Sure, the holiday season may be about family, friends and food, but come on – we all know it’s the gifts that make the season bright. But for those who may not be the savviest shoppers, here are some ideas for meaningful and unique gifts.

Looking for something crafty but aren’t sure you have the creative chops of Martha Stewart? features handmade products ranging from home décor to arts and crafts to dog shampoo. Because users run their own individual “stores,” prices vary greatly, but a little digging can yield some serious deals.

In search of unique fashions on a dime? Sure, staples like Walmart and Target might have some things, but to truly find forward-thinking fashion, take a step back and check out some of the area’s great thrift stores. With a little imagination, items found at thrift stores can become new gifts. For example, put an old record in the oven, place it over a cooking pot and presto – you have yourself a custom-made bowl.

Located only a few minutes from campus, Yesterday’s Rose is famous for its incredibly cheap record section and extensive collection of clothing, jewelry and furniture.

For friends with a quirky sense of humor, finding the right present poses a challenge. But fear not, for has your answer. Simply send a picture to their website and they’ll create a stuffed animal based on the image. While they run a little on the expensive side (at around $70 a doll), this one-of-a-kind gift will be the talk of the season.

While sports fans can be some of the easiest people to shop for, most of these gifts lack a personal touch. This year, consider making the sports nut on your list feel like part of the action., the site known for its larger-than-life vinyl wall decals, can take a custom image and turn it into a unique and eye-catching decal. Fathead’s price range is varied, but tends to be somewhat pricey ($79-$199.) However, for a 6-foot decal of their favorite player (or maybe even of your sports fanatic friends in their playing days), the price is well worth it.

Instead of hitting the department stores and outlets this holiday season, checking out the Web and doing a little digging in your neighborhood can yield some pleasant and unexpected results.

-Patrick Wall


Sure, we all want to get that special someone a gift they’ll really love – something that comes from the heart. Well, if that’s your goal, make sure to avoid the following gifts this holiday season:


It’s the classic “I’m winging your Christmas gift” gift. For the small population of fruitcake lovers out there, great! Enjoy your fruitcake. The rest of us will be sitting in the corner, contemptuously bristling at your lack of concern.
(, $19.95)

Calculator watch

“Look, honey! It’s a watch AND a calculator!” These were great in 1985 when they first came out. But a calculator watch, like most other two-in-one gifts, fails at being a calculator and at being a watch. Just like you fail at giving gifts.

(, $80)

Live Shark

Remember how your mom always said not to give people puppies for Christmas because they’re forced to take care of them whether they want to or not?

Well, imagine if the puppy bit your hand every time you tried to pet it. Take it from me, there’s nothing sexy about missing limbs.

“The Nanny” – Complete Season Three

What? “The Nanny?” Seriously? That show was terrible! No… Just no. Pick a new gift.
(, $13.99)

Home Depot Gift Certificate

“Oh, wow. Now I get to repair my house…as my Christmas gift. Thanks, baby.” See? Doesn’t quite sound so good when you read it on paper, does it?

Gift cards in general aren’t a great idea. But as anyone who’s ever spent more than five minutes in a Home Depot will tell you, this is actually a gift certificate to Hell.

(, $10-$500)

The South Beach Diet book

In literally any context, this gift screams, “I think you’re fat!” And before you know it, BAM! You’re in the doghouse. Enjoy your cold, empty bed tonight, kid. You’ve earned it.
(, $16.47)

Porn on VHS

Because honestly, who has a VHS player anymore?
(, however much you think VHS porn is worth)

-Rob Bock