1. COLORING BOOKS OMG. Girls Are Not Chicks has an absolutely brill feminist coloring book. Seriously, LET’S fight patriarchy together. I will color your tutu pink, my dear friend.
3. TWO WORDS: Lesbian Vampires. For the couple who’s got it all… give the gift of the undead.
4. Neato music. Janelle Monae’s The ArchAndroid came out in May.
5. A non-profit care package. One of my friends told me that conservative organizations typically pay their employees more, as well as their interns, so that their workers don’t have to choose between a cause they love and eating. That’s not the case for liberal non-profits. If you’ve got a friend in a sitch like that? I recommend a copy of The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, several gift-cards to the grocery store of your choice (bonus points if it sells liquor!), and a 7-class pass to your local yoga studio. What the shit — throw in a copy of Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, so your bestie knows they’re in good company.
6. For the small friend with a love for fairy tales? Peter S. Beagle’s The Unicorn Sonata packs a punch, and is, I’d say, a good intermediate-YA book perfect for the 12 year old in your life. They might also dig The True Meaning of Smekday, which is a hero’s journey story featuring a snarky girl, an alien named J.Lo and the invasion of the planet.
7. For the bigger lover of fantasy? Valente’s AMAZING duology, The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden and The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice, is an amazing foray into the world of the fantastic.
8. For that lovely sporty spice? Consider the gift of a powder puff. Sometimes the easiest way to avoid a fungal infection is through a fluffy pat of powder.
9. For the bra connoisseur? ANYTHING BUT VICTORIA’S SECRET. Seriously. Try HerRoom or BareNecessities.com. If your friend is both busty and a sporty spice? Enell can custom-design a sports bra so awesome, your titties will be in shock.
10. If you know a new mom that loves to ROCK? Kelis’ new album, Flesh Tone, is a beautiful ode to motherhood. <3
11. For the foodie? The Farmers Market Cookbook, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, BakeWise, or CookWise. Seriously. Chemistry + botany + math = NOM NOM NOM.
12. The baker who’s more of an intuitive innovator? A blank cookbook, with slots for printed recipes, is pretty awesome. ALSO: An apron. I’m just saying: saving your clothes from the ravages of cooking is not just for the 1950’s anymore. BA-DOW.
14. The chic@ with a bit of a ‘tude? Kickboxing lessons! Or a subscription to Pole Spin Magazine.
15. The indiscriminate reader? A KINDLE. Yes, I know, Amazon’s got problems… but seriously? I’m really, really jealous of my friends who have them. Only thing is, there don’t seem to be many academic texts available. SADFACE.
16. For your friend who’s well-intentioned but perpetually broke? A book on financial literacy, like On My Own Two Feet.
17. A beautiful, beautiful handmade pendent created by someone deeply in love. I’m not saying jewelry takes on the character of the person who makes it… but I am saying that if it does, and you want passion, that’s the Etsy store to check out.
18. For the mom-to-be: Twenty-first Century Motherhood: Experience, Identity, Policy, Agency.
19. A membership to the Carl Brandon Society! ROCK THAT ANTI-RACIST FANDOM WITH PRIDE.
20. Creative companionship — does your BFF have a creative hobby you sometimes pretend not to notice? Like, say, knitting? Well, stop being such a jackass and go with them to a Stitch and Bitch session. You’ll make friends, learn something about knitting, and gain a renewed appreciation for that lovely scarf zhe made you last year.
21. Creative companionship take two — make a Color Me Mine pottery date. Get together with your bestie, paint something and relax together. Seriously — sometimes the best gift is your relaxed, loving time. Just let your creative juices (and the conversation!) flow.
22. Is your friend a totally hot rocker with curly hair ready to fight the power? ARE YOU READY TO SPLURGE OUT OF LOVE? No, seriously, I am OBSESSED with the following product lines: Oyin, Bumble and Bumble, and Huetiful. You can also get down and dirty with some kitchen witchery, using supples from Majestic Mountain Sage.
23. After all that hair fiddling, you might want to pamper your skin. Villainess makes DIVINE soap and pretty awesome oils. The oils, actually, are great when blended into almond butter. That whole mess just feels divine.
24. You know what else is divine? NOT HAVING TO CARRY YOUR OWN GROCERIES, OMG. If your bestie’s carless, busy, and trying to save the world, the least you can do is get hir a gift certificate for PeaPod.
25. Cat lovers are crazy. Buy the cat a house and zhe will love you forever. I picked one with a neat house, but you know your bestie and zer cat the best. If they don’t like pagodas, try a nice high-rise.
26. They young-ish and struggling about coming out? The Huffington Post has a list up of great books for a gay teen. Really, though, they could be for any teen. Also, send them here — they might need a reminder that high school isn’t forever.
27. They into piercings and lobe-stretching? This site has some of the most lovely non-conventional jewelry in the history of ever. They also offer a pretty sweet oil-pack for the novice lobe-stretcher (or for your friend who just got her nipples, lip, eyebrow, or navel pierced).
28. Hey! DOES YOUR FRIEND LIKE DOLLS? Mixis are mixed race dolls with backstory and passions. I really like that Opal comes with either curly hair or straight hair. Diaspora FTW!
