4 Christmas Crunch Survival Tips For Students

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By Lior Levin

Although Christmas is a time of year most people enjoy, for students it can prove to be a most stressful time. It’s true they look forward to the Christmas break, which gives them a breather from hitting the books, but with it comes other pressures.

Burdensome expenditures may mean students will have to work extra hours over the Christmas break, in the hopes of being able to meet some of their financial responsibilities. They may also feel that they have an obligation to shop for Christmas gifts for their family. Combined, these factors can make Christmas a rough time for the student.

I discovered that when my son was in college and trying to make ends meet during the Christmas season, that there were a few things that he could do to ease the burden, four “survival tips” for college students:

1. Narrow down the shopping list. Although no one likes to exclude anyone from their Christmas list, tough economic times don’t allow for other options. You may want to consider excluding from your Christmas list those people who have no real need for a gift; there are many people who have everything. If you are embarrassed about doing this then simply narrow down your list to buying for the kids in the family only.

2. Buy a group gift. When there are multiple members in a family, consider buying one gift that everyone can use. This could be something such as a family pack video box or perhaps a board game.

3. Consider making gift baskets. An inexpensive gift, yet one that is well received, are Christmas fruit baskets. A quick trip to a dollar store to pick us some neat baskets, festive stuffing and cello wrap will give you a good start. Next, it’s a matter of buying some good produce to fill your baskets with.

4. Personal gifts for friends. No doubt you have made several close friends during your college years and you really would like to acknowledge them with a gift at Christmas. Consider a personal commitment gift — you purchase a nice Christmas card and make a note inside committing to doing one favor for them during the year. For example, providing a thorough cleaning of their dorm room or washing their car; just think of some simple, but innovative ideas. It may not seem like much to you, but it will go a long way with your friends who totally understand your financial restraints, yet you still remembered them at Christmas.

These are small and simple ideas, but they will help to relieve some of the financial burden and also some of the emotional stress of feeling bad about not being able to do large (and costly) Christmas shopping. Ideas such of these can really emphasize the true meaning of Christmas.

Author Information

Lior Levin works for Storemed, a medical equipment retailer, and as an adviser for an MBA abroad school.

Photo Credit: Kerem Yucel

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Categories: Personal Advice