By Dorsa Ahmadi 

With the commencement of December, the world goes into a whirl of happy spirits. From the first snowfall to the first time you get to turn on the fireplace, the holiday season officially begins. It comes with its warmth, positive energy and joy to sweep us once again off our feet. Yet, while the holiday season comes with many amazing moments, it also can take a toll on the financial aspects of life. 

From purchasing cookie cutters to gifts for family and friends, the bank account might be stretched thin. One of the most important aspects of the holidays is to carefully budget so that by January, your first New Year’s Resolution isn’t dedicated to compensating for your past expenses (and as we all know, being a university student is costly). So while you may want to purchase a beautiful tree to decorate your room to match the aesthetic and beauty of Trinity College itself, here are tips to help you create that holiday coziness without splurging on expensive things. 

1. Set a Budget for shopping 

This is crucial for ensuring that you save as much as you can, while still getting a little something for your loved ones to show appreciation for them. Start by listing all the people you wish to shop for and set a limit for each person. This includes the gift item, wrapping costs, etc. Do your best to stick to your budget and avoid spontaneous purchases. Usually, shopping early, late, online, or with flyers and discounts are methods of sticking to your gift budget 

2. Don’t be afraid to be creative! 

A gift does not necessarily have to be bought at the store; after all, it is the thought that counts! Some ways you can use your creativity for your early or last-minute gifts is through regifting or Do-It-Yourself (DIY) gifts. Perhaps you received a gift a few years ago but it has no practical use for you and is in good condition. Don’t be afraid to regift it to someone who you think might benefit from it! With DIY gifts, you can do almost anything. Use your knitting ability to make your friend with the cold hands some gloves, or your video-editing skills to make a fun montage of orientation week at Trinity College, from your day in the quad at the club fair or your early morning study sessions in John Graham. The possibilities are endless! 

3. Socially Distanced Parties 

While currently, it is not possible to hold those gatherings we all love, it does not mean that the holiday fun is over. Use the opportunity to save some cash on the party prep and instead of going out to dinner or doing a group gathering that requires extra spending, host a virtual Christmas

party! Use the tools available to you to do all the activities you love such as watching old holiday movies or playing party games. Who says that having fun can’t be budget-friendly and safe? 

These are only some of the ways to save some money during the joyous winter holiday season. While the traditions of giving one another gifts during the holiday season have been around for decades, it does not mean that you have to follow the product-based and financial aspects of the holidays. At its core, this time is dedicated to demonstrating love and care for one another, showing our support and rediscovering what family and friendships mean. Gifts are appreciated, however, do not forget to celebrate the true meaning of the holiday season by focusing on bringing the Trinity college warmth and joy to others during these cold months. Happy Holidays, and happy saving!

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