College Budget Christmas Gifts

By Lily Cooper

A group of wrapped presents under the tree

Christmas is right around the corner. For the average college student, that means getting to go home with the family and enjoy a nice three weeks of break. It also means buying Christmas gifts for friends and family with money that we don’t have. To make your holiday shopping easier, we have compiled a list of college budget Christmas gifts to get that your loved ones will adore!

Fuzzy Socks

Who doesn’t love fuzzy socks? They are cute, perfect for winter and available in unlimited colors and patterns. You can get some for a dollar at Target!

$5 Starbucks or Dutch Bros. Gift Card

Coffee is a college student’s best friend and what better gift to give your friend than the gift of caffeine? It’s the kind of present that is universally friendly and can be given in creative ways.

Hydroflask Stickers

If your friend has a Hydroflask, get them a sticker or two for it! has a huge selection and you’ll most likely be able to find a sticker that reminds you of your friend.

Cute Mug

Whoever said they had too many mugs was lying! Go to Target and browse their beautiful selection. Add in some candy and it’s the perfect gift for someone you love!

Homemade Cookies

Food is always the answer, especially with finals around the corner. By making a batch or two of cookies, you’re ultimately saving time and money since you’re getting it all done in one go. Put the cookies on cute plates and give them to your friends!


If you have a friend who’s a writer or just loves to journal, this is the perfect gift! They are inexpensive, pretty and enjoyable. Target, Walmart and Amazon all offer some pretty great journals.

Scented Candles

We may not be able to have them in the dorms, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them! They make great gifts for your friends to have sitting at their work desk, at home or just as a decoration! Bath and Body Works is the classic go-to place to find good-smelling candles, but Walmart and Target also have good selections.

A Book

Have a reader as a friend? A book is the obvious choice! Just browse their Goodreads page or what they have on their shelf. Most books on Amazon are under $10.

Hot Chocolate in a Jar

This is a little more involved, but the end result is adorable and personal. Get some mason jars, a big can of cocoa, mini marshmallows, powdered sugar and candy canes. Put a layer of powdered sugar in the jar first, then cocoa, marshmallows, some smashed candy canes on top and put the lid on! Tie a bow around it with a full candy cane attached and you have yourself a cute Christmas gift!

GCU Shirt

With all these GCU T-shirts everywhere, why not give your best friend a GCU Game Day shirt? They would appreciate another to add to their collection.


Give the gift of laundry this year and gift your friend a roll of quarters so they can clean their clothes!

Find out more about making the most of your campus experience at GCU! Be sure to visit the GCU website or use the Request More Information on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.