By Nick Smith
Photo illustration by Jacob Konst/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Corinne Gaul, a nutritional sciences sophomore, examines a dream catcher inside the Morning Singer in Tucson Mall, 4500 N. Oracle Road. Students struggle with their search for fun and inexpensive gifts for loved ones during the holiday season.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
With the holiday season rapidly approaching, students are facing the monumental task of exchanging hard-earned currency for a trinket of some sort and then handing it to another person, otherwise known as gifting.
Fortunately, if you've just made your last withdrawal at the First Bank of Change Found in the Sofa, you still have several options to get that perfect gift for less than the price of a meal at the Student Union Memorial Center.
A multitude of inexpensive presents can be found only a block from campus at Bookman's, 1930 E. Grant Road, which specializes in any and all things used ranging from Atari games to a Gene Simmons action figure. They have books, too.
"You can't get cheaper than used," said Vickie Dautton, a Bookman's employee.
Dautton recommends that most of the things in the store can fully meet a student's tight budget.
"But you can always make a donation to the Human Fund," Dautton said, invoking George Costanza's ill-fated Christmas gift from an episode of "Seinfeld."
Besides the basic book-DVD-CD fare, Bookman's also plays host to a multitude of unique but affordable gift ideas.
For $8, you can treat a lucky family member to a hand-painted maraca. For only $4, you can impress a sibling with the kitschy Rick James record album, Bustin' Out of L Seven.
For a more personalized touch, students can take advantage of the store's back catalog of various magazines.
For only a few dollars, you can remind your grandparents just how old they really are by buying a Life magazine from the month and year they were born. Each magazine is only a few bucks, except if you're buying for a nonagenarian, which means that National Geographic from 1910 will cost you $15.
Students would be wise to note that if a person doesn't ask for a specific item, you can get them whatever you want.
Students who prefer not to venture far from an Internet connection can buy from the bastion of expansive and inexpensive items, eBay. You can find virtually anything on eBay, but the price depends on how many other people want it.
A $23,000 Tiffany ring might be a bit pricey for a stocking stuffer, but who can resist bidding on a "slightly used" $1 bill?
Other cheap "gifts" available on the world's largest online auction house include a grain of salt for $9.49, a singing Michael Jackson doll (with removable nose) at $14.99 and wooden Coca-Cola nickels priced at $5.
When selecting gifts for other people, it is important to heed the following advice: It's the thought that counts.