It’s the time of the year to pull out that mile-long gift list and weave through long shopping mall lines in search of the perfect present. And with the current ailing economy, many college students and retail junkies might have the ultimate “Blue Christmas.” But don’t throw away that wrapping paper and tinsel just yet – here’s the Spinnaker’s list of inexpensive gift ideas that might make shopping trips a little merrier and a loved one’s holidays a little brighter.
1.) Grillz candy (Urban Outfitters, $3.95)
According to urbanoutfitters.com, “Open up my mouth and you’ll see more carats than a salad.” These fake grillz are the perfect gift for anyone looking for a laugh or anyone who has ever dreamed of adding bling to their mouth. This icy treat comes with an attached lollipop, and with a flash of a smile, can blind onlookers with the platinum or gold version.
2.) Boyfriend arm pillow (whatonearthcatalog.com, $19.95)
If someone you know is spending the holidays alone, this quirky pillow offers great comfort –and laughter–throughout the winter break. The odd yet funny device is made out of polyester filled with snuggly foam, and is basically a half version of a headless, oxford-shirt clad man … with his arm ready to wrap around someone. It’s also useful to guard off creepy guys (or girls) at clubs and makes an impromptu date at a formal.
3.) The Student Cookbook (Urban Outfitters, $9.95)
Start the new year for you and your roommates by pushing aside those daily meals of Easy Mac, ramen and Kool-Aid. This cookbook written for and by students offers innovative food and drink recipes such as B.L.A.T. (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato) Wraps, Brass Monkey (a rum, vodka and orange juice mixture) and even teaches the inexperienced how to cook scrambled eggs.
4.) Affliction graphic T-shirts (Dillards, starting at $40)
These unique graphic T-shirts have become a hit among college students, said Erin Wendell, Dillards assistant area manager for the ladies ready-to-wear department.
“Guys really like it because they’re basic colored [T-shirts] that come in black, brown, red and white with a tattoo design,” she said.
The graphic T-shirts come with a variety of tattoo-inspired designs including skulls, tormented skies and crosses. The Affliction line has been worn by celebrities such as Vin Diesel, Jamie Foxx and former NBA player Gary Payton.
5. ) The Beatles Collector’s Edition Monopoly (whatonearthcatalog.com, $34.95)
The price may seem like a lot, but mom, dad or any Beatles fan will get a kick out of this unique board game. Players get to immerse themselves in the ultimate Beatles experience as they buy albums instead of real estate and use tokens such as Rocky Racoon, the Walrus and a Silver Hammer.
This collector’s edition also uses historic images and backstage details of the Fab Four that fans can cherish and reminisce over.
“We have a lot of games right now, and it seems like family game night is coming back,” said Diane Newton, circulations manager and public relations at What on Earth. “[The Beatles edition Monopoly] has been a huge success.”
7.) Sudoku Cube (whatonearthcatalog.com, $5.95)
This Rubik-like cube features numbers instead of colors, and is a new twist on the worldwide puzzle phenomenon. It makes the perfect gift for that number-puzzle addict in your life, who can’t put down that pencil and Sudoku book or newspaper – plus it’s a great way to save the environment – less paper used!
“It’s a unique gift that gives you an opportunity to express yourself or identify with that person,” Newton said. “You’re able to get something really good, a good quality product, but is still a little bit of fun.”
6.) Guitar Hero handheld game (Best Buy, $11.99)
Don’t lug around that xBox anymore; the popular video game is now featured in a handheld version that’s easily portable and accessible. So whenever you’re in the mood for a jam session or just want to listen to some tunes, pull out the mini guitar. It features 10 track segments from “Smoke on the Water” and “Killer Queen” to “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” and “Cherry Pie.”
8.) Griffin iKaraoke V.2-U (Apple.com, $49.95)
Bring your favorite karaoke songs straight to your home from your iPod – you don’t even have to pay a bar cover charge or face an audience – with iKaraoke. Just hook up your iPod to the mini-microphone and processor, which isolates and fades the vocal tracks in your favorite tunes, allowing you to be the lead singer. You can also download Griffin’s TunePrompter software, where you can create your very own karaoke videos.
Compiled by Laura Franco.