Celebrating Christmas? Chanukah? Kwanzaa? Eid Al-Fitr? Winter Solstice? Yule?
Whatever you celebrate, or even if you don’t, gift giving can be a nice way to show the awesome women in your life that you care about them. This gift guide tries to steer away from gendered gifts that suggest she should be domestic- like don’t give her a vaccuum cleaner because someone in the Patriarchy kingdom said it’s a woman’s role to vaccuum and right now for a good price, you too can get her the vaccuum cleaner of her dreams. Or, if your excuse not to gift give is that you care your woman peeps year round, then you should be showering them with gifts regularly and one of two things is happening:
1. you need this gift guide because you give so many gifts to this woman that you’re out of ideas OR
2. you’re unsure about classifying your gifts as holiday gifts and want a new perspective of what could be cool to give at this time of year
Whatever the situation, check out the following cool ideas:
1. Etsy– look at the Etsy website. These are artists making funky handmade gifts. You buy from small businesses from all over the world. They have billions of items, literally and a lot of them are pretty cool!
2. The Syracuse Cultural Workers: Founded in 1982, SCW is a progressive publisher committed to peace, sustainability, social justice, feminism and multiculturalism. They create and publish visual materials, like calendars, posters, T-shirts, cards and postcards, and distribute them across North America.They also have some books, music and DVDs.
I wanted to put their lovely mission statement here because it is inspiring and should probably be what we should all be working toward:
Our mission is to help create a culture that honors diversity and celebrates community; that inspires and nurtures justice, equality and freedom; that respects our fragile Earth and all its beings; that encourages and supports all forms of creative expression.
Their Peace calendar is always cool and the 2012 one looks particularly awesome! there is also one of New York City Murals.
The Women Artists Datebook- It’s got poetry and art by more than thirty artists. And of course, it has scheduling space. I use my phone a lot for calendar stuff, but I also like to have an agenda datebook. It’s nice to see it all spread out on paper so I can flip through and think about my schedule.
3. Give her a book. I always love to pick out my own books and to buy books I’ve been wanting to read, but a gift card to a bookstore is not at all personal, so get her a good one. Try:
“Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture” by Shannon Hayes
“Full Frontal Feminism” by Jessica Valenti
Or a novel: “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” by Aimee Bender
Poetry: Give something by Wislawa Szymborska. She is an incredible Polish poet, essayist and tranlsator. Her poetry and it is beautiful and amazing! She was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature for her poetry.
Memoir: Two memoirs I haven’t read yet but want to read- both look interesting- and I have seen both of their authors speak about them:
“The Year I Fell In Love and Went to Join the War” by Deb Olin Unferth
“Holy Ghost Wars” by Donna Johnson
4. A Magazine subscription to “NOW” or to “Bitch”
5. What does the GRRL on your list do for creativity? How is she creative? Do something to encourage her creativity!
If she’s a writer, give her time to write or go write with her at a coffee shop. Designate half an hour for talk, an hour for only writing. And/or give her a cool journal.
If she’s an artist- take her on a gallery adventure night, give her a membership to a museum, or give her enrollment to a class she wants to take, or give her those supplies she really wants but hasn’t been able to get
Is she into basketball? Get tickets to a women’s basketball game and go with her.
If she’s a foodie- maybe get her a one time cooking class or take her to dinner.
6. Cafe Press has a cool Peace, Love, Feminism T-shirt
7. I could give a llama (similar to saying, I could give a rat’s ass). If you ever said that this year, or even if you kept your cool and it didn’t go there, check out: Heifer International. They have amazing animal gifts you can gift to a family in someone else’s name. This may feel like you’re not doing anything for the person whose name you are giving the animal for, but this gift is special because it helps to change the world. This season calls for that and it feels good to know you are helping to eradicate poverty for the holidays. The woman you are getting this gift for is helping better the world. It’s not a material thing, but how much crap do we have already? So give a llama or a goat.
8. Time with you. Don’t be thinking you are gifting your presence to this person. Yes, you’re wonderful, but give her something that you don’t normally give her. Y’all should hang out anyway, so give this in addition to your gift, whether it’s a llama or some fancy homemade thing from Etsy, take time to hang out with the woman you are getting a gift for. Spend time together talking, laughing, enjoying each other’s ideas and presence. Have fun!
Good luck with your gift giving. Happy holidays!