A Quirky Student Gift-Giving Guide by Will Wilkins

Being a student often means sacrificing a lot of luxuries. Being tight on cash can feel restricting, claustrophobic, and with Christmas rapidly approaching, our lack of funds become more apparent. Many of us enjoy giving gifts, especially when you get it just right; but, of course, being a student, this is not always possible.

I’ve scoured the internet to find the best (and cheapest) presents to give to your family, housemates, or that special someone. Hell, you can even ask Santa for these yourself. The best part is, all these presents are under £20!

10: Bread Slippers


Ever looked at a freshly baked loaf of bread and thought, “yeah, I’ll stick my foot in there”? Well then, these will be perfect for you.

Described online as “lovingly kneaded and baked to perfection by slipper experts” and “gluten-free for all you coeliacs”, these slippers are universal.

Finally, with the choice of white or brown bread, what’s not to love? Just be sure not to spread any condiments on them.

9: The Halloumi Cookbook


Love halloumi? Of course you do. This cookbook, written by Heather Thomas (the genius behind the brilliant The Avocado Cookbook) contains over 60 halloumi-based recipes.

From quick snacks to full-blown meals to impress visiting parents, this would make a great Secret Santa gift for a housemate.

8: Harry Potter Cauldron Mugs


Let’s face it, a lot of brand merchandise is a bit disappointing. Looking up gifts for fans of different media is tricky; you’re stuck between badly printed mugs or t-shirts with sticky transfer pictures that come off in the wash.

These Hogwarts mugs (or perhaps ‘cauldrons’ are more appropriate) are pristine. Professionally made with engraved house names and coat-of-arms, these mugs are ideal gift for your friend in Surrey’s Harry Potter Society.

7: Instant Regret Chilli Chocolate


Do you have a housemate that you secretly just can’t stand? Know a self-professed BNOC that needs to be taken down a peg or two? This is the gift for you.

This chocolate bar is made with 6.4 million Scoville chilli extract – for reference, a red savina chilli is around 800,000. This is for the big wigs.

I got one of these for my dad last Christmas, and ate some for science. I can confirm that any normal human will be in tears after this. Don’t worry, it’s not painful. Just hot. Really hot.

This gift is a bit of fun, one that obviously isn’t as long-term as the previous entries on this list, but think of the possibilities. This will certainly add a bit of sizzle to your New Year’s Pres.

6: Scorpion Vodka


Once you’re done with your chilli chocolate, wash it down with some scorpion vodka. This 37.5% drink comes in two sizes; 70ml or 250ml (or as I call it, “Exam Season size”).

Complete with a specially bred Chinese scorpion to eat after necking your shot, this eight-legged creature might make for the absolute best chaser. Just make sure you don’t force-feed it to your vegan flatmate.

This bottle’s safe from the usual alcohol-thieves, too. Imagine the look on their faces when they see what you’ve been keeping in the bottle. Might be a good way of getting kicked out of halls, though.

5: Eleven Bleeding Nose Candle


Know a Stranger Things fan? Looking for a strange thing to get as a gift? I’ve got good news for you.

This candleholder makes a unique addition to any student room, alongside lava lamps and fairy lights.

Complete with two candles, a nose hook (for cleaning out any extra bogeys) and currently 40% off on Firebox, this makes for something a bit different.

4: On The Rocks: Whisky Rocks


These small rocks are carved from pieces of recycled granite, cleaned and maintained to be re-used again and again.

Simply chill them in your fridge or freeze them in your freezer to deliver a way to keep your drinks suitably cold without diluting whatever’s inside.

Is there anything better then maintaining a refreshing drink without compromising the integrity of its flavour pattern WHILST saving water?! Didn’t think so.

3: Mermaid Blanket


If you’re anything like me – a young man born on the cusp of the new millennium, born into a world of boundless opportunities thanks to the internet – then you, too, want to be a mermaid when you grow up.

With this blanket, that dream can come true. A simple knitted blanket can truly transform an individual, making you a part of their world.

Delightfully pink with enough cross-stitches to replicate scales, go under the sea and complete your mermaid fantasy with this blanket.

2: ‘I’m a Twat’ Mug


Picture this. You’re a fresher. Your first Christmas at university. Your flat decides to throw a Secret Santa, and someone who ‘can’t decide who they want’ recommends you pull names out of a hat. You pull your least-favourite housemate. That person that always gets on your nerves. The elephant in the room. I’ve got just the gift for you.

The ‘I’m a Twat’ mug is timeless; a classic practical joke that spans the past few decades. Everyone gets a good laugh, as your victim unknowingly raises this declaration to their lips.

A simple, yet effective, novelty that is microwave safe. Nice. See how long it takes for the recipient to notice!

1: ‘How Not to Be a Dick’


Think the mug above may be too generous? Really need someone to learn their lesson? Maybe your partner’s been acting strangely recently? Here’s some homework for them.

The aptly titled How Not to Be a Dick is a short novel that is essentially a must-have for any student house.

As a religious person may read a Bible verse once a day, you too should read one piece of this a day. A universal mantra and wholesome ideology, How Not to Be a Dick is a life-changing book.

It is genuinely full of advice though; so don’t write it off quick.


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