catchers and much more. Any parent enjoys having homemade crafts, even it’s from their fully grown college kid. 

Whether it’s browsing in person or online through deals, Christmas shopping can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. There are ways to get really amazing gifts at a low cost and the gift doesn’t have to be large. Sometimes a small, meaningful gift makes a much greater impact. 

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