The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The ‘Observer’s’ guide to holiday shopping

Do you love the holidays but never know what presents to get everyone? We’ve all been there. Have no fear, for I have scoured the Internet and the holiday magazines (I am currently nursing a paper cut), in order to bring you a list of great gift ideas for all age groups. Best of all, they’re completely affordable.


Our grandparents are a consistent source of love and support in our lives, and the holidays are a perfect time to show appreciation. Anything personalized and heartfelt will get the message across, especially a picture of you, you with them or you with your siblings. Put it in a nice frame they can put in their house, which gives them a reason to brag about their great grandkids to their friends. You can take the picture yourself and buy a frame from a discount retailer like Kohl’s or Target.

Another option is to get them coupons they can redeem for time with you. The coupons could be for going out to eat or for help with an electronic device. These may be cheesy, but grandparents love them and you can make them with just some paper and nice handwriting. Bottom line: any present having to do with you or the time they get to spend with you will light up their faces.

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You can almost never go wrong with jewelry for Mom. Bangle bracelets are very in this year, and you can get great ones from for $31 if you use the promo code OPRAH.  Or try fancy lotions or soaps to help your stressed out mother relax. Look at the store Lush at Montgomery mall for soaps and Sephora for lotions. Tea or coffee are great choices too, and paired with a mug adds a little boost to the present.

If your Mom is into entertaining, consider a porcelain bowl and matching tray set at Macy’s for just $20. She can use this to store her favorite dips at her next house party or on game day.

Try something tech savvy for Dad. Look at what devices he has and see what pairs with them. If he has an iPad, for example, get him a case or cleaning set. You can also check out the website for more tech savvy gifts of every category.

If you know nothing about technology, have no fear, another option is available.  It’s getting colder and few things make a person grouchier than not being able to hold the steering wheel. Having to choose between feeling in your fingers or working your touchscreen phone is one of them. Get your Dad a pair of the new gloves with fingertips that allow people to work touch screen devices. You can find them on and at most department stores.

 Little Siblings, younger cousins, or just cute youngins

Although sometimes annoying, these little loved ones are always there to make you smile. It’s time to return the favor this year with some great gifts. A general rule of thumb is that anything that shoots or lights up is cool. Things that do both are even better, such as the line of Koosh guns which fire soft balls into the air, ranging from $11-$25. In addition, anything from Nerf is awesome (this is true for all ages, not just the young people).

If you are afraid of your little person firing at you repeatedly, as this is a very real possibility, you can also look at the now-expansive line of Crayola products which allow you to draw anything you can imagine on almost any surface. Check out Toys”R”Us for the Crayola Marker Airbrush and Crayola Sketch projector, both for $20.

When in doubt, simply walk into a Toys”R”Us. Whatever toy you want most will most likely thrill whatever child you are shopping for (and yourself, so you might want to buy two).

Teens, adolescences, or a favorite Observer writer

First things first: the number one gift guaranteed to please whatever teen you’re shopping for is cash. Everyone wants it, but is never sure how to ask for it. This is me asking on behalf of all teens—please give us cash for the holidays.

If you want to get an actual item, however, I have some ideas for you. Number one: a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman. This may seem like a bizarre gift, but they are actually incredibly useful. The most basic Swiss Army Knife starts at $14.95. You can find them at REI.

Another popular item with the students at CHS is scented pocket hand sanitizers. This may seem like a weird holiday gift, but a set of these simple bacteria-destroying gels can bring a smile to a teen’s face. You can find them at Bath and Body Works; a set of five costs only $5 (my personal favorite is Island Margarita).

You can also get concert tickets to your teen’s favorite band if they are touring in the area. These can be pretty expensive, but if you get a group together to split the cost it becomes more manageable and will be sure to light up your teen’s face.


If you are truly lacking in the funds department, have no fear. You can always make your holiday gifts. You probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen and the few others you need can be found at your local grocery store. Just search the recipe for whatever treat you’re making. People are always happy to receive a cute cookie or cupcake. You can decorate with different colored frosting or sprinkles to really make them holiday themed. Simply put them in a container with a bow and you have created a delicious and original holiday present.

My final two pieces of advice for you is first to trust your gut—if it seems like a cool gift, it probably is. Also, and most importantly, don’t stress out over finding the perfect gift. The holiday season isn’t about who got who what, but about enjoying the holiday atmosphere, your friends and your family. So happy holidays, CHS. I hope it’s a great one.

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The ‘Observer’s’ guide to holiday shopping