Gift guide for friends

Michelle Quan

It’s that time of the year again. The time to get gift-wrapping and money-spending. But, what to gift-wrap and what to spend money on when you don’t know what to buy for your friends in the first place? 

Whether you barely know this friend or you’ve known them your whole life, sometimes you just don’t know what they would want if they don’t express it. Here’s a guide to some relatively affordable gifts to relieve some of the anxiety about choosing what to get for your friends. 

Gifts that double as storage

This includes mugs, mason jars, painted wooden boxes, fuzzy socks, or really anything that has space inside. They’re functional and easy to find in stores like Walmart or Target. Michaels also sells many box or mug decorating kits if you want to personalize the gift. With this space, you can store extra smaller gifts inside. 

Handmade gifts

As long as you put a good amount of effort into making these, the friend you’re giving it to is sure to appreciate it. There’s plenty of simple YouTube tutorials that you can follow, and since it’s handmade, you have the ability to customize the gift with an inside joke, so your friend can also have a nice laugh. 

Hot chocolate

Nothing describes the winter season like drinking a cup of hot chocolate on a snowy day. You can also add a candy cane if they like mint. Or, add it anyway just for aesthetics. If your friend isn’t lactose intolerant, you can’t really go wrong with this gift.


Everyone can use a good set of pens or a cute pack of stickers. JetPens has a large selection of high-quality stationery from around the world, or you can look to smaller stores like Paper Sutekka for more unique pieces. 


As the weather gets colder, so do people. Wearable blankets, blankets that double as hoodies, were very popular this year and would make great gifts for those who are always cold but don’t want to wrap a blanket around themselves everywhere they go. Weighted blankets are another option for people who have trouble sleeping. 

Portable Massager

Who isn’t experiencing early onset back pain nowadays? Portable massagers are easy to carry around and have a lot of use. HoMedics has good mini handheld ones. Including batteries in your gift will also let your friend use it immediately, which is nice if you know your friend is getting other people gifts since gift-giving can be a total pain sometimes. 

Pay attention to packaging

This isn’t a gift idea, but it’s important to keep in mind. Get some ribbons, wrapping paper, decorative tape, and then go all out in making that gift bag the prettiest thing you’ve seen. You can incorporate your friend’s favorite colors or pictures you’ve taken together into the decorations too as a way to personalize it.

In the end, your friend will probably like anything you give them, or at the very least appreciate the amount of effort you put into it. So, try not to worry too much, and just have fun with it.