With the busy holiday season, BYU–Hawaii students explained that buying gifts for family and friends can be difficult while still staying within their budget and making the present meaningful.
Adriannah Metta, a junior from Papua New Guinea studying anthropology, said she prefers to make gifts for her loved ones. “I feel like making gifts with craft supplies really helps the gift to come from the heart. There are so many times when I’ve given a gift that I just bought from a store, and it did not feel genuine or meaningful to the person I was giving it to. I want the crafts I make to be unforgettable.”
Asral Sanjaa, a sophomore from Mongolia studying finance, responded, “I usually just give Christmas cards to people during Christmas. It can be hard to choose between certain friends, like who is going to get a gift and who isn’t. So I just give everyone a card. They’re not very expensive to make and can have your personal stamp on them.”
Sanjaa continued, “I don’t think you necessarily need to spend money on gifts. The real meaning of Christmas is what comes from within.” She said she did not necessarily need to make gifts for her loved ones to show her appreciation. Sanjaa said she also performs acts of service, explaining there are a lot of different ways to show her friends she cares about them.
Fidelish Metta, a sophomore from Papua New Guinea studying Pacific Islands studies, revealed that her typical budget for buying Christmas gifts is around $100. She said, “I normally buy gifts for family members and for specific close friends. I wish I could get each one of my friends a gift, but I just don’t always have the budget to get something for them. I also get small things for Secret Santa or White Elephant gifts.
“I usually buy souvenirs like little carved animals, or anything crafty and pretty,” Fidelish continued. “I also buy teddy’s and friendship bands for memories and friendships shared. And third, I spend money buying Christmas cards to write meaningful thoughts I have felt about my families and friends. That’s the most important thing I like to do during Christmas.”
Edmond Saksak, a sophomore from Vanuatu double majoring in political science and social work, said, “College life is hard to be honest.” As to how much he thinks should be spent on Christmas gifts, he responded, “‘Not a penny’ is what everyone would say. However, we can still find ways to do something good for a person. I remember my Thanksgiving when three other friends and I decided to cook meals, then headed over to Hau’ula, and distributed 50 meals to the homeless families.”