Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Thoughtful gifts to help ‘wrap up’ this holiday season

From cozy to creative — writer picks for perfect holiday gifts
Abby Cima

While the most important part of the holidays is to spend time and make memories with loved ones, few deny the joy of receiving and giving a good gift. Even fewer deny the stress of buying gifts on a deadline. Life is busy during the holidays and playing Santa is tough — but no need to panic, we made the ultimate gift-guide for you.

Cozy gifts

Cozy gifts are a necessity, especially when you live in a state where people feel inclined to sign their emails with “stay warm!” during the months of October through March. Here are some gifts that give off serious “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” vibes.


Blankets are the ultimate go-to cozy gift. For quick delivery, order a blanket with good reviews on Amazon or pick one up from Target. Candles are another simple gift idea everyone could use for their home. Amazon and Target have great candles, but some other brands worth ordering from if you have the chance are Boy Smells, Zen Den and Lunastry. Boy Smells has all different types of scents but pride themselves on having lots of common masculine scents (hence the name). Zen Den sells decorative candles in the shapes of crystals, and Lunastry offers witchy candles with delightful smells. If any of your recipients live in a dorm, diffusers are a great alternative. As you could imagine, these are available on Amazon and at Target as well.

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Comfortable clothing is a winter must-have. Beanies, hats, sweatshirts, scarves, matching pajamas and sweaters give the gift of warmth and the feeling of comfort. All of these options can be found at Target, Amazon or other clothing stores. If you have a few extra days before you need your present, Susmies is a popular website for trendy and colorful scarves.

Food lovers

These gifts are for the people in your life that enjoy cooking and trying new foods, or maybe just binged a little too much of “The Bear.” Coffee or tea are gifts most are sure to use. A giftcard to any coffee shop will suffice for coffee drinkers, or a Keurig if you’re willing to spend more money. For tea lovers, loose leaf tea holders are cheap on Amazon. Personalize their gift by heading to Alobudra Spiritual Apothecary and picking out a specific tea for them. If you think the person you’re shopping for deserves a break, consider a gift card from the newly opened High Crowd Cafe for THC infused beverages.

If there’s one thing Wisconsin does very well, it’s making quality cheeses. There are many nearby cheese shops, including Wisconsin Cheese Mart and Brennan’s Market. Along with this, consider gifting a charcuterie board from Madison Cheese Boards or Boarderie. Add sweet treats and wine for glamor and a night of fun.

For memories

It may seem lazy to some to give gifts that are more handmade, but if you have a deeper connection to the person you’re buying a gift for, a sentimental gift is an excellent way to show your appreciation.

One way of doing this is to print photos you have of you two together. You can order the prints online to your nearest Walgreens, and they should be ready within a day or two. You can make the photos into an art project like a collage or frame the photos. Add snacks and a Squishmallow stuffed animal for extra customization.

Another option is to buy tickets for an event to go to with the person you’re buying a gift for. Purchasing tickets online is easy and takes little time. There are plenty of upcoming musicals, concerts, comedy shows, art exhibits and more coming to Madison or nearby.

Finally, a low-effort yet thoughtful sentimental gift idea is creating a handmade card or a customized playlist online. If this gift is meant to be romantic, buying a few roses as well can never hurt.

Shop Local

Most students live close to State Street, the street encapsulating the essence of Madison’s college town. If you spend lots of time on State Street, you probably walk past tons of gift-worthy stores every day and hardly notice. On top of other local shops we’ve already mentioned, here’s a few more.

Single Stitch has a wide range of curated vintage clothing for all genders and sizes. The shop is known for having good quality and unique game day clothes, but it’s on the expensive side. This would be the perfect place to buy someone a nice vintage piece of clothing that will have a long shelf life. Another highly rated clothing store on State Street is Art Gecko. They have vibrant clothing that’s reasonably priced, and one-size fits all if you don’t know which size to buy.

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If a smaller gift is what you have in mind, there are plenty of shops for you to choose from. For plant lovers, Red Square Flowers sells many products, including gift baskets and floral arrangements. Mimosa is a crystal shop that also sells small and large trinkets, incense, tarot cards and more. They have a wide price range, with their smaller crystals selling for as low as under a dollar per piece. Madison Modern Market has lots of general items with unique decorative aesthetics such as home decor, kitchenware, small toys and games. If you know your gift recipient has a record player or a CD player, B-Side Records has records and CDs which make personal and aesthetic gifts. Our last featured shop is The Soap Opera. While they sell many soaps, lotions and skincare products, one of their unique products is custom perfumes and essential oils. Simply walk in, and someone will assist you in crafting a perfume for the person you have in mind.

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