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Gift Ideas

Best Christmas gift ideas 2022

Avoid the seasonal stress and last-minute online shopping with our ultimate Christmas gift list, full of ideas that are perfect for the student budget.

christmas tree with gifts

Credit: Pipochka (background), Cara-Foto (tree), pianodiaphragm (Echo Dot), imagehub (perfume), Maxx-Studio (blender), Penty Photography (card game) - Shutterstock

We've sifted through the weird and wonderful to uncover some of the most-wished-for and best-value Christmas gift ideas for your nearest and dearest.

Whether you're after stocking fillers or main gifts, this list can help you find the perfect present. Most of these can be found both online and on the high street, although we'd recommend ordering them from the comfort of your sofa to avoid the mayhem Christmas shopping.

Try not to leave it until 24th December – you could end up paying a last-minute Christmas dash price premium!

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for the latest Christmas gift bargains.

Cheap and thoughtful Christmas presents

Here are the best Christmas presents to buy for your friends and family this year:

  1. Books

    stacks of books in shop

    Credit: Petrychenko Anton - Shutterstock

    Hive offers a 10% student discount, so it's definitely worth looking there for books to get as Christmas gifts. They support independent book stores and have a huge range of texts for sale.

    You could have a look at top titles, including:

    Waterstones also offers a 10% student discount so you could have a look at their website as well to see if any books stand out as ideal presents.

    Failing that, you could have a browse Amazon's list of 'most wished for' books or check our list of the best books about money for more inspiration.

  2. Computer games

    If you're looking for the best games to get for Christmas, you can't go wrong with these:

    There are plenty of more family-friendly games that are guaranteed to go down as a treat, too:

    Have a look at CDKeys to see if they have any good deals on the top video games.

    And again, if you're still struggling for ideas, you check out Amazon's 'most wished for' games.

  3. Women's perfume

    perfume bottles with petals

    Credit: Liv friis-larsen – Shutterstock

    Perfume doesn't have to break the bank. There are some very reasonably priced ones out there, including:

    We've linked to Fragrance Direct as they offer a 10% student discount, but Superdrug do too, so it's worth checking out their selection as well.

  4. Men's aftershave and cologne

    Men can smell nice too!

    We've found some with great reviews and even better prices:

    Again, keep in mind Fragrance Direct's 10% student discount when looking for men's aftershave and cologne, and have a look at Superdrug as well, as they offer the same student discount.

  5. Experience days

    After such a busy year, an experience day will likely go down very well. And there's something for everyone! We found some awesome experiences, including:

    Virgin Experience Days probably offers the biggest selection of experiences, but if you've already got a specific idea in mind, it's worth checking out Groupon's experience day offers. They'll often have great deals on gifts that would cost a lot more if you bought them elsewhere.

  6. Beauty and skincare gifts

    lit candle

    Can't afford to take your loved one to the spa? Take the spa to them!

    When it comes to Christmas gifts, a foot massager, a set of scented candles and one of these snug dressing gowns is pretty much the next best thing to a rural retreat.

    On a tight budget? Try these Secret Santa gift ideas all £5 or less.
  7. Kitchen gadgets

    Kitchenware and gadgets are among the very best Christmas gift ideas for culinary experts and rookies alike.

    Not sure what to get? You can't go wrong with the following:

    Have a read of our top kitchen gadgets for some more inspiration!

  8. Household gadgets

    Life's easier with gadgets. Fact.

    So why not give someone a Christmas gift in the form of a portable phone charger or, if your budget's a little higher, an Amazon Echo Dot? Or, for the Neville Longbottom in your life, how about a Tile Mate to stop them ever losing their keys again?

    The beauty of gadgets is that there's pretty much something for everything (and everyone). But if you're a little stuck for ideas, our list of the best gadgets should see you right.

  9. Premium tea, coffee and hot chocolate

    tea

    Is there anything more Christmassy than sitting down in front of whichever classic family movie is on TV that afternoon, accompanied by a mug of whatever hot drink takes your fancy?

