By Jessica Spencer

While Christmas may be the time for giving and receiving gifts, it is also a time when many students struggle with budgeting their time and money. Many students have to be creative when tackling the malls and stores.

And, while the pre-Christmas sales are helpful, some find it difficult to balance their time between classes and jobs to go shopping.

“I usually don’t get a chance to do any Christmas shopping until after school is out,” said Sarah Ingham, a senior occupational science major.

Erica Brown, a senior child and family studies major, agreed.

“If I want to go out and shop for Christmas presents, I have to designate time. But that’s my last priority, classes and homework come first,” Brown said. “The only time I really have time to shop is a spare hour here or there between classes or work.”

But time is not the only factor prohibiting students from shopping for Christmas. With the expenses of college life, students say they find it difficult to come up with enough money to cover both presents and expenses.

“My family really likes to make crafty gifts,” Brown said. “I want to make stuff for my family, but with finals, I don’t have a lot of time to make them things, let alone not having the money to buy them things.”

Brown said she usually buys gifts for her mother’s family and gives everyone else homemade Christmas cards.

Kayla Stewart, a sophomore elementary education major, said she partners with her brothers to buy their parents gifts.

“I just make crafts for my friends,” she said.

Sarah Ingham said her family is her first priority.

“We are all poor college students. My friends understand that, ” Ingham said.

Despite the madness of after-Thanksgiving shopping on Black Friday, some students suggest fighting the crowd and getting Christmas shopping out of the way.

Stephanie Shepherd, a senior nursing major, said she got all of her Christmas shopping finished during the Friday sales.

But Brown said the lines were ferocious.

“I thought at one point I was going be trampled,” Brown said.

She suggests shopping here in Richmond rather than going to Lexington or other cities where the crowds are larger.

“I got a lot of good deals at JCPenney’s and Hastings, and I was able to get a lot of my Christmas shopping out of the way,” Brown said.