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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

When Christmas shopping, FHC students and staff focus on family


Students and teachers alike mostly end up Christmas shopping for their family rather than friends. 

English teacher Jessi Dykstra immediately thinks of her mom regarding the idea of Christmas shopping. She believes that parents, especially moms, are underappreciated when it comes to receiving gifts during the holiday season even though they do so much giving. 

Parents, especially those of kids who are not yet adults, often don’t receive their due. Dykstra prioritizes her mom to have the most spent on her to help show her appreciation for all that her mom has done for her. 

“Moms are so underappreciated on Christmas,” Dykstra said. “Moms are always the ones buying gifts for everyone and they don’t get anything. They say they’re fine and that they love their family. Parents in general forget to get things for themselves and think all they need are some socks and their kids love, but it’s so sad because you can tell sometimes that they’re sad.”

Like Dykstra, seniors Jenna Lowell and Katy Dykstra are family-oriented when it comes to Christmas shopping. The amount that students typically will spend on gifts has a range between $100 and $200. 

What will be spent also varies on the amount of people they buy for and how much they get for each of them. With only part-time or smaller jobs, most students are more reserved than robust with their spending. Christmas is the season of giving, so it doesn’t matter how much is spent on someone, but the thoughtfulness and appreciation that comes with giving gifts that matters. 

Christmas is the season of giving, so it doesn’t matter how much is spent on someone, but the thoughtfulness and appreciation that comes with giving gifts that matters. 

“I typically shop for my family,” Dykstra said. “[How much I spend] depends on the year, but this year probably around $50 a person. This year I’ll probably spend more on my mom because she’s underappreciated so I feel like I [will] try to go bigger for her.”

Senior Jenna Lowell is an online shopper looking forward to getting her brother’s gifts this year. For her brother, she looks for sport-oriented things. His love for golf inspired his gift this year, it’s humorous, loving, and thoughtful. She also goes shopping for gifts for her parents. When she knows about a deal ahead of time and knows what she’s looking for, she enjoys Christmas shopping in-store. Otherwise, she will typically just shop online because it’s more convenient for her and she doesn’t enjoy going into stores.

“Typically, I just shop for my immediate family, my dad, mom, and brother,” Jenna said, “I probably spend around $100 altogether; sometimes, I will get a card from my parents that I will use for somebody else in my family. This year I want to get [my brother] golf balls with my face on them, I think that’d be really funny. I will typically get clothes for my mom. For my dad, he likes to grill. I like to get him little add-ons for that or beer stuff; he likes to brew beer.”

Shopping online comes with its conveniences. It doesn’t require you to actually go in-store and endlessly search for specific things that may never be found. Christmas shopping online provides unlimited options for gifts with a quick Google search. Online shopping is preferred by busy students who might not have time to go into a store and search for their gift ideas. It also provides many options that are not in-store, like custom golf balls with Jenna’s face on it.

Online shopping makes shopping easier, providing anything and everything anyone would want. One of the only downsides of online shopping is if you are a procrastinator, your items might not ship on time, they might even arrive after Christmas. But with enough planning and looking ahead, online shopping can be a convenient and easier way to do your Christmas shopping.

“If I know about a deal ahead of time and I know I’d be going to a store to buy something specific, then I shop in-store,” Jenna said. “Otherwise, I just shop online because it’s more convenient for me and I don’t like shopping in-store.”

At the beginning of December, senior Katy Dykstra began the search for gifts. During summer, she’ll save up her tips from her job and save them to use them to buy presents for people. Katy believes that starting at the beginning of December is perfect because it gives time for things that need to be shipped time to be shipped in on time and gives her enough time to save up plenty of tips. 

Katy and her brother help each other get more expensive and elaborate gifts for their parents. Outside of her family, for Secret Santa, she sets a reasonable limit of around $30. Katy enjoys Christmas shopping both in-store and online. While online shopping, she loves supporting small businesses such as Etsy shops.

“I shop both in-store and online,” Katy said. “Usually there are some things I can only get in stores, so I’ll do that. But if not, I’ll go online. I like finding things on Etsy and small businesses. My dad’s gift this year is from France, so obviously I can’t go in-store to pick that up. Usually, I do a lot of my Christmas shopping because I like buying from small businesses.”

Secret Santa is one of the most popular ways among friends or family to exchange gifts. Everyone that is in the group is randomly assigned someone to buy gifts for another person in the group. The gift exchange oftentimes includes everyone in the group coming together. Secret Santa is a great way to exchange gifts among friends because it makes you feel like you don’t have to get multiple people or everybody’s gifts. At the exchange, everyone has someone, so no one is left out.

The anticipation that leads up to the exchange makes the game fun.

“I like doing Secret Santa because it allows you to save more money and be more personal with the gifts,” Katy said. “You don’t have to get gifts for everyone, just one person, so it makes it easier and makes it more fun to guess who has who. I love the game element and I feel like it’s a good bonding experience.”

 Dykstra is a procrastinator unlike Katy, but an online shopper, oftentimes with her purchases arriving the day of or the day before Christmas. If she’s not shopping online, she’s in a thrift store looking for something cute and unique. Online shopping makes looking for anything she could ever want to find easy, but thrift stores provide options she wouldn’t have thought of before.

“[I like to] shop online,” Dykstra said. “It’s easier and I can find more things versus stores where if I don’t find what I need, I have to go everywhere and it’s very stressful. But sometimes I go to little thrift stores because they have cuter stuff and unique things which is usually what I do for my sister.”

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About the Contributor
Olivia Rainey
Olivia Rainey, Staff Writer
Olivia is a senior entering her first year on The Central Trend. She has always had a love for writing and is looking forward to ending high school on staff. Outside of writing, she loves spending time with her horse Fitz, hanging out with friends, and listening to music. Although she has no musical talent whatsoever, Olivia loves rock n' roll and punk rock and can always be found listening to music. She wishes she had joined the TCT staff earlier, but she's excited and glad that she decided to join for her senior year. Her favorite bands: blink-182 and The Offspring Her weirdest thing she's written: An essay about toasting bread in junior year Her Starbucks order: A venti Strawberry Crème Frappuccino with extra strawberry purée Her favorite TV show: South Park

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    Jessi DykstraDec 17, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    10/10 student with some quality journalism here