Buying for the impossible relative

By Peter Boskey

Aren’t the holidays wonderful? The snow is beautiful, families come together and, of course, we exchange presents.

-Wait, scratch that. Let’s start over.

Aren’t the holidays stressful? Cars are buried in a foot of snow, families get on each other’s nerves and there is that dreaded holiday shopping.

Well, the snow won’t go away and family life never will be perfect. However, a little help with the all-too-often confusing task of holiday shopping may be possible.

No matter how long you have known someone, many times the same statement pops up while exchanging gifts – “you’re impossible to buy for.” However, there are many electronic items out that are perfect holiday presents for any college student.

“I kind of want a palm pilot,” says Ryan Goodale, a sophomore marketing major. “It would help me be more organized. Then again, I would probably lose it. I’ll probably just end up getting DVDs.”

Both gifts are perfect ideas. Palm pilots are good presents depending on how much you plan on spending. The cheapest palm pilot advertised at Wal-Mart is the Palm Zire Handheld which goes for $97.89, while top of the line models such as Palm i705 Handheld cost nearly $400.

DVDs also are a good solution to holiday presents. They are relatively cheap and offer a huge variety of selections. There is always a favorite movie to get somebody, as well as a movie that someone hasn’t seen.

Nathan Chaney, a junior business management major, has his own ideas for holiday presents.

“I think DVD players as well as DVDs are hot items this year,” he said. “Big screen TVs, too.”

While big screen TVs might be out of most people’s price ranges, DVD players are good gifts for Mom and Dad. While standard DVD players are fine, a new product has emerged in the market – DVD/VHS cassette players.

-Now there is no need to replace every movie your family already owns on VHS with DVDs when watching video cassettes isn’t a hassle. Mom and Dad always are thrilled to save space, plus they may even give you their old DVD player to take back to school. Depending on how much the parents are worth to you, you may have to ask your younger sibling to throw in on the present.

Digital cameras also are good gift ideas.

“A digital camera would be nice to have,” says Corinne Supol, a junior journalism major. “It beats having to deal with buying and developing film.”

The digital camera is yet another hot item that is a sure smile on the receiver’s face, but a frown on the giver. The cheapest digital camera advertised at Wal-Mart is the Olympus D380 priced at $178.32, ranging up to models such as the Sony MVC-FD75 that goes for $298.46. Again, a possible gift for a significant other or the parents, but probably not a good idea for friends.

While gaming systems aren’t nearly as popular as they were last year, Radio Shack has a good deal going with the PlayStation2 Bundle Pack. It includes the PlayStation2 counsel, which is also a CD/DVD player, two games, two controllers, two controller extension cords and a gaming strategy guide for $299.99.

Cellular phones also are becoming more popular, especially since many students have cell phones as their primary phone. Not a bad gift idea, either. Prices for phones range from as cheap as $50 to as ludicrous as $800.

Whether you are looking for something to say “happy holidays” or “I love you,” there are many different gift ideas in the electronic world for anyone. It just takes a little research. However, there are always people that just don’t want to get with the times.

“Electronics tend to be too complicated,” says Paul Betlinski, a sophomore accountancy major. “I stay away from the matter and stick with clothes and cheap jewelry.”