The Student Newspaper of Oxford Academy

The Gamut

The Gamut

The Gamut

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Budget Christmas gifts to survive the season of giving

Eva Kim

Colder weather, increases in hot chocolate sales, and the need to snuggle in a warm bed while watching comfort movies are all signs of the beginning of the holiday gift-giving season. Spending a lot of money during this time of the year may be easy for some, but typically difficult for students. While expensive gifts may be nice, gifting a loved one a heartfelt and thoughtful craft made specifically for them will leave a lovely feeling in their heart.

12 days of gifts

This Christmas present is a commitment that only works if started on Dec. 14, 12 days before Christmas. The idea is to give 12 sincere trinkets or letters to your loved ones until Christmas Day. Begin each day with a new knickknack or letter. Start with a letter, explaining the gift followed by your favorite things about the recipient to show sincerity. Other ideas for the presents can be various small gift bags filled with candy, doodles, pictures, stickers, origami, or additional inexpensive things that remind you of them. 

Baked goods

Sweet treats give the wintertime its signature cozy atmosphere, so what better way to emphasize that feeling with freshly baked goods for your loved ones! Baking treats is something that is usually low-cost and can warm both of your hearts. Recipes for brownies, churros, or regular sugar cookies should work well for this present, but feel free to go all out with cakes, pies, or other festive sweet goodies. Decorate these pastries with green, white, or red frosting, candy canes, red and green M&M’s, or anything Christmas-y you can think of! For example, you can fry churros in a candy cane shape and pipe red frosting onto them to mimic the classic candy. Other than baked goods, building gingerbread houses is a fantastic way to spend quality time with your gift recipient! Buy or choose any gingerbread recipe, get icing, food coloring, gumdrops, and other decorations, and have a gingerbread house decorating competition! 

Book of Memories

Pictures are a great way to capture the moment and atmosphere once experienced. To create this gift, find pictures to print that hold significance with you and your gift receiver, fixing them into a little book of memories! On the back of each page with a picture, write about the moment captured and how or why it has stuck with you. For music lovers, insert a graphic with a song or playlist that fits the vibe of the photos. For artists, drawing these memories is always an option that adds your own special charm to this book!

Clay trinkets

If arts-and-crafts is something up your alley, try your hand at molding clay into a sentimental gift! Clay may be an intimidating medium of art, but it is worth the struggle needed to form the perfect shape. Buy an inexpensive air-dry clay bucket, which may be enough to make presents for your whole gift recipient list! Though the clay hue doesn’t matter, remember whether or not you want to use acrylic paint to coat the clay at the end of the shaping process. Clay can be formed into vibrant plant pots, decorative candle holders, multipurpose plates and bowls, or ornaments that will last for years. After creating the gift, apply Mod Podge or any other varnish so that the paint and clay don’t chip easily.

Students shouldn’t need to feel the seasonal pressure to spend, and these handmade customizable gifts can help lift that burden away. These cheery presents and memories don’t just keep your wallet happy but will be cherished by loved ones and fully embody the Christmas spirit of gift-giving.

Donate to The Gamut

Your donation will support the student journalists of Oxford Academy. Your contribution will allow us to cover our annual operational costs and website hosting. Thank you for your support!

About the Contributors
Miriam Santos
Miriam Santos, Staff Writer

Miriam first joined Gamut to explore journalism and experience the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of newspapers. She loves Mexican cuisine and is a fan of the music artist Slater. Her current go-to read is In the After by Demitria Lunetta; though, her favorite school required-reading was Lord of the Flies. She prefers colder weather over hot weather, preferring the mountains for vacation rather than beaches. Once Christmas comes around, she puts on “Feliz Navidad” to get into the spirits. Her favorite childhood book was the Dork Diaries series, and her favorite mythical animal is a dragon. If Miriam were to describe herself, she would say she is creative because she likes to draw. Miriam also loves taking care of her friends, and a lot of her fellow Gamut staff will agree she is very friendly and caring.

Eva Kim
Eva Kim, Staff Artist
Sophomore Eva Kim is just one of the many fresh faces on the Gamut staff this year, serving as an illustrator. Eva joined the Gamut in hopes of working with passionate, like-minded artists that share her love for drawing on both a recreational and professional level. Dating back to the fourth grade, Eva pinpoints the beginning of her art journey to working with watercolor before eventually branching out to digital art, of which she has amassed a brilliant portfolio. Her greatest inspiration are Instagram artists — explaining her dangerously high screen time on the app — but her muse is the mushroom for its cute, versatile appearance and “it tastes okay, too.” In her free time, Eva enjoys playing with her Jack Russell named Jadoo, named after a Korean children’s cartoon, as well as listening to playlists packed with Lyn Lapid and Dean.
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