Need a Shortcut, Santa?

Secret Santa
Nida Naushad

Be glad we’re not suggesting a lump of coal.

Although the approaching holidays may be overshadowed by the universal downer that is final exams, many Harvard students still find themselves celebrating in style with Secret Santa gift exchanges. But if you happen to draw the name of Someone You Don’t Really Know, the search for the perfect gag gift could turn from a fun study distraction to an annoying challenge. In case you’re stumped, FM has drawn up a cheat sheet based on your relationship to the Secret Santee to make your shopping go more smoothly.

Freshman Entryway

Most freshmen fall back on their entryways for socialization, so if you don’t know the person you’re matched up with, odds are it’s because he or she never leaves their room. Get them a Grow-Your-Own friend/male stripper/pet flamingo (around $3 at Hidden Sweets) so that they’ll have a project and some company during all those lonely hours.

Annenberg Table

There’s some serious awkward potential in these groups, especially if there’s that one kid who shows up every single time uninvited and never fully introduces himself. We suggest maxing out your spending limit for a gift certificate to the Kong (or Boloco, or any other Square restaurant), which will give him a reason to eat someplace else for once.

Roommate’s Significant Other

This is the one who moved their name tag to your door and never seems to spend the night elsewhere. If they’ve earned the honor of being an extra “roommate” for the purpose of the gift exchange, buy them a bar of soap ($2.99 at CVS) so they stop using yours and save the rest of your budget to get yourself some earplugs.

Section or Lab Classmate

Yes, most people in your class are probably just as jaded as you are with regards to learning, but you don’t have to acknowledge your awareness of that. Head to a bookstore and pick up an inexpensive volume related to the class subject that they “just can’t miss.” Or wrap up all of your lecture notes and give them the gift of an easier reading period.

Student Organization Member

Buy them alcohol. We all know that drinking is the real purpose behind most student groups.