Illustration by Nina Walker
Illustration by Nina Walker

A Christmas Full of Paint and Gift Baskets

By Carlos Fuentes

The time has come! Christmas is around the corner and people are getting ready to crack open their piggy banks. As we all know, the holidays are not cheap and the pandemic has made it difficult to save any extra money for gifts this year. Speaking for myself, I only started working during the summer once I was fully vaccinated. With the little time we have, it’s time to get creative and make a budget for holiday shopping.
The holidays are a time where people start invading malls left and right. Buying gifts at the mall isn’t necessarily the cheapest option either, but hitting up your local Marshalls or Ross is perfect for saving money. Moreover, it’ll save you the energy fighting over the last overpriced scarf at Forever 21. When shopping at Marshalls or Ross, think about the different gift baskets one can make. Your loved ones are now receiving multiple items, for a lower cost, rather than getting a sweater they’ll probably only use once. This season, gift baskets are a great idea because shoppers can personalize each basket to their respected loved one and it won’t cost them their left kidney when done at local stores.
A gift’s value isn’t defined by the amount a person spends. Sometimes we don’t have that extra money to buy AirPods or a new Canon camera. The real value of a present comes from the thought and effort one makes. Remember, it’s time to get creative this year and what’s a better way than to create something. If a picture is worth a thousand words then a handmade painting is worth two thousand. All you need is a stack of canvases, that you can get for a low cost at the 99 cents store or Ross, and a set of paint and brushes. Imagine how fun it would be to just set yourself up and create something special and meaningful. Try this and you’ll be known as the new Picasso around the house!
Every year on Christmas a lot of money goes towards wrapping paper. Instead of traditional wrapping paper, save as much newspaper you receive in the mail and make a variety of wrapped presents. There is no need to go to Target or Walmart for wrapping paper that’ll be ripped up and trashed. Nevertheless, if the cute wrapping paper is a must this season, saving up on plain paper bags can be a perfect substitution. Paper bags, that you can get while shopping at your local grocery store, can be written and colored on. Once again there is room for creativity to prosper this Christmas; we just have to use the resources available around us!
The holidays are filled with love, food, and presents. There is this pressure created by capitalism that tells us to spend as much as we can, but the reality is not everyone has money to spend on big expensive gifts. Holidays are over commercialized to benefit large companies; it allows the little voice in our heads to persuade us into going practically bankrupt. Save money and give out gifts that are more meaningful; I promise your bank account will thank you later! People are out shopping at malls making their wallets cry. I don’t plan to be one of those shoppers this year. Will you?