The Best Budget Gifts for Bridgemas

It’s not about the money, money, money (or thoughtfulness)

bridgemas budget gifts budgeting clothes food formals friendships girton overpriced student life week 8

It’s that time of the year. Tensions are running higher than ever as we reach Week 8 of the friendship fermenting process that is the Cambridge term.

Think Bake Off Semi-Final, but if everyone wanted to use their spatulas for barbaric murder rather than baking measurements.

Don’t worry, this is entirely normal (says the first year in her first term, the obvious voice of authority). The intensity of our surroundings are bound to have a negative impact at this point in term: final deadlines are looming, the burden of seeing your family threatens the horizon and no one has any clean underwear left but it’s too close to the end of term to motivate a washing sesh. I won’t revisit the fermentation metaphor.

A brave new world

Let’s push aside these worries and remember that Christmas is a time not only for ruminating on the plot points of religious narratives – there may not have been ‘room in the inn’ but why didn’t Mary check Airbnb? – but also giving.

‘Giving?!’, I hear you gasp. ‘But I spend the entirety of my Cambridge experience desperately trying to avoid the countless money snatchers that litter our education: the overpriced formal tickets, plane tickets to and from Girton and Life’s 4 for £10 Jaegerbomb deal. How could I possibly start giving now?’

And how right you are. The key to Bridgemas gifts (and indeed Christmas gifts), is the omni-applicable phrase: ‘It’s the thought that counts’.

Considering going to a lecture but ultimately deciding to spend those golden hours watching various renditions of Bee movie on Youtube? It’s the thought that counts.

I can cite this as a source in a ‘Nature and the wild’ essay, right?

Considering a salad but ultimately deciding that life is short and we shouldn’t waste our precious time on this giant rock munching on turgid, flavourless stems when we could be constantly funnelling varying flavoursome forms of potato down our oesophogae (this make not be the official plural, but I prefer it)? It’s the thought that counts.

Considering using contraception but don’t have any? It’s the thought that counts.

So let us straddle the boundary between well-intentioned thoughts and gifts requiring more money than the Pantomime with a few budget Bridgemas gifts for you to bestow upon your besties. Nothing soothes an inflamed friendship like a spot o’ consumerism:

Your matriculation photo

A classic one for the college (grand)parents. They can look upon it with pride, and be reminded of how they managed to extinguish the youthful, naive glow that once radiated from your skin. A glow that has long gone since your pores are now continuously oozing alcohol and puréed cheesy chips.

Back when I was more dimple than girl

The gift of personal space

This one goes out to all my homies who walk on the fucking road outside Sainsbury’s instead of the GODDAMN PAVEMENT WHIST I’M TRYING TO NAVIGATE MY BICYCLE I JUST NEED TO GET TO MY SUPERVISION NOT ACHIEVE A GOLD MEDAL IN THE FUCKING SLALOM.

A Union Membership

£170 for another card to inevitably lose and a microscopic mug. That’s what I call a bargain.

A miscellaneous food-based item

Double chocolate muffins. Double chocolate cookies. Questionably garnished salmon slices.  What do all these items have in common? The marketing gods of Sainsburys have christened them with one hell of a discount and an imminent sell by date (What will expire first? The half-price bagels or your strained friendships?)

The millennial gold, frankincense and myrrh?

A miscellaneous clothes-based item

Any friend will appreciate the chivalric deed of supplying them with wavy (g)armour to protect them from outside the Cambridge bubble. Don’t worry if you didn’t make the various Vintage Weigh and Pays that plague your newsfeed – burrow to the back of your wardrobe and find that shirt you haven’t worn/washed since the foam party in freshers week. 

Wavier than the tempestuous River Cam

An STI of your choosing

What do you think the mistletoe at the Christmas formal is for?

The gift of knowledge

It’s true – we just love to learn here at Cambridge. But in a place of top academia, there are very few facts that are interesting or useful enough to impress us. Luckily, there is one fact and one fact only that can settle any rocky friendships when revealed: your CamCard gets you a 10% discount at the Van Of Life.

Failing all of these, a compilation pack of my Tab articles this term should do the trick. Merry Bridgemas x