You’re broke. We know. But it’s that terrible, horrible, no-good, very expensive time of the year. Don’t grinch out, though. scene went deal-shopping and found 20(ish) gifts for $20 or less (excluding taxes). Just because you have to be cheap doesn’t mean you can’t buy great, stylish gifts. And just in case you were thinking of them, we’ve listed the top five gifts to not get someone.

But before we get into the 20 gifts you need to give, let’s plug some gift-giving that represents the real spirit of the holiday season.

Gifts Squared

Nothing is as stylish as giving the gift of giving. Go to Reach Out’s Alternative Gift Market and buy Anti-malaria drugs in the name of your family member or friend. The Market, which will be held at Dwight Hall on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 9 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., offers everything from cacao seeds for Belize to teacher training in Haiti. Ten bucks gets you a one-twelfth of a goat, while $5 buys 42 oral rehydration packets for South Africans. Twenty dollars buys a flock of geese or 20 hens for a family in Bolivia.

For those who would rather give more concrete gifts, GLOBALized exCHANGE, a student organization committed to community development in nations like Guatemala, will be selling fair-trade handicrafts produced by community cooperatives affiliated with Guatemalan NGOs at the Alternative Gift Market. A paper mache Mr. Turtle bank runs for $12, and a paper mache sun for $14. Christmas ornaments, costing $6 or $10, and warm, colorful $14 Mayan scarves round out a large variety of gifts that go to a good cause.

Now, onto the 20.


Ten Thousand Villages, $1.25 to $11 — A variety.

Yale Center for British Art Store, $8.95 to $14.95 — Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare, Queen Liz, etc. Several of the ornaments’ hands are in naughty places. Ah, the British sense of humour.


Knitting Kit, $18, Urban Outfitters — Can you knit? Learn how and knit something for someone you love.

InterActivity Kit, $17.95, Yale University Art Gallery Store — Timothy Rose makes one-of-a-kind mobiles. Now you can, too.

Personal Seal Set with Wax (small), $12.95, British Art Center store.

Know a writer? The YUAG store sells beautiful book-making kits for $11 and $12, depending on whether you like your books soft or hard. Inspire them to get off their tail and start writing with one of three $19.95 tool kits for writers: The Autobiography Box, A Creative Writer’s Kit and The Observation Deck.


Mouse Radio, $18.75, YUAG store — It looks like a neon green computer mouse. But in fact, it’s a neon green radio masquerading as a computer mouse.

Manikins, $5.95, Hull Art Shop — Because sometimes, you need a man in your life. Particularly one you have total control over.

WWII clicker frogs, $3.95, Group W Bench Gallery — Have a friend who clicks his pen in class? Not in any of his classes? Buy him these clicker frogs, so he can click to his heart’s content.

Purple tin robot, $19.00, Group W Bench Gallery — It moves. It’s purple. It’s awesome.

Look good, feel good

Chilewich bags, YUAG store, from $12 to $16.

Glittens, $16.95, Group W Bench Gallery — Gloves and mittens combined. The best invention since sliced bread.

Pink narrow ribbon belt, $16.50, J. Crew.


Cinespinner animated suncatchers, $10 and $15, YUAG store — They’re magic!

“Math Curse,” $16.99, Barnes & Noble — The best children’s book that’s not about Christmas or a Harry Potter knock-off. It’s for your geeky little brother.

Coldplay’s “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” $15.99, Cutler’s — Even if you think Coldplay’s a U2 wanna-band, you gotta love front man Chris Martin. Particularly now that he has impregnated Gwynnie.

Edible candy cane shot glasses, $8, Urban Outfitters — Alcohol and peppermint. Yum.

The latest issues of Book magazine (at Barnes & Noble) and Metropolis magazine (YUAG store), both $4.95 — It’s the last issue of Book ever, and Metropolis is just beyond uber-cool.

Heat miser and snow miser knockers, $14, Urban Outfitters — The best thing about Christmas is commodified television special paraphernalia. Especially when they’re bobbleheads.


Gigli DVD, $21.99, Blockbuster (Dec. 9). Give it a day and it will be going for that minus the $21.

What not to buy under any circumstances — We mean it!

5. Britney Spears’ “In the Zone” CD — The first step to saving the music is to NOT BUY THE BRITNEY SPEARS’ CD.

4. Holiday Yale Nalgene bottles — It’s overcommodification of Yale at its worst combined with overcommodification of Christmas at its worst.

3. A gift certificate anywhere — Gift certificates are practical. But they also imply a) you didn’t care enough to really look for something the recipient wanted and b) you don’t know the person at all.

2. Food — because.

1. Calendars, picture frames, soap or anything Bath & Body-ish — the absolute worst. Everyone ends up with a bazillion of these. And no one, no matter how forgetful, popular or dirty he is, needs more than one — let alone any — of these impersonal, horrid excuses for gifts.

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