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The Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday Gift Giving

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One of the biggest if not most stressful parts of the holiday season is buying gifts. If you’re struggling to find a gift,  here’s a list that will help you narrow down the presents you should and shouldn’t be getting your special people.


  • Do make them something! The holidays are a time to show people who you care about how much you value your relationship and friendship with them. A handmade card or goodie is sure to surprise them! Plus, it’s never too late to make something handmade.
    • Some ideas: 365 note jar, personalized card
  • Do get them gifts that can be used all year round, not just holiday themed goods. Something functional and useful or something they need is sure to be a great gift! Figure out  what kind of things they like, whether electronics or stationary.
  • Do decide to do something together instead of a gift! Plan a trip to the spa, or a big dinner together as a gift alternative.
  • Do write them an appreciative letter with all the reasons why they are special to you
  • Do remember to wrap their gift or to add a little surprise along with it
    • Some ideas: if you’re gifting a book, add a bookmark, etc.


  • Don’t give money. It’s obviously a last ditch effort at a gift. Instead, get them a gift card to a shop or restaurant they like, or a gift voucher for something you know they want.
  • Don’t get gifts to make a statement or to be flashy. Getting gifts shows your appreciation for others, and a gift shouldn’t be bought just because you want to flaunt how much money you spent on it.
  • Don’t get something you like. It’s too risky to get something you like unless you are both interested in the same thing. Remember, this is their gift, not yours!
  • Don’t be stingy, this is the one of the times you can show your appreciation to them. So that extra dollar for shipping really doesn’t matter. The holidays is about making the people you love, and yourself, happy!
  • Don’t forget yourself! Holiday gift giving is always great, but don’t leave out the star of the party- you!

And finally, remember that the holidays aren’t all about gifts. Spend some quality time with your friends and family, set some time to have a reunion with middle school friends. Watch the shows you’ve been missing out on, sleep late, eat good food, and be nice to your family. (Maybe even study a bit!)

Let the stress about school dissipate and just spend your time relaxing and having a great time!

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The student news site of Bergen County Academies
The Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday Gift Giving