Students offer tips to de-stress holiday gift shopping


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Retail consultants say it may be hard to find that perfect holiday gift this year because of higher prices and supply chain shortages. Students suggest shopping will be easier by staying focused and getting started soon.

Christmas shopping can be stressful for students who are both broke and busy. 

This year promises to be even more tense than usual. Retail consultancy GlobalData expects the holiday season will be a perfect storm of higher prices, lingering supply chain issues and fewer bargains. 

Andrew Cavazos, freshman Behavioral Sciences and Human Development Family Studies major, knows it’s important to start early.

“I learned two years ago,” he said. “I was going to buy my father a Chicago White Sox jersey and I went to the mall and they were all out. They were like ‘yeah man, we just sold out a week ago’. 

“I learned mentally you gotta start now and don’t wait till the last minute,” he said.

Several students have developed different strategies to reduce the stress of shopping this holiday season.

Ciarra Kline, a sophomore majoring in Psychology, is shopping online.

“It [shopping online] is a lot easier,” she said. “It’s delivered right to you. You don’t have to go spend the time to go out and go through stores and try to find stuff you’re looking for. Shopping online is probably the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Turning to digital stores is a trend for several students.

“I’ve been looking at prices, comparing different prices, mostly going to buy online,” said Nathan Bennett, freshman Mechanical Engineering and Technology major. “I don’t have the time to go in-person shopping.” 

Juan Ponce, sophomore Accounting major, has a different strategy for stress-free shopping. 

“I’m going to do a whole bunch of gift cards because I know my friends mostly care about money [more] than actual gifts,” he said. “I plan on actually getting my mom a bunch of Uber and Lyft gift cards because she’s going to be going to Disney World soon and they love going all around the place.”

Celine Parra, sophomore Computer Science major, is an outlier. She still enjoys the traditional retail experience. 

“I’ve already gotten a couple things. I got them from Ross and TJMaxx,” she said. “I like the feeling of going to the store and seeing a product in person before I … buy it.”

Her tips for picking the right gift?

“I definitely suggest going around the store a couple times because every now and then you find things that may not have caught your eye the first time,” Parra said. “That’s one of my biggest tricks. Another tip I think is asking friends and family because usually they would know some pretty good deals that you yourself wouldn’t know.” 

But no matter what strategy you may choose to reduce the stress of shopping, freshman Cavazos is adamant about one thing: 

“When it comes to holiday shopping, Christmas shopping, you gotta start now,” he said. “We’re all human beings, we’re going to wait until the last minute [but I] recommend you start now…Get the gift now.”