2019-2020 Gift Guide

Miles Elkins

When the holiday season arrives, the gift-giving process is vital to the experience for those participating in the festivities. Therefore, I have taken it upon myself, as  a self-proclaimed gift giving expert, to help you out with this challenging endeavor. 



While researching possible holiday gift ideas, I came across an idea for the ages. This gift, although not traditional, falls into its own category of excellence. I think we can all agree, most culinary items are better when complemented with a dip of some sort. That’s why this year’s top gift idea is a dipping kit. Fully equipped with an assortment of dipping options such as ranch, hot sauce, garlic goodness, and onion oasis, this present will satisfy any food-lover. As if it’s not good enough, kits can be purchased all the way from the simple level to the gourmet level, and can even be homemade to add a personal touch. The dipping kit pictured is an oil spice kit, which is more on the fancier side, priced at $68.00.



If there is something lacking in my life, it’s bedroom furniture. Sometimes I crave an alternative to laying in my bed, and have been disappointed when I have to relocate to the downstairs couch. Having an extra place for friends to sit in your room is never a bad idea. That’s why this year’s trending gift are bean bags. Bean bags provide a comfy opportunity for you or your friends to kick back and relax. Also, bean bags can act as a bed for your pet, and who doesn’t appreciate their little guy or girl spending the night alongside them? Locally, bean bags are sold at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and Pier 1 but tend to be more expensive, roughly sixty dollars on average. I would recommend finding a cheaper option on amazon, as you can get a better bang for your buck. 



I am aware that “Items that provide warmth” may sound like a broad gift idea, but anything that falls under that category will not fail to impress. Some common warmth gifts are hoodies, cozy socks, and pajamas, which are all great gifts. However, I encourage you all to consider going outside the gift-giving norms and get creative with it. A way to accomplish this is by making homemade blankets. This may sound complicated, but in actuality, it is not a challenging task for most. Simply go to your local Michaels arts and crafts store, pick out two pieces of fabric, cut slits all along the sides of the fabrics (about an inch apart), and tie the slips of one of the fabrics with the slips of the other and you have a new, original blanket. This entire process should cost you less than thirty dollars. Additionally, you will never go wrong with the giving of a Snuggie, which could find their way back into America’s mainstream warmth-consumption habits. 



If you haven’t noticed, our society is heavily consumed by music, podcasts, and other forms of audible media. That’s why this year’s most reliable gifts are headphones and speakers. No one will ever be unsatisfied with a pair of headphones, as they allow for music on the go. All headphones are a great gift, but I do recommend purchasing wireless bluetooth headphones, because who needs cords? Though they may be more expensive, I do believe it is well worth it. Speakers are also great, and can be purchased at all price ranges. A great place to shop is Amazon, as you will find a huge selection of goods. Make sure you read the reviews first, and only settle for the best.   

Now for the bad gifts. To be fair, there are no bad gifts and that’s what makes the art of gift giving so special. However, we’ve all received presents that haven’t blown us away. The following gifts shine in mediocrity and lack creativity and charm. 



Gift cards are as easy as it gets for a gift giver, and that’s why they hold such little meaning. A trip to a supermarket, gas station, or convenience store and a broad guess of what the person would like is all it takes. Nobody likes only being able to spend money a certain way or at a certain place, so at least spare the person receiving the gift and get them a visa card. That way, they can spend it how they would like. And don’t even get me started about itunes gift cards; talk about useless.



Hygiene products are always a no-no during the gift-giving season. These include shaving products, perfumes and colognes, or anything to do with skin care or makeup. Not only are people ultra specific on the specifications of these products, but you don’t want to send the receiver a wrong message. Even if the product could be valuable to the person receiving it, they may think you are suggesting they do something about their appearance, and that is not a path you want to go down.



The title says all I need to say about this, but I will offer some examples. We all have seen the t-shirts that say “I’m with stupid,” or the mugs that have a phrase that only a boomer would occasionaly appreciate. Though they may receive a laugh at first sight, they will often be thrown in a box in the closet or kept in the back of the cabinet. 



Books in the hard-copy form are the final item on my list of bad gifts. We’re in a new generation, and most reading takes place digitally. I would consider purchasing a kindle, or any other digital reading device if you are looking for an alternative.