Elves Hard at Work

Christmas can be an exciting time of the year for most people, however when students get their first job they are often hit with the reality of how much gifts actually cost and, oftentimes, learn an important lesson when it comes to managing their budget to be able to afford gifts for everyone as well as being able to afford their normal expenses. Budgeting for Christmas can be hard for students who work a low salary job because these students may have high expectations for the gifts that they want to get their loved ones that don’t necessarily match the amount of money that they are making. 

Some working students decide to save their money for a while before the holiday season so that they are able to afford the perfect gift for those that they are close to. Senior, Laney Kinsey, thinks that saving money for gifts before the Christmas season allows for her to get nice gifts for her loved ones despite the price tag. 

“Having a job has allowed me to be able to buy more gifts for more people. I am able to do this because I saved a little money from every check so that I can buy a well thought out gift for all my loved ones. Overall, having a job has changed my perspective on gift giving because now I know how hard people work to be able to afford Christmas gifts,” Kinsey stated.

Students who work in retail are often able to get an unique perspective on the Christmas holiday that others may not get to experience. As well as getting to see some of the behind the scenes work that goes into making Christmas possible for so many people senior Madison Martinez, who works at TJ Maxx, is also able to afford a variety of gifts this year for her loved ones. 

“Having a job has allowed me to buy gifts for my loved ones and feel more involved in the holiday. Since I work in retail and get the opportunity to decorate the store for the holiday season which just gets me more in the Christmas spirit. Having a job has allowed me to see how expensive it is to get everyone nice gifts. I’m trying to keep it at fifty dollars for everyone I want to buy gifts for. My spending habits are horrible and I usually spend my whole check as soon as I get them, however I’ve been trying to break these habits by buying less stuff for myself so that I can afford to buy gifts for everyone,”Martinez said.

Although having a job can make it easier to afford nice gifts, many students have always been able to pull together some sort of gift for their loved ones no matter if they were employed or not. Senior, Pamela Tamo, says that although she was always to buy something nice for her family, having a job has allowed for her to get even nicer gifts for more people.

“I’ve always liked to give gifts, even when I had no money and no job, I would always find a way to give my loved ones a gift. Having a job has just made it easier. To me gifts aren’t about the money, it’s more about the thought behind it but at the same time I won’t be giving anyone any cheap gifts,” Tamo said.

Some students like senior, Skylar Parker, who is a nail tech, doesn’t work traditional jobs therefore don’t get a routine paycheck which can make it hard to save up for Christmas gifts. Parker says that although she doesn’t have a traditional job she is still able to afford a variety of gifts for those she loves.

“I determine who to get gifts and how much to spend on gifts by how important they are to me or what they have done to me. This allows me to save money because I won’t be buying gifts for that many people. Having a job has allowed me to buy gifts for my friends this year instead of just my family,” Parker said.

All in all, having a job often changes students’ perspectives by making it possible for them to spend a large amount of money on gifts for a wider variety of people while also allowing them to see how difficult Christmas can be for their loved ones who have always had to buy gifts for them and their other family members.