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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Make your gifts this holiday season

Olivia Reid
A shopper looks at different paints for their next DIY project. Photo by Olivia Reid / Photography Editor.

This time of year, when the lights are twinkling and the air is frigid, is the time to show love to the people you care about. Spending a lot of money on them isn’t the answer. Instead, opt for handmade gifts for your loved ones.

Vintage candle

For this first gift, you can find everything you need at the thrift store. Buy some candlesticks and crystal dishes at your local Savers or Goodwill. Clean out the inside of the crystal dish with a spray cleaner to make sure any old residue is gone. Take your candle sticks and snap them in half, but don’t break the wick. 

Put the candlesticks in a double boiler. For those who don’t know how to double boil, put a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, and you have a double boiler. Let the candles melt down until they are fully liquid. Remove the wicks from the double boiler and allow them to cool. Once they have cooled, hot glue the metal circles to the bottom of your crystal dishes. Depending on the size of your dish, use one to three wicks per dish. 

Add any essential or fragrance oils to the melted wax to scent your candles. If you don’t have any oils to scent candles, buy candlesticks with a fragrance. Then, use skewers or clothespins to keep the wicks in place and pour your melted wax into each crystal dish, until it reaches right below the top of each dish. Trim the wicks to ¼ inch above the wax. You will be left with a cute vintage candle! Instead of crystal dishes, tea cups would also work.


Blind book date

This next gift idea is great for any book lover! Go to your favorite bookstore and pick up a book for your loved one. For those who don’t have a favorite bookstore, try visiting Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, Trident Booksellers & Café or Posman Books on Newbury Street, or Brattle Bookshop in Downtown Crossing. 

Next, wrap the book in brown paper packaging so you can write on it. Write “Blind Date with a Book” and include a couple highlights about the story in bullet points. For example, you could write: fantasy romance, enemies to lovers, etc. In the folds of the wrapping paper, feel free to insert a card, a couple bags of their favorite tea, bookmarks or a gift card!


Charm keychain 

The next gift on your list should be these charm keychains. Go to Michael’s or any other craft store to buy elastic cord and some fun beads. There are so many charms there, so go crazy and find some that match your friend’s vibe. Also, search for a keyring that can attach your keychain to their bag. When you get home, thread the beads on the cord and attach your key ring at the top. Now you have a personalized keychain! You could also make a phone leash with these same materials. Instead, just make the chain long enough to fit around their wrist and don’t include the keyring. 


Annotated book

For this next gift, go to the bookstore and find a poetry book. It doesn’t have to be poetry, but those are the most fun. A book in the receiver’s favorite genre also works well. Then annotate the book with little notes for your friend. Leave your reactions, stickers or little reminders for them. It’s like you’re reading it with them!


Cheese board set

This next one is so simple and fun. Get a mini cutting board or serving board from Home Goods, along with a couple cheese knives. Because this gift only has a few pieces, you want to make sure that each piece is of good quality. Take the board’s handle and tie the knives and an ornament to it with a nice ribbon. Now, give it to them in a basket with other things, like some nice cheeses, a jar of jam or homemade crackers. You can include anything, really. The possibilities are endless.

About the Contributors
Rena Weafer, Arts Editor
Olivia Reid, Photo Editor