Tis the Season … To Go Broke?

Lucinda Albers

Lucinda Albers

Are you a last minute party planner and/or gift-buyer? The Juice has compiled several options that will make everyone happy (especially your wallet).GiftsIf you’re looking for gifts, but don’t want to go to 10 different stores, several places on campus offer gifts for all your family and friends.

University BookstoreAt the University Bookstore, you can get everything from clothes to home and office supplies. The store’s merchandise ranges from ornaments, frames and magnets, to playing cards and potpourri jars. The store’s blankets include fleece and even a tapestry afghan of the Campanile. Home decorations include everything from garden pole sets and wooden door signs to wall and mantle clocks.For cars, the store sells decals (for alumni, Mom and Dad), antenna/car flags and license plate frames.The Bookstore sells special merchandise for alumni as well, including car decals, sweatshirts, t-shirts and jackets. And for the die-hard alum, you can always purchase the book College on the Hill.The store has the obvious caps, t-shirts, sweatshirts and sweatpants for students and family and friends. To stay warm in the winter, the Bookstore offers beanies, mittens and scarves.For the office, the store has everything from card holders to desk clocks and letter openers.Like many other every gift stores, the Bookstore also has shot glasses, mugs and regular glasses (even brandy and wine glasses).For the younger kids, the Bookstore has things such as baby blankets, bibs, socks and even a Future Jack cap. The Bookstore also has stuffed rabbits and plush basketballs and footballs.

Agricultural Heritage MuseumThe Agricultural Heritage Museum Gift Store carries products from “rose quartz jewelry and soy products to treats for your favorite Dakota Dog,” according to their Web site. The also carry cards, posters, toys and several types of books. Also according to the Web site, the museum store is “the creator of the official SDSU Home for the Holidays Ornaments”, and it offers several selections of ornaments. The store is open during museum hours (Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.). Merchandise can be ordered online or by mail, phone or fax. The store accepts Discover, Visa, MasterCard, personal checks or money orders.

Alumni AssociationThe Alumni Association’s gift store includes several books such as College on the Hill and The Winds of Change. They also carry “Prairie Vigilance” prints, which depict the Campanile, hitch covers, neckties and license plates. The South Dakota State University Alumni Association is located at the Tompkins Alumni Center in Brookings. The Association can be reached as 605-697-5198, or e-mail at [email protected].

South Dakota Art MuseumThe South Dakota Art Museum Store, located at the Art Museum, sells a “wide variety of unique pieces,” according to its Web site. This includes items ranging from “handmade beaded jewelry to colorful ceramic pottery and innovative basketry.” The store also has several books. To purchase something from the store, you can send an e-mail to [email protected], or call 605-688-5423.

SDSU Dairy Plant and Sales BarAccording to the Web site, “dairy products manufactured include 24 cheese varieties, butter, beverage milk, more than 90 flavors of ice cream and sherbet, and ice cream cookie sandwiches.” The Dairy Bar is run by SDSU students and the products are made by students. The SDSU Dairy Plant can be found in the Dairy Microbiology building. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Dairy Bar can be reached at 605-688-5420 or 605-688-4116.

Meat ScienceThe SDSU Meat Lab can be found on the west end of the Animal Science Complex. According to their Web site, “the Meat Lab is a fully-inspected facility and all animals and meat products must pass government inspection before being sold.” To guarantee better quality and longer shelf life, most products are sold frozen. The Meat Lab sells items including beef steaks and roasts, pork chops and roasts, lamb chops and roasts, ground beef/pork/lamb, ham, bacon, bratwurst, cooked sausages, jerky, beef sticks and variety meats. Meat orders are taken Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sale hours are Thursday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., but there is no cutting after 4:30 p.m. To guarantee you will get your meat, call ahead at 688-5925 or stop in early. Product availability varies depending on time of semester and year. Party GamesSmall starter games can be perfect for when guests are just arriving and more are yet to come. Also, when playing games, make sure that guests are comfortable in the setting, or they will not be as willing to play. Small games can help start the party and help people to get to know one another.As the party continues, don’t push guests into playing games. This will only make them less excited to be social. Encourage them to play, but do not force them.

Christmas Movie TriviaThis is harder when using older movies, and can get very interesting when using current movies. Include all movies that happen around Christmas, not just those involving Christmas themes.

CelebritiesHave everyone sit in a circle on the floor or at a table. Write the name of a celebrity (famous person or character) on a piece of paper and stick it to the forehead of the person on your left using tape or Post-It notes. Make sure the person to your left doesn’t see the name. Everyone else can see the name on your forehead but you. The objective is to work out who you are. Going around the table, each person takes a turn to ask the party questions about who he or she is. Answers can only be YES or NO. If you get a YES as an answer, you may continue asking, but if you get a NO, the play moves on to the left.The last person to guess their name loses.

Noah’s ArkThis is best if played in a small group with people you know, or a large group of very outgoing guests.The party group divides into two parallel lines facing each other. Each person is assigned an animal whose match is in the other line. Everyone in the room then acts like the assigned animal and walks (crawls, flaps, waddles, etc.) across the room to find his or her mate. No human language is allowed. When people think they have discovered their mates, they go to the referee. This continues until everyone has been mated.

Pass the OrangeMake teams of about eight. Stand guests in a line, one behind the other. Give each team an orange. The first person tucks the orange under his or her chin. The orange is passed to the person behind them, without using any hands. If someone drops the orange or uses his or her hands, his or her team must start again. The first team to get all the way through their line wins.

Musical ChairsMost people know this old favorite. With one fewer chairs than people, create a circle. A short sample of music is played, while people move around the chairs. When the music stops, everyone tries to sit on a vacant chair. The person who doesn’t get a chair is out. One chair is taken away each round, and the game continues until only one person is left.

I Have NeverEach person has the same amount of counters (toothpicks, pennies, etc.), or holds up one hand, all fingers extendedThe players take turns around the circle, saying something he or she has never done. Anyone who has done this must get rid of his or her counters, or put a finger down. The last person with a counter left or a finger up wins.

Decorations and PlanningFor Christmas decorations on a budget, remember ABCD: advertisements, bargains, coupons and discount stores. To get the best bargains, watch the papers for any advertisements for decorations going on sale. Clip coupons (no this does NOT make you look poor), and in all other cases, hit up the discount stores, such as Family Dollar Store and Dollar Discount in Brookings.

DecorationsYou can decorate your place using everything from wreaths and garland, to pictures of snowmen and Santas. Centerpieces are always a nice addition to the table, but make sure to get a smaller one so your guests can still see over it. Candles add a spark to the room, especially when watching a movie or setting any sort of romantic mood. If you don’t want to get a real Christmas tree, artificial ones are always good options. Fiber-optic trees have the look of Christmas lights without the hassle. If you don’t have room for a large tree, get a small one (two to five feet), and place in on a small table in the corner or on a shelf. Mistletoe is obviously the plant of season, so adding it to your doorways can spark conversations.

PlanningNametags are an obvious choice, but to make them more creative, put each guests name on a Santa Hat. Don’t have the money? Find holiday nametags or even use gift tags. For invitations, your first impulse will probably be to use e-mail. However, letters and cards give guests a better reminder because they can hang them on the fridge. It also gives them a keepsake. You can buy a boxed set of cards, or even make them yourself. Several stores may have magnets that you can glue to the back of your invitations to make sure they are hung on the fridge.If you take pictures at your party, which you most likely will, try to share them with as many people from the party as possible. Sharing pictures by mass e-mails always seems to work. If you have pictures of everyone at the party, send them out in letters or cards with a small thank-you note. This is also a way your guests will be able to remember the party.