By Carly Taylor
For The Diamondback

With just a week until finals, University of Maryland students are preparing for the obligatory long hours in McKeldin Library that come with the end of the semester. Students and faculty buried in piles of projects, essays and test materials can barely lift their heads to notice the holiday décor embellishing Stamp Student Union or the classic Christmas soundtracks playing in local coffee shops and eateries.

With so much on the brain during this chaotic season, it's hard to find time to impress loved ones with the perfect holiday gift. Though College Park is not typically considered as one of the savviest shopping centers in the world, there are some hidden gems along Route 1 — and at this university  — with gifts and deals that your friends, family and partners will adore.

If you're looking for a place to start, the Farmers Market at Maryland is having a special holiday market on Wednesday at Stamp featuring baked goods, wine, coffees and teas, beauty products and handcrafted accessories including necklaces, earrings and holiday ornaments. The market will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

With so many original items to choose from, it'll be hard to go wrong. But if you don't find anything you like there, you could give these ideas a try:


Fuzzy sweatpants and cozy sweatshirts are perfect for the sports fan who wants to represent his or her team in the cold, winter months.

The University of Maryland bookstore in Stamp has Terrapin gear, including holiday-themed clothing and accessories for all of the Maryland supporters in your life.

Route One Apparel features gifts for not only Terrapin fans, but Baltimore Ravens fans as well. This store is currently holding its final sale, making it the ideal venue for shoppers on a budget.

Fitness and Beauty

It's difficult to spend money on amenities such as manicures and workout classes with a college student budget, so your friends at school will appreciate gifts like these during the holiday season. You cannot go wrong with a gift card or certificate from one of the many nail care services in town such as Kevin Nails and U-M Nail Spa.

New businesses in College Park such as European Wax Center and Numi Yoga are attracting customers with deals that are fitting for the holidays. Through Dec. 31, customers can receive a free candle for spending $49 on Strut 365 beauty products at European Wax Center.

Numi Yoga, which opened Nov. 5 on College Avenue, is offering package deals and early subscription discounts for university students. Check out the Finals Fever pass to give your stressed-out friend unlimited classes through the end of finals.

Food and Drink

The holiday season is all about indulging, and we all know that special someone who lives to eat. A shopper can never go wrong with getting a loved one their favorite treat.

Local food spots such as Bread and Greens, Shanghai Tokyo or The Board and Brew offer a variety of options for every type of foodie, so getting a gift card from these places is a great choice for College Park residents. Corporate chain restaurants such as Chipotle and Starbucks offer gift cards as well, which makes shopping for people who live out of town easy.

For those over the age of 21, bottles of alcohol topped with ribbons and bows are great go-to gifts. College Park Liquors and Town Hall Liquors always have discounts on a variety of selected items, making them affordable options for those who recently turned 21, or your uncle who always enjoys a glass of scotch on Christmas Eve.