Child development junior Erika Kimball said she likes making homemade gifts because she feels like she put more thought and effort into it.

Erin Abzug

During the holidays, food seems to fall on our plates, the weather changes with the time and family comes together. But the stress of buying gifts comes before relaxing and warm holiday nights can be enjoyed. With some gift suggestions, hopefully presents will already be wrapped before the holidays creep up.

For a Significant Other:

Child development junior Erika Kimball shared some creative ideas to make the perfect homemade gift.

“I feel like if I made the gift, I put more thought and effort into it, so I attribute more meaning to it,” Kimball said.

Kimball suggests making a photo album out of paper bags.

“Fold each bag in half and each page of the paper bag is a photo,” Kimball said. Additionally, the compartments in the paper bags provide places to hide surprise gift cards.

For Grandparents:

Kimball suggested buying clear ornaments and dripping colored paint into them. Move the ornament around, turn it upside down, and the paint makes swirls and designs.

“I made my mom candles made with crayons,” Kimball said.

Take a tall and skinny candle, light it and melt the crayons using the candle. The crayons will drip down over the candle, making colored patterns of your choice.

For those not as artistically talented as Kimball, stores are filled with great and easy options.

For a Significant Other:

The Bath and Body Works 2012 Gift Guide suggests buying the fragrance Forever Red for women.

“We’ve paired the richest and rarest ingredients to create our most feminine and surprising fragrance collection yet!” as is described in the guide.

Bath and Body Works also sells lotions flavored from candy apple, twisted peppermint, frosted gingerbread, cinnamon frosting, vanilla bean and pink sugarplum.

Industrial engineering junior Alex Ly said popular scents for men are Old Spice Swagger and Polo Blue by Ralph Lauren.

Sunglasses are also a practical present. Sunglass Hut sales associate Katie McDonald said that Ray Ban Wayfarers and Oakley Holbrooks are most stylish for men right now.

Sunglass Hut carries different sunglass styles for driving, golfing, running, cycling, skiing and snowboarding.

For a Friend: 

“My go-to would be the accessories as a quick gift for a friend,” Forever 21 sales associate Vincent Escoto said.

On Black Friday, Forever 21 sold nail polish, tote bags, socks, bracelets, beanies, tops, scarves, graphic tees, flannels, pants, sweaters and denim for ten dollars or less.

You can never go wrong buying gift cards for friends. If you know your friends’ favorite restaurants, clothing stores and hobbies, buying gift cards takes less than five minutes and are easily wrapped.

Snapback hats are a popular gift for men according to Ly.

“I would like any snapback from stores like Central Coast or Moondoggies Beach Club,” Ly said.

For Dad:

Sports Authority store manager Nathan Camack said gifts having to do with golf are very popular.

“Iron sets to drivers to golf balls are always really big for Christmas,” Camack said.

Camack also suggested footwear, binoculars, knives and Leatherman Multi-Tools.

If you’re looking for a more traditional gift for your father, Men’s Warehouse has a wide array of ties. Assistant manager Jennifer Backlund explained that when a customer comes looking to buy a tie for another person, there is a bit of an interview process.

“We try to make an educated guess. With people’s clothing, it’s personal,” Backlund said.

Backlund recommended a more conservative style tie for a father — regular width and simple, basic patterns.

“Try not to go too trendy with a tie that’s too skinny,” Backlund said.

For Mom: 

“Apparel tends to be more popular with the ladies,” Camack said.

North Face jackets, beanies, gloves, footwear and fitness apparel were all present ideas Camack suggested.

Sales associate Lauren Conover from the downtown store Lulu Luxe said, “A go-to holiday gift for any woman is definitely a chunky knit sweater. You won’t have to worry about sizing because they are meant to be worn loose and comfy.”

Conover said hunter green and eggplant are popular winter colors this year.

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