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Christmas gift guide: presents for under £10

Article writen by: Beth
08 December 2021

It's that time of year again: SANTAS COMING! 

Being a Leicester student myself, I know being a student in general during this time of year can be hard! So many friends and not enough student loan, even if you have managed to successfully stay on budget the entire term, Christmas shopping can be hard. 

Luckily, Santa’s little helper, AKA me, has compiled the nicest of lists to help with your Christmas gift giving while at university. These gifts can be used to decorate your Leicester uni accommodation or for events which take place whilst you stay in accommodation at your uni.

So, whether you are participating in a society Secret Santa, or shopping for a household holiday, my Christmas top 10 under £10 should inspire some festive gift ideas!


  1. Poster or Print 

    The easiest and most effective way to deck your halls is to display things that spark a bit of joy. I find posters and prints can really change a room from drab to fab. Finding a poster or print that really shows off your creativity and style is the easiest way to make you feel at home while at university.

    The University of Leicester also holds regular poster sales with posters starting at £4, so its is a very affordable gift for your friends. Additionally, it can be quite thought provoking when choosing a poster that you think reflects your friend’s personality.


    To make this gift that little bit more expensive looking I’d recommend buying a frame for the poster or print you chose. This small touch can make the gift seem like its worth even more, although it is entirely optional.

  2. Stationary

    If you have managed to make it this far without loosing all that fancy stationary you bought in summer, good on you, but we aren’t all that lucky. For many of us, we are down to our last pen, and we don’t even know what happened to those pastel highlighters, but now its exam season and we have nothing to write with.

    A simple pack of pens, pencils, and highlighters would go a long way for some during this time of year. Or you could spice it up and get silly stationary with funny themes and quotes. Or even better find some stationary that reflects your friend; maybe a notebook with a cactus on it, or post it notes shaped like their favorite animal.

  3. Plants

    We have all done it: we got the staple university plant for our room to deck the halls. Or maybe you haven’t; then this gift should be for you.

    But for those of us who did buy the classic cactus or went for the fancier spider plant, a perfect gift for your friends would be to share the love, and gift them a plant, or if they have too many, a larger plant pot, for the plants that need a bit more growing room. Have a friend who has already killed all their plants? Buy them some fake plants to fill those sad empty pots

    The university holds regular plant sales, selling real and fake plants. They also sell plant pots!

  4. Socks and mugs

    The classic! Socks!

    You can really win over your friends with a classic pair of socks. To make it fancier, create your very own socks and mug combo.

    The key to this gift idea is to get the craziest socks and mug you can find, something that really showcases your personality or your friend’s attitude.

    To make this gift a little bit cozier, add some hot chocolate sachets and a flake or packet of marshmallows.

    You can never go wrong with a mug and socks!

  5. Drinking Card Games

    The best way to spice up any Christmas party, and any pres after Christmas, is with a good drinking game. Some of the best drinking card games include ‘Girls Night In’, ‘You Laugh You Drink’, ‘For The Girls’, ‘These Cards Will Get You Drunk’, ‘Swear Snap’, and many more.

    Card games don’t only apply to drinkers, a classic game of Uno, Cards Against Humanity, or any other card game will also be a hit with your friends.

    Many of these games come with expansion packs, which are smaller but tend to be a lot cheaper and still functional as an entire game!

  6. Pajamas

    Halls in the winter can be freezing! A festive pair of pajamas can really bring the festive cheer! Again, the key to shopping for pajamas for friends is to go wacky and wonderful. maybe a onesie of Mario is what your flat mate needs, or some new Shrek themed PJs!

    Bonus points for including matching socks, for double cozy Christmas points!

  7. Festive Alcohol

    University wouldn’t be university and Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a bev. Why not mix the two and gift your friend a festive drink! This could be as simple as a bottle of tequila rose, or a bottle of prosecco! (Extra points If you put a bow on it).

    Any drink will do, if you wrap it well. Consider their favorite drink, or maybe buy them something that you think they might like to try.

    Alternatively, consider gifting them a nice prosecco glass, or pint glass, or even shot glasses for their favorite drink. You can often find small gift box sets.

  8. Hamper of Sweets
    This gift requires a little DIY, but it’s easy enough. Find a basket, box, or anything you like and fill it with sweets and their favorite snacks. Everyone loves snacks and sweets especially this time of year when we are all locked up indoors studying and procrastinating; so why not do it with a nice treat. Go find the most festive treats and other sweet snacks to create the cutest hamper for your friends.

  9. Phone or air pod case

    If you have managed to make it this long without getting too drunk and dropping your phone on a night out and either smashing your screen protector or destroying your phone case well done, but we all have that friend whose phone needs a bit of TLC.

    Give that phone some TLC, with a phone repair kit. A cute new phone case, that shows off their personality and a new screen protector, because how can you even see your screen like that!

    Bonus point for an air pods case (that matches ofc!)

  10. Gift Card

    Finally, when all else is lost, a classic gift card will do. I’d recommend getting a gift card for an activity, such as golf, trampoline park, meal out, ice skating, or anything that means you can spend a nice day out with your bestie on a snowy day.

    Alternatively, you could gift them a gift card for coffee, bookstores, or any shop that they especially like. Everyone likes money off their favorite shop!

    Accommodation for students in Leicester has never been easier to find thanks to Student Beehive. If you're still looking for Leicester uni accommodation then check out the options available here.