Dear Brutus,

Holiday breaks are coming up, and I know I’ll be doing some Black Friday shopping for Christmas. Should I get my Milligan friends gifts if I’m getting gifts for all my friends and family back home? Does it matter? How can I get everyone a gift without breaking the bank?

Sincerely,

Too Poor to be Santa

Dear Too Poor to be Santa,

I think that shopping on Black Friday and taking advantage of all those great deals is the best way to save money when buying gifts for multiple people. Another thing to remember: You don’t have to get extravagant gifts for everyone. Maybe splurge a little on your parents and a best friend or sibling, but when it comes to the rest of your friends, think small but still thoughtful. If there is a Five Below in your hometown, that’s a great place to start, because everything is $5 or less. They have things for your techy friends, your sporty friends, your sweet-tooth friends, your girly friends and your nerdy friends.

As to whether you should get gifts for your college friends, it depends completely upon the dynamic of your friendship. If you know they are getting you a gift, the nice thing would be to get them one as well, especially if you have a really close friendship. But you shouldn’t feel obligated to get gifts for everyone, especially if you’re not close friends to begin with. If you’re still unsure, a fun way to make sure that everyone gets and gives a gift is to get a group of friends together for a Secret Santa exchange. Give a price limit between $15-$20, and that way no one spends too much.

Hope this helps and that you all have safe travels and a Merry Christmas!

Brutus

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