A Comprehensive Gift Guide For All Price Levels


The hands-down most stressful part of the holidays is somehow figuring out the perfect gift for everyone in your life. With so many people and so little money, it can seem like an impossible task. The worst part is that if you aren’t conscientious about prices, it is incredibly easy to wind up in the wrong part of the store and find yourself looking at items well above your price range. That’s where I come in. As the self-proclaimed queen of all things basic, I know exactly what you all want, even if you don’t know yourself. Better yet, I’ve broken this dream gift buying guide down into price levels acceptable for everyone. So if you think your friends, parents, relatives, or boyfriends are going to have problems buying you the perfect gift, casually leave this list open on your computer and prepared to be wowed. You can thank me later.

$10 to $30

Friends and Distant Relatives

Bath & Body Works Candles
I’m well aware that you already have more than enough Bath & Body Works bath products, but candles are different. They are great smelling, long lasting, and just slightly too expensive for most of us to be willing to buy it for ourselves. With what seems like endless options of scents, there is no way not to find one for everyone.

Blanket Scarf
The latest trend in fall/winter fashion is scarves so impossible large and snuggly that it looks like you might actually be wearing a comforter. In my personal opinion, these were made for hungover Sundays, paired with your cleanest pair of leggings and oversized sunglasses.

Gift Card
Chipotle, Starbucks, Panera, Dunkin’, these are places we all go to on the reg. Maybe you’ve never actually thought about how much those thrice weekly Chipotle visits and daily Starbs add up to, but trust me, they are killing your bank account. That’s why a gift card to any of these usual places are perfect, it’s some place we already go to normally, now we just won’t have to spend our own money while we’re there.

With wine as cheap as Franzia existing, I find it hard to justify paying for actual bottled wine. Times are tough and with how much alcohol we all consume on a daily basis, there is no way in hell we can afford anything other than bottom of the barrel. But Christmas is about getting gifts for someone that they want, but wouldn’t normally get themselves. A nice, mid to slightly lower mid shelf bottle of wine costs like $25 and it’ll be a treat from the normal garbage we normally ingest.

$30 to $100

Friends, Siblings, Relatives, New Boyfriend

I have never met a girl that didn’t love makeup. Whether it one of the naked palettes, a contouring kit, or just some nice mascara, these gifts are on the lower end of this range while still being phenomenal gifts. Word to wise, if you’re buying makeup for someone, stay away from foundation unless you know they’re exact shade.

Free People Bralette
This is something you probably didn’t even realize you wanted, but trust, you do. The racerback or halter bralettes are the most comfortable thing in the world while still being cute. Whether you just don’t feel like wearing a bra or you want to spice up an outfit with a little exposed lace, these bralettes are an actual must-have.

J Crew Puffer Vest
A puffer vest paired with a long sleeve and cropped leggings is perfect for when there’s a slight chill, but not enough for a jacket. They are cute and fashionable, but also comfortable and versatile. Not to mention, if you get one in a neutral color, you will get tons of wear out it.

To be fair, this is slightly more tricky to buy for someone. If you’re hoping to snag some perfume from someone in your life, be sure to drop hints about which scents you like or if you’re running low on your usual spray. If you’re getting it for someone else, see what they have around their room and get them one of the ones they are lowest on.

$100 to $250

Best Friends, Close Relatives, Siblings, Boyfriend, Parents

Crossbody bag
Crossbodies are perfect for so many different needs, whether it’s the bars, shopping, or traveling. As with everything, if you’re going to spend a decent amount of money on it, you’ll want to get it in a neutral color (tan, brown, grey, or black) to maximize wear. Kate Spade, Rebecca Minkoff, Brahmin, Tory Burch, and Michael Kors all have great versions that are sleek and versatile, while still containing plenty of room for anything you’d need.

I don’t care what anyone says, I will never get tired of unwrapping a little blue box on Christmas morning. With all of the different collections Tiffany’s features, it’s impossible not find something for anyone on your list. And the customer service? Ya, you can’t beat it, especially considering they offer complimentary in store cleaning.

Designer Sunglasses
A quality pair of sunglasses is necessary for any girl, preferably a quality pair in both brown and black. Spending $150 on sunglasses might seem annoying, especially since you can get a pair for $15 at Target, but it really makes all the difference. There’s no comparison, they fit better, look better, and last longer. Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Ray Bans, and Coach all offer great pairs that fall within this price range.

Spa Day Gift Certificate
As much fun as college is, it is still 100 percent stressful. A spa day is something that sounds nice but never really seems worth it. That is, it doesn’t seem worth it until you’ve had one. The pampering, massages, and over all atmosphere will leave you more relaxed and calm than Xanax ever will be able to.


Close Relatives, Parents, Long term Boyfriend

Designer Purse
A designer, leather tote is something every girl needs. They are fashionable but still have plenty of room for books and laptops. Prices for these bags can vary widely depending on designer. Affordable designers ($250 – $500) would include Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and Tory Burch. If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious (~$1000), you can obviously never go wrong with Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent or basically any Parisian or Italian designer.

David Yurman Cable Bracelet/Ring/Earrings/Necklace
Just like there is a difference between Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors, there is a difference between David Yurman and Tiffany’s. I would never go as far as to declare Tiffany’s as passé, but it is more affordable luxury when compared to DY. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything Yurman under $350. With price tags that high, stick to the classics, meaning anything from the cable collection. It’s simple, beautiful and can very easily be transitioned from day wear to evening wear.

Christian Louboutin heels
There are heels and then there are Christian Louboutins. Whenever you wear them, you’ll walk just a little bit taller and a little bit prouder. I can’t explain it, but putting on your first pair of red bottoms will be a surreal experience, one that you’ll hopefully get to experience over and over again. The specific shoe will depend on preference, but if you’re going to spend $600+ on shoes, I’d suggest going with either black or tan leather so you can show them off as much as possible.

Quality Jacket
Whether it is a wool peacoat, real leather jacket, or a Barbour coat, good quality jackets are something everyone needs. I subscribe to the theory that it’s better to spend a lot of money on something that will last forever or at least a really long time, than to spend less money but have to replace it every season. As we prepare to enter adulthood, we can’t be rocking worn and torn Forever 21 trenches. Adult responsibilities call for adult outerwear, so start your collection now.

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Champagne Showers is a contributing writer for TSM. She is your typical Northern Diva. If curse words, sexual content, and drug use offend you, then bless your heart. CS will continue living the life you're too scared to live. email her at:

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