29. That kiddle might ALSO like Amy Hodgepodge, who has brown friends, adventures, and life lessons galore!
29. BACK TO VAMPIRES! Uhhhhhhhhh this necklace? Too cute for words.
31. More on music! Feed the Animals is an awesome concept album featuring snippets of all your favorite songs. Girl Talk also just came out with another mash-up album. THESE ARE BOTH FREE! The most musical gifts /=the most expensive.
32. Zen Rabbit makes nomtastic cookies and donates parts of the proceeds to charities.
33. For the young person who’s beginning to explore zer sexuality: S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College.
34. Cook Food: A Manualfesto for Easy, Healthy, Local Eating is kind of a beginner’s guide to sustainable and healthy eating. NOMTASTIC!
35. My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities is a collection of essays by parents of kids with disability.
36. SweetPea Treasures sells a variety of nursing necklaces — they help keep little hands busy while little mouths siphon nutrients from your boobs.
37. Louise Dunlap’s Undoing the Silence: Six Tools for Social Change Writing is on the role of writing in social justice causes! <3
38. Your cutie pie of an activist might also need some neat tools for introducing some mindfulness into zir social justice. Check out the store at the Center for the Contemplative Mind — they even have a neat poster of a tree with activist and contemplative branches!
39. At this point, you might be going, Maria, why the focus on parents?? WHAT ABOUT THOSE OF US WHO ARE CHILDREE?? Uhhh how about Salt, the awesome Angelina Jolie is a spy flick, where, get this, home is symbolized by her adorable puppy and sweet, nerdy hubster, not some adorable moppet.
40. But hey, if your buddy’s got a fraught relationship with child-bearing but has decided to spawn anyways, there’s always Opting In: Having a Child Without Losing Yourself or The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood.
41. But maybe their organization or cause is their REAL baby. If that’s the case, they might dig Elizabeth May’s How to Save the World in Your Spare Time
42. The history buff might dig Andrea Smith’s Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, which seriously is the best analysis of race, imperialism, sexualized violence, and American mythology in the history of EVER.
43. The Survivor’s Guide to Sex: How to Have an Empowered Sex Life After Child Sexual Abuse is a great resource for sexual assault survivors (and really for anyone, since our society is so psychically injurious in general)
44. Mindfulness in Plain English is a great beginner’s guide to meditation.
45. Several other students in my program swear by Getting Things Done. Perhaps your buddy needs to join the cult of productivity.
47. Back to Oyin! The Single Woman’s Manifesto is quite awesome, and well-beloved by single peeps of all genders.
48. Oyin also has a “tough love” book for any artists you know. BS OR FERTILIZER FOR THE WIN!
49. Give the gift of awesome cyberpunk: Red Spider White Web, a dystopian novel taking capitalism, neoliberalism, and globalization in one beautiful story of art, resistance, and survival.
50. Speak Out Now! has a fab collection of books by Tim Wise, an anti-racist white guy, as well as some awesome holistic, anti-racist, anti-sexist teaching tools. YOUR TEACHER FRIENDS ARE BROKE. Buy them nifty things for their pedagogy!
52. Alison Weir’s Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey and Phillipa Gregory’s The Queen’s Fool might sate the appetites of historical fiction lover in YOUR life. 😀 Personally, I would not be sad about getting Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt, a wry take on the controversies surrounding this Egyptian Queen.
53. When Janey Comes Marching Home: Portraits of Women Combat Veterans might be a great gift idea for the military woman in your life, as might Once a Warrior–Always a Warrior: Navigating the Transition from Combat to Home–Including Combat Stress, PTSD, and mTBI, or Don’t Mean Nothing, a collection of short stories from a nurse who served during Vietnam.
54. But me? I’m more of a psychically injured academic. I’m hoping some lucky duck gives me Activist Scholarship: Antiracism, Feminism, and Social Change or Teaching Transformation: Transcultural Classroom Dialogues, and wish wish wish someone had given me Graduate Study for the Twenty-First Century: How to Build an Academic Career in the Humanities.
55. There’s also Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists, an anthology talking about the moment when 29 authors, scientists, activists, and everyday peeps realized that they were, in fact, anti-oppression rabble rousers.
56. The Shock of Arrival: Reflections on Postcolonial Experience by Meena Alexander is an amazing collection of poems reflecting on bodies, colonialism, and power.
57.Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A do-it-Ourselves Guide is a collection of tips, tricks, and tools for making sustainability something city people can do more easily.
At this point, I asked the other editors what they’d get the awesome bestie who deserves a treat.
58. Every person needs their own sonic screwdriver. Why? They just do.
59. I have been in love with these T-shirts for some time. I have coveted the Winchester Tavern one for at least two years. Pop culture + cool Ts = win.
60. Like art, but not into pounding nails? Try wall decals instead. Some stunning and some silly art, for just about any room in your home.
61. Come on. Who doesn’t love ninjas? And cookies. Put them together and… NOM.
63. How about a First Amendment Reusable Shopping Bag?
64. Cthulhu orders you to purchase this. It cannot be described. (Maria’s note: It’s a water bottle. WHAT NOW, SON?)
65. Need stress relief or maybe just want to relive a bit of your childhood? Pustefix Bubbles are, bar none, the best bubbles I have ever bubbled. Seriously. They’re super shiny, long lasting and guaranteed to bring a smile.
WOW THIS WAS A LONG LIST. But!!! It’s not at all exhaustive. What would you love to get your friends if money was no object?