Holiday Gift Guide for a Really, Really Tight Budget

With Christmas just around the corner, people are scrambling to get last-minute gifts for their loved ones. But buying gifts for people is hard, especially if you're running low on cash. Don't fret! Here are a few gift ideas that work perfectly within your small, or nonexistent, budget.

  • Break into your friend's home and steal an important appliance that he uses a lot, like a toaster or a blender. Wrap up the appliance and wait for Christmas to come around. After days of your friend complaining that his important appliance has gone missing, you'll be the friend who comes to the rescue with a present that just so happens to be that important appliance. Hands down, your present will be the most practical gift he gets this holiday season.

  • Give your friend a roll of wrapping paper as a gift. Everybody needs wrapping paper, especially this time of year. Your friend will find it very useful, and imagine how special it'll be if she wraps the present that she got for you using the present that you got for her. Another perk is that you don't even need to wrap the roll of wrapping paper, as it already comes pre-wrapped. Plus, rolls of wrapping paper are gifts in themselves because once you get through all the wrapping paper, you're left with a nice cardboard tube.
  • Give your loved one a hug. Hugs don't cost anything to give, and are always appreciated. Hugs never result in negative outcomes, unless you're trying to hug a bear or Charles Manson. To heighten your loved one's appreciation for your hug, don't hug her for the entire year leading up to Christmas. That way when you give her the hug, she'll be overjoyed and say something like, "Wow, what's the special occasion?" and you can respond with, "Christmas! That was your gift."
  • When your friend gives you the present he got you for Christmas, open it up, act surprised, and then say, "Aw man, I got you the same thing!" Then run to another room with the gift, quickly re-wrap it (with different wrapping paper), run back to your friend, and hand him the newly wrapped present. It just happens to be the same gift he gave you moments before! Then make a joke about how great minds think alike and have a good laugh about it.
  • Giving gifts makes people feel good. So give your friend the gift of giving, meaning: tell your friend to buy you a present. Then, when he gives you the present and you act grateful, he'll feel good about himself. Possible gift options include: getting your friend to pay off your student loans or a portion of your January rent. You can use the help, so your friend will feel that much better about himself. Remind him that you're giving him the opportunity to feel the selfish warmth of generosity. However, if he gets you too many gifts, make sure to call him out on his greediness. There's a limit to how much you should allow someone to feel good about himself.
  • Follow this guide and you'll get through the holiday season as broke as you were before. And once the New Year rolls around, make sure that one of your resolutions is to save up to buy better gifts next Christmas. After all, these are for the people who love and care about you the most.