The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, full of joy and giving. Many cultures and religions have holidays at this time of year where people give and receive presents to those in their lives. While receiving gifts is fun, sometimes finding the right gift to give is tough. Whether you are shopping for a family member, significant other or a friend, picking out the perfect gift to surprise someone with can be a challenge. For those on a strict budget or who do not know what to get a person, it can be hard to find the right present.  

    Some tips for thinking of a present is to not put so much pressure on finding the absolute perfect gift. Not every gift needs to be something extravagant or an item the person has only dreamed about, sometimes the perfect gift is simple. Think about their life and what they need, in order to figure out a gift idea.  Sometimes people need simple items such as basic clothing items, bath products or other things daily essentials. Pay attention to what the person talks about and if they mention any problems that they are having in their life. For example, a person who drives and has started complaining about the ice on their windows may need an ice scraper. While it may seem like boring gift, if the person needs the item, they will likely be happy to receive it. Finding things that people in your life may need but have neglected to buy for themselves can be a good starting point for gift giving.  

    If there does not seem to be an item the person necessarily needs, look at the person you are buying for and figure out a few things such as what movies, video games, sports, or other things they like. Figure out what general items the person likes, do they like plush toys, sports paraphernalia, books or cute things. Then, simply find something that relates to their interests. If they like a sports team, try looking for something related to that sports team, such as a jersey, keychain, banner or lanyard. If they like books, find out their favorites type of book or their favorite authors. Then look around for a book they do not  have, some good places for that are Barnes & Noble and Half-Priced Books.

    For those on strict budgets, homemade gifts may be the way to go, as long as the craft takes time and effort and is not just a last minute project. Think about the skills that you have that can be used to make a creative gift. An original art piece or portrait would be a great gift idea for friend or family. A original craft is also a good ideal, perhaps a sewn plush ornament or homemade desk supplies.

$5- (Luxe Collection Sherpa Blanket from Five Below) (LED desktop essential oil diffuser, $5 Five Below) (Simple Pleasures ™ Bath bombs $5 Five Below), (LED Hover LED speaker $5 from Five Below) (bluetooth® slide wireless earbuds w/ mic $5 Five Below) (Pick Me Up (A pep talk for now and later) by Adam J. Kurtz $5 from Five Below)

$10 - (Burts Bees Essential Everyday beauty Gift Set $8.07 Amazon) (Jelly Belly Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Jelly Beans Gift Box Amazon $7.84) (Faux Potted Succulent with copper pot, $9.95, Walmart)

$15 - (Gourmet Hot Chocolate Gift Box Set - Hot Cocoa, Mini Marshmallow and Crushed Peppermint, $13.39, Amazon) slippers, pajamas set, chapstick sets

$25 - (Holiday Cocoa Variety Gift Set - 9 flavors, $19.99, Amazon, comes in cocoa, coffee or tea) (gift card to favorite store; Amazon, Walmart, Bath & Bodyworks, Target, Gamestop, Michaels, Best Buy 20<), (Echo Dot Smart Speaker with Alexa (Second Gen) - Black, $24.99, Amazon)

These suggestions are general items that most people would enjoy receiving as a present. However, presents are not the most important part of the holiday season. While gifts  are a nice gesture, one should not feel pressured to give or entitled to receive presents. If there are reasons that prevent the giving of presents, such as personal issues or financial issues, do not feel bad about not being able to get everyone gifts or not being able to find the perfect gift for someone. The holiday season is based around spending time around the people you love, and presents do not necessarily have to be part of that.