Girl Talk’s Holiday Gift Guide: For each of your Cambridge Friends

By Ruby Cline

Do you have those stunning gals in your life that deserve a reminder of what they mean to you this holiday? Did you have a deep midnight conversation about love languages and are now painfully aware that this is the season that determines your friend’s sense of security for the next year? Are you newly in your twenties and insistent that this is the year that you, like the adults you’ve watched from afar for decades, actually go out and buy nice treats rather than relying on the clearance section and your Art GCSE?

We have the perfect guide for you!

We have assembled the chicest collection of gift ideas for those you love and appreciate based on, and only on, their identity at Cambridge (as most of our identities are, let’s be honest). Happy gifting!

For your ‘lectures are a (cat)walk in the park’ friend

Is your most stylish friend suffering, having to cover their prized artsy jumpers and dresses up in the cold? Help them out and gift them some comfy–but–cute accessories to keep them from freezing for fashion.

You will know your friend’s wardrobe better than I do, but here are some pieces that could walk straight from the rack to Sidney bar.

  • Convince them that back problems aren’t worth the tote bag aesthetic with a stylish laptop–friendly backpack.
  • Wander through T K Maxx’s scarf and gloves section next time you’re on your way to King’s Parade. I’ve never got more compliments on one accessory, and they’re usually under £20!
  • There are some practical elements of the fit which I guarantee your friend would be grateful for. You could pick up some thermal tights, warm slouch socks, or black under-layers which help them wear their usual fits with minimal interruption from pesky jackets!

For your ‘I just get hall’ friend

At some point, we all have to learn to cook, even if Cambridge means that we can technically get a free pass for three extra years. Help them save money and gain basic life skills, all at the same time!

  • This book requires no oven and specifically asks for only one pan (that is, the pan you have only ever seen them cook tortellini in) 
  • For those who don’t even get the privilege to fry, try one of these microwave–specific cookbooks

For your most instagrammable friend

Your mate shows you adoration via her constant ‘second a day’ videoing or BeReal–taking or by ensuring that you are tagged in every single story post. In return, give them something to demonstrate your appreciation for their memory-cataloguing dedication.

  • Have a particular song you two bonded over loving (or hating) in Revs that one time? Gift them a photo of one of your favourite memories together, complete with a song that keeps you together! The best part about this one is how uni-room-friendly it is – the stand means that no wall installation is required.
  • Art A-level left me in possession of more tubes of ink than I could ever use or count, perpetual stress migraines, and two mini floodlights. I wouldn’t wish the first two on my worst enemy but the floodlights have been used and abused to death. Colour-changing blocks of light are shockingly useful for party lighting, photos at pres, and general mood lighting that isn’t your hospital-esque overhead accommodation lights. If you have a mate who keeps a themed room or Instagram, this is the gift for them.

For your library-resident friend

Even if you haven’t seen her since week four because she permanently moved into her Google Drive, your most hardworking friends still like to know you’re thinking about them!

  • Her supo work might not be keeping her warm, but you can make sure she’s still cozy – grab the girl a fuzzy blanket (potentially one with arm holes so her typing isn’t hindered).
  • No wonder they can’t get anything done with everyone (you included) trying to chatter away all the time! Buy them some nice headphones which send out a big fat ‘F*** OFF I’M WORKING’ message and will make their lecturer sound a tiny bit more tolerable.
  • If you’re not splashing out but still want to show your love, simply ask what their favourite brand of pen is and buy a set of ten. Make sure they’ll never be interrupted by something so trivial as being physically unable to write another word!
  • Make sure their neck is okay by buying them a portable laptop stand. They’ll be sure to thank you each time you walk past them straight-backed in their favourite library spot!

For your ‘affirmations in the mirror’ friend

If your mate has to repeat that she is loved in the mirror each morning, you better make damn well sure you’re telling her too! These are the best gifts for your not-religious-just-spiritual friend who may appreciate some reassurance from you as well as from the cosmos.

  • You can’t always be there to tell your words-of-affirmation gal that you love her, but this poster can! Be a bit cringe, go on – they’ll appreciate it, I promise. This everyday reminder can work particularly well for the friends you don’t get to see as often as you would like.
  • You might have left your BFF bracelets in the local Claire’s in 2015, but perhaps it’s time to dig back out the matching look in a new way. Etsy has a collection of matching jewellery sets that are more timeless than tween. With the added bonus that you get an excuse to get yourself a cute necklace too!
  • Is ‘self-care’ her favourite buzzword after ‘law of attraction’ and ‘slay’? Get this gal some face masks and lavender shower gel! Complete the gift with a personality-curated playlist (Fiona Apple strongly encouraged).
  • Everything’s better when you write it down! Make sure they’re reinforcing that self-love in these super aesthetic wellness and gratitude journals – who knows you may even end up on those gratitude pages!

For your heart–maker or breaker

Lecture crush you finally chatted to in the pub? Flatmate you’d never quite cross that line with (unless she was into it too)? Emerging situationship who you wouldn’t take to formal but would take to brunch?

  • Tickets to Junction or the Corn Exchange can be a great way to say, ‘hey! Mash is tired of us making out against that one wall, let’s take it to the next level by being equally sweaty but with live music this time!’ Also can work as excellent evidence that you do in fact remember their sixth favourite niche indie artist.
  • Buy yourself and them a gift simultaneously by getting them a cute mug and fancy hot chocolate or mulled wine–making set. They get a cozy wintery gift and you inevitably get some hot drink treats the next time you’re round.
  • Food is the way to the heart, and is also a perfect ‘oh I just saw it and thought of you!’ gift which conveniently avoids making it look like they sat on your gift list for six days before you thought of something (or stumbled upon this article). Nice chocolates are the cliche but don’t be afraid to venture out to more unconventional favourites! A nice version of something they might buy from Aldi (a jam set, flavoured honey, sweetshop classics) is a sweet (literally) way of expressing your love.

What about your mum? Have you got that lovely lady a present yet? Do not worry because…

Next up we have Girl Talk’s Gift Guide for the family!

Happy Gifting xoxo

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