Christmas on a Budget: 10 gift ideas for under $10


Susanne Nilsson

Courtesy Photo taken on Dec. 3, 2016.

Thomas Bravo, Reporter

The holidays bring forth the spirit of giving. Unfortunately, a global pandemic has not helped the “broke college student” cliche. Money can be tight, but after all it’s the thought that counts. $10 can go a long way for friends, family or that random coworker in secret Santa.

Funky Socks

It is the gift that children hate but adults have grown to love. There are themed socks for just about every fandom, everything from Star Wars to anime. A friend can find great value from representing their favorite show or movie on a pair of socks.

Portable Phone Chargers

It does not need to be the official Apple or Samsung charger, as knockoff ones can get the job done. Any college student knows how much an extra charger that is stored in a backpack can come in handy. Several companies offer portable phone chargers at cheap prices under $10.

Shot Glass

For patrons 21 and over. A shot glass has been part of celebratory occasions for friends and even family members since its conception. Countless memories and close bonds have been created or expressed through a shot. This must be used responsibly.

Customizable Mug

Websites like VistaPrint, CafePress and Shutterfly all have options to customize a mug, with prices ranging from $5 to $10. With a custom message or photo, the mug could truly be one of a kind.

Mouse Pad

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to work from home. Distance learning has become the new normal for many students, so the mouse pad has become a sudden hot commodity.

Custom Face Masks

Masks have become a new way for people to express themselves. It is standard pandemic apparel. Much like cool socks, many local sellers and businesses have been offering custom masks.

Succulent Plants

It is the aesthetic plant that any person with office space can appreciate. Several of these can be bought, with prices ranging from $2 to $5.


Expensive pairs of sunglasses are nice, but the owner has to give it more care than a child if they plan on keeping them in the best condition. Cheaper sunglasses still get the job done, and can be used for more intense activities. The classic rock band ZZ Top said it best in their song “Cheap Sunglasses” — “The choice is up to you because they come in two classes, Rhinestone shades or cheap sunglasses.”


$10 can provide for some quality chocolate. Businesses like See’s Candies, located in both Valencia and Granada Hills, have boxes of chocolates for cheap. They also have candy that fits the holiday spirit, like chocolate-covered marshmallows shaped like Santa Clause.

Your Written Words

Not everybody is a poet or Shakespeare, but written messages can hold unlimited sentimental value. Stress and anxiety are extremely high due to the pandemic, and reading long thoughtful messages can provide a temporary escape, as well as help people appreciate the little things. Perhaps the best part of a written message is its price: free.

Christmas and holiday shopping can be stressful, but it does not need to be. Holidays can still be celebrated with gift giving, even on a budget.