15 Last-Minute Gifts That Will Help You Save Christmas

15 Last-Minute Gifts That Will Help You Save Christmas

College students are known for two things: busy schedules and being on a budget.

If tight funds and a tendency to procrastinate have you stressing about how to finish off your holiday shopping, we’ve compiled 15 affordable last-minute gift ideas for those left on your list.


Mom and dad are probably at the top of your list, but they’re also usually the hardest people to shop for.

  • Movie tickets: Send your parents off on a dinner and movie night to remember this Christmas. Pre-purchase tickets online for a movie you know they’ll love, or buy a gift card to let them pick. 
  • Candle: Bring home a taste of the season for under $15. Choose from scents such as Twisted Peppermint, Winter Candy Apple and Frosted Cranberry.
  • Blu-ray: Entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive. At online marketplace Amazon, there’s a whole category in the store’s Blu-ray Movies & TV department for under $10.
  • Board game: Bring back memories of family game nights with the gift of a board game. Choose something traditional, like the Retro Series Clue 1986 Edition Game, 
  • Wine: If your parents are hosting Christmas dinner this year, don’t arrive home empty-handed. Visit Costco or your local grocery store to pick up a bottle of their favorite wine. Add a bow to make your gift complete.


Taking part in a Secret Santa gift exchange with your friends? Consider these cost-effective options.

  • Star Wars merchandise: With the impending release of the new Star Wars movie, it’s difficult to find anyone who isn’t a fan of Han Solo, Darth Vader and the gang. 
  • Smartphone accessories: Gift techie friends on your list a smartphone accessory this Christmas. 
  • Gloves: Your friends will appreciate gloves that keep their hands warm and allow their fingers to work on smartphone screens. 
  • Book: School might be done for 2015, but that doesn’t mean winter break can’t also include a bit of reading. Visit your local Barnes & Noble or pick a digital book version for some elective reading.


Thank your favorite professor for all of his or her help this semester with a memorable holiday parting gift.

  • Coffee mug: Help your professor get through next year’s classes with a cup of joe. 
  • Calendar: A calendar isn’t just practical; it’s affordable too. 
  • Ornament: There’s perhaps no gift more seasonal than an ornament.  Pick one that fits your professor’s personality.
  • Slippers: After a semester full of lecturing and grading, your professor probably wants nothing more than to sit back and kick his or her feet up. Give a unique and affordable gift this year.
  • Hand soap: Much like candles, hand soaps are popular gifts this time of year. 

Regardless of the gift you choose to give this season, don’t forget to look for sales and downloading budgeting apps.