A Christmas Gift Dilemma

| Lisa Waldera

Lisa Waldera (24) is a master’s student Communication Studies from Bremen, Germany. For three years now, she’s been living on campus. Next to her study, she regularly visits the cinema and enjoys concerts of all music genres. Every other week she writes about her life at the University of Twente.

Photo by: Annabel Jeuring

Christmas season started. Noticeably. It is Mariah Carey’s and Wham’s time to shine. But before driving home for Christmas in a few days, I still have to find some original and suitable Christmas gifts. Just like every year, I am starting by making a list with things that friends and family might like. So far so good. Then I turn towards my laptop and search for the best ideas online. I throw everything in my shopping basket. And then. It hits me. I only have a student budget. As much as I would like to surprise everyone with their favorite things, I cannot afford most of it. I delete the photo camera and the game console. However, the budget problem remains.

I am again scolding myself for not spreading the Christmas shopping over a period of a few months or at last saving up some money beforehand. Unfortunately, I am at an age now that everyone expects me to give proper gifts like any other grown-up. I noticed a self-made drawing for on the fridge will not do anymore. But how am I supposed to get everyone an appropriate adulty gift with a small student budget?!

Of course, the internet is already aware of this problem and offers categories with gifts for a low price. Disenchanted I notice that the presented products below 20€ are rather standard and unpersonal. A wellness set. A massage brush. A whiskey glass. Not what I was looking for. Against my morals, I am opening this cheap Chinese web shop. I find nice things fitting my budget. But everything takes forever to be delivered. I guess I could now order gifts to be on time for next year Christmas.

I walk through my room. Trying to come up with a solution without completely draining my bank account. When suddenly I get an idea. I am not an international student in Enschede for nothing. I will simply surprise my family with Dutch specialties – Chocomel, Vla, 50%-reduced Sinterklaas letters and Grolsch beer. Alvast fijne feestdagen and happy upcoming holidays!

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