    Well, nobody does premium tea, coffee and hot chocolate quite as well as Whittard of Chelsea, so whatever your friend or family member prefers, Whittard will have you sorted. Our favourite gift sets include:

    Better yet, Whittard offers a 10% student discount.

  10. Vegan gifts

    If you have a vegan friend or family member and want to show them that you've really thought about their gift, why not get them something that's 100% free of animal produce and cruelty?

    Here are some great options:

    Remember that Boots offers a 10% student discount as well – so whatever you're after, if Boots sell it, keep this in mind.

  11. Beer and wine gift sets

    If you're looking for Christmas presents for a beer-lover in your life, you won't need to look much further than these beer gift sets – most of which are comfortably under a tenner!

    As for wine? Well, M&S is pretty much a guaranteed stamp of quality – so their prosecco and chocolate gift set is bound to be a corker (pardon the pun).

    But if chocolates are out of the equation for whatever reason, the rest of M&S' wine gifts are equally as appetising.

  12. Spirits gift sets

    gin and tonic

    Credit: Rimma Bondarenko – Shutterstock

    Sticking with the boozy presents (this is the last one, promise), Tesco's selection of spirits gift sets is very impressive. They can cater to just about any taste:

    Alternative, you can put together a DIY cocktail kit with a mini-sized version of their favourite drink, a jar and a mixer – the perfect homemade Christmas gift!

    Make sure you order in time for Christmas delivery by checking our last order dates for all the major retailers.
  13. Streaming subscription

    Even if the person you're buying a gift for already has a streaming subscription, you can still get them a gift voucher to act as credit. Who wouldn't want a few months (or even a year's worth) of free Netflix?

    Netflix gift cards are a great choice (sometimes available at discounted prices from CDKeys), and if you head on over to eBay, you might be able to find even better deals if you're lucky.

  14. DVDs and Blu-rays

    DVDs and Blu-rays are real staples when it comes to Christmas gifts.

    Great films to get as presents include:

    You could also consider buying popular TV boxsets for Christmas, like:

    To save money, have a look at the selection of second-hand DVDs on Music Magpie. Or if you're still stuck for ideas, Amazon's 'most wished for' DVDs and Blu-rays is your friend again!

  15. Magazine subscription

    There's a magazine out there for every hobby or interest imaginable, but we'll do our best to help you and avoid straying into the more niche end of the market here. There are some that are reasonably priced and come with a discount compared to buying each copy individually:

    However, if none of these are quite what you're after, isubscribe have more offers than you can shake a stick at.

  16. Thoughtful decorations and homeware

    picture frames on wall with plant print

    Homeware and decorations are usually well within a student's budget, and all super thoughtful Christmas gift ideas:

  17. Card and board games

    If nothing else, the fact that the whole family's together at Christmas should pretty much guarantee that a card or board game gets used straight away.

    Cards Against Humanity is a student favourite, but the older generations enjoy it too! The same could be said for Scrawl, which is a great shout if you're buying for someone your age.

    But if you're after something a little more PG, the Taskmaster board game should be a safe bet. And it's hard to see how Pass the Pigs could cause anyone any offence, either.

  18. Plant a tree

    If you want to give something a little less materialistic, you can also choose for the gift of long-lasting climate action. Plant a tree on someone's behalf or offset the carbon footprint for a number of months – the perfect Christmas gift for any environmentally-conscious friend or family member.

  19. Unusual and fun gifts

    Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without some unusual gifts. Just make sure you know what the person you're buying for likes, so they'll actually end up using it.

    If you're really stuck for gift ideas, why not plop for one of these:

    Failing all of those, notonthehighstreet.com and I Want One Of Those (IWOOT) always have a few hidden gems!

Wrapping paper often contains plastic and has a big carbon footprint. Wrap beautiful presents using brown or recyclable paper, sealed with brown paper tape or twine. Or go for reusable gift bags!

Got more pressies to buy than you have money in the bank? Have a look at our list of presents you can cheaply make yourself.

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