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Gift Ideas

Best Christmas gift ideas 2020

Beat the high street rush and seasonal stress with our ultimate Christmas gift list, full of ideas that are perfect for the student budget!

christmas tree and gift ideas

Credit: Pipochka (background), Cara-Foto (tree), pianodiaphragm (Echo Dot), imagehub (perfume), Maxx-Studio (blender), Narith Thongphasuk (games) - 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 primary gifts, this list should sort you out! 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.

Don't leave it until 24th December or you'll end up paying the last-minute Christmas dash price premium!

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Cheap and thoughtful Christmas presents

Here's our pick of the top Christmas presents to buy for your friends and family this year:

  1. Books

    stacks of books in shop

    Credit: Petrychenko Anton - Shutterstock

    Waterstones offers a 10% student discount, so why not head over there and have a look at Adam Kay's Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas, Elton John's Autobiography or Margaret Atwood's long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, The Testaments.

    Failing that, you can't go far wrong by picking one of Amazon's list of 'most wished for' books.

  2. Computer games

    Star Wars JEDI: Fallen Order (PS4 and Xbox One) and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (PS4 and Xbox One) will be at the top of countless Christmas lists this year, but more family-friendly titles like Luigi's Mansion 3 and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are guaranteed to go down a treat.

    Again, if you're still struggling for ideas, check out Amazon's 'most wished for' games!

  3. DVDs and Blu-rays

    A real Christmas staple this one!

    Some of the year's biggest films have come out on DVD and Blu-ray in time for the festive period, including Toy Story 4, The Lion King and Spider-Man: Far From Home.

    Still stuck for ideas? Amazon's 'most wished for' DVDs and Blu-rays is your friend again!

  4. TV boxsets

    jon snow game of thrones

    Credit: HBO

    Some of these are bit pricier than other Christmas gift options on this list, but if you've got the cash, the complete Game of Thrones series, The Office (US) and Seven Worlds, One Planet are all must-watch.

    And, just for good measure, we'll roll out our catchphrase again: Amazon's 'most wished for' TV list is full of more great ideas.

  5. Women's perfume

    Calvin Klein In2U Her, Gucci Rush and Dolce and Gabbana 3 L'Imperatrice are very reasonably priced, with some great reviews to boot.

    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.

  6. Men's aftershave and cologne

    Men can smell nice too!

    We've found Lacoste Red, Calvin Klein In2U Him and Davidoff Cool Water at some great prices, and they're all rated as some of the best fragrances out there!

    Again, we've linked to Fragrance Direct as they offer students a 10% discount, but given that you can get the same at Superdrug, you should take a look at their selection of aftershaves too.

  7. Experience days

    car drifting around corner

    Credit: Avigator Fortuner - Shutterstock

    This Christmas, why not give someone a gift they'll never forget? Whether it's the chance to drive a supercar, a relaxing spa day or a Michelin star food tasting session, there's something for everyone.

    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 hell of a lot more if you bought them elsewhere!

  8. Beauty and skincare gifts

    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, this set of scented candles and one of these snug dressing gowns is the next best thing to a rural retreat, right?

  9. Kitchen gadgets

    Whether you go for the Aeropress coffee maker, this personal blender for smoothie fanatics or even something as simple as this lovable little Egg Soldier egg cup, kitchen gadgets are among the very best Christmas gift ideas for culinary experts and rookies alike.

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

  10. Household gadgets

    various gadgets on table

    Credit: New Africa - Shutterstock

    Life's easier with gadgets. Fact.

    So why not give someone a Christmas gift in the form of a humane spider catcher or the slightly more techy 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.

  11. Premium tea, coffee and hot chocolate

    Is there anything more Christmassy than sitting down in front of whatever 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.

    Whittard's Winter's Tale of Tea, Coffees of The World and Luxury Hot Chocolate Gift Box gift sets can't fail! Scroll through the rest of the Whittard site for a whole load more delicious treats.

    Just a heads up that although Whittard does offer a student discount, you can only get it if you go in-store with a valid student ID. So, if you're keen to save the pennies, your best bet is to find what you'd like online and then buy it in person.

  12. 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?

    Boots sell loads of vegan cosmetic and toiletry gift sets, while sell their fair share of vegan food and drink gifts, too. Remember that Boots offers a 10% student discount as well – so whatever you're after, if Boots sell it, it's worth keeping this in mind.

  13. Beer and wine gift sets

    glasses of wine cheers

    Credit: DeepMeaning – Shutterstock

    Day drinking is never frowned upon at Christmas. That's just a fact. So why not take advantage of this temporary relaxation of social standards and pick up one of 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 (and we can't really think of a reason why they would be), the rest of M&S' wine gifts are equally as appetising.

  14. Spirits gift sets

    Sticking with the boozy presents (this is the last one, promise), Tesco's selection of spirits gift sets is very impressive.

    Whether you're buying a Christmas present for a Jack Daniel's fan, a craft gin drinker or a Grey Goose guy/gal, Tesco can seemingly cater to all tastes.

  15. 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?

    NOW TV vouchers and Netflix gift cards are both options, and if you head on over to eBay or CDKeys, you might even be able to find some for less than their value!

  16. Magazine subscription

    magazines on shelf

    Credit: Lawrey - Shutterstock

    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.

    Subscriptions to Cosmopolitan, Stuff and FourFourTwo are all 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.

  17. Thoughtful decorations and homeware

    World scratch maps, photo coasters or framed photos (with free photo printing) or film posters – they're all well within a student's budget, and all super thoughtful Christmas gift ideas (if you put some thought into them, of course).

  18. 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.

  19. Unusual and fun gifts

    christmas presents under tree

    Credit: Pixel-Shot - Shutterstock

    Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without some bizarre and completely unnecessary crap.

    If you're really stuck for gift ideas, why not plop for this Pac-Man ghost light or this smartphone projector? Failing all of those, and I Want One Of Those (IWOOT) always have a few hidden gems!


Got more pressies to buy than you have monies in the bank? Not to worry – have a look at our list of presents you can make yourself on the cheap!


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