A guide to affordable shopping

By Iciar Fernandez

It’s stressful enough to shop for Christmas gifts – most of the time, it’s not easy to figure out what to get someone. And then there is the money. We want to treat our loved ones to gifts that they will love and enjoy, but we can’t afford to break the bank.

Here is the good news. Finding a thoughtful present – even for those people that already have everything – doesn’t have to be a nightmare. I have spared you of the hours spent browsing the internet by putting together a list where you are bound to find the perfect gift without getting your credit card statement into the negatives!

  • For the non-materialistic. What better gift than time? Invest it in cooking a cozy Christmas meal for that person that has-too-many-things-already and you haven’t seen in a while. Here are some ideas.
  • For the daydreamer. For the ever low price of $25, you can name A STAR. Yes, you heard it right. Choose any real star and name it after that person that would just love to tell their friends a star is named after them.

  • For the bookworm. Luckily, Vancouver is home to some amazing second-hand bookstores where you are bound to find the perfect holiday read for that person that always has a book in their purse. Check out Pulp Fiction, The Paper Hound, or MacLeod’s.
  • For the wannabe interior designer. We all have that friend that can magically turn the tiniest dorm room ever into a dream come true. Buy them a cactus at the UBC Garden Centre (the only houseplant that no student can ever kill) or a candle; they will be grateful for the addition to their IKEA catalogue-worthy space.
  • For the environmentally conscious. And really, for all your friends – because we should all strive to be this person. Make a trip to the quintessential no packaging grocery store in Vancouver, Nada and browse their many zero-waste gift ideas: a bento lunchbox, metal straws, stainless steel containers for those library snacks…
  • For the fashionista. Who doesn’t have a friend that despises sweatpants and is always ready for a photoshoot? Browse for her next unique piece at one of the many vintage stores in the city, from Turnabout to Mintage. And many more!
  • For the person who remains impossible to find something for. Your last option is to go random and gift them one of the insanely brilliant (and equally weird) products on Amazon that they never knew they needed. Here is an extensive list of gifts under $25.

To top off your amazing gift, get crafty to some Christmas tunes and make DIY holiday cards for those you love. Merry Christmas and may you have spare change to get yourself a peppermint hot chocolate after your shopping!