With the Holiday season just around the corner, it’s that time of the year when we’re all engulfed by a frenzy of gift giving and receiving.
While it may be a lot of fun to receive gifts from your friends, it’s also quite difficult to reciprocate with an equally thoughtful and amazing gift. With Secret Santa groups ranging from your office circles, school friends, college soccer team, your yoga class, among others, choosing unique Secret Santa gifts becomes a nightmare. Many a times, we’re stumped about what to get them because we don’t know much about their likes and dislikes.
Personally, I like putting some thought into the gifts I buy, and hate buying gifts that are generic and show that you didn’t bother to consider whether the person receiving it is going to appreciate it or not.
It’s nice to let people know that you’ve made actual effort and put in thought while shopping for their presents; and have paid attention to what they like and don’t like. The joy of having your friend unwrap your present and exclaim, “Oh my god, this is exactly what I needed!”, is quite possibly greater than the joy of eating all the Christmas cakes in the world put together!
While shopping for presents, try to remember things that your friend might have said they wanted; something they’d been planning to get for themselves for a while. Another way of getting gifts that your friends will definitely love is to pay attention to the kind of person they are. Get them something that reminds you of their personality; something that resonates with their beliefs and ideals; or even something that reminds you of a particular memory or an inside joke that the two of you share. There’s nothing like receiving gifts that have a back-story to them, right?
We’re obligated to meet a lot of people during the festive season, and that includes meeting people we wouldn’t even dream of meeting any other day of the year. The festive season leads to countless encounters with our sexist and racist relatives who frankly, don’t leave any opportunity to pass inappropriate and politically incorrect comments at every family dinner they go to. As if struggling with these problems on a daily basis wasn’t enough, you now have to subject yourself to this assault at the hands of your family members during the holidays.
It is important to remember that the fight against the patriarchy never really stops, not even for Christmas break. And that’s why, as a sign of solidarity and support for all our feminist brothers and sisters, here is a list of unique Secret Santa Gifts that you can get for your feminist friends just to remind them that you’re there with them in the fight during this festive season.
Unique Christmas gifts for your feminist friends
Now this may not be one of the most unique Secret Santa gifts, but it’s definitely something you cannot go wrong with. Books are thoughtful gifts that do not require much effort to gather. Just go to any bookstore and you’ll be bombarded with a plethora of options to choose from. If your friend is a feminist with an irrevocable love for books, then here are some amazing reads that you can choose from-
“The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath– Who doesn’t love Plath? The author’s only novel, semi-autobiographical in nature, tells the heartbreaking story of Esther Greenwood, a young woman from the suburbs who has come to the city to make it big, but finds her experiences to be far from exciting. She is struggling to find herself, unsure of who she is, and fighting with all the misfortunes that come with being a woman.
“Feminism Is For Everybody” by bell hooks– If we’re talking about feminist books, then not including bell hooks in the list would be an injustice of the highest order. This is a book that can be read by anybody who wants to understand and learn about feminism. It demystifies complicated concepts and theories, and presents feminist ideologies as common sense. Through this book, hooks encourages readers to demand for alternatives to patriarchal, racist, and homophobic cultures. A perfect gift for your enthusiastic feminist friend who’s still learning about the politics behind the movement.
“Feminist Fight Club An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace” by Jessica Bennett– This is a hilarious yet incisive guide on how to tackle sexism in the workplace; the book perfectly blends real-life stories with research, statistics and expert advice on a problem that is faced by every woman all across the world. The first rule of Feminist Fight Club is to share it with as many women as you possibly can.
2. Bone China Crockery
If your feminist friend is the type of person who loves smashing the patriarchy, one cup of tea at a time, then you can’t have a gift more appropriate than this one. Go for this dainty and delicate tea-cup and saucer set with pretty pink blossoms on them; and have them invite you over for tea so that you two can discuss your evil plans of world domination. That’s what most men think feminism is about anyway, isn’t it?
3. Tote Bags
This one’s for the feminist who’s always on the go. We all love tote bags that are big enough to hold practically all of our belongings.
Get this for your friend who is a staunch supporter of intersectional feminism, and believes that it is imperative to address the various social justice issues that women from different backgrounds face alongside rampant sexism.
This bright pink tote bag is a perfect reminder for your feminist friend that she doesn’t need a man to be a complete individual and to feel loved. With this present, remind her that we possess all the love we want and need within ourselves, and there’s no one in the world who deserves it more than we ourselves do.
Yes, it may be unfortunate for the hipsters among us that zines have now become mainstream (even Kanye West has one), but one also has to admit that they make for excellent Secret Santa gifts. They’re colorful, vibrant and so much fun to read! You’re likely to come across countless zines on feminist issues accompanied with an array of beautiful art. If you’re feeling creative, you can also make a personalized one by yourself for your friend.
Get your friend prints of empowering feminist messages to help them survive the festive season and continue their resistance against the patriarchy. We’re strong, independent women who don’t need anybody to fight our battles for us. Girl power is all we need to bring the system down!
We honestly can’t have enough of bags. Get this “strong female lead” bag for your feminist friend because she’s the only hero she needs, there’s no other protagonist in her life and she is the one who gets to decide how she’ll lead her life. It helps that this message comes in a variety of colors and embroideries.
Winters are harsh and beanies are the cutest inventions made by humankind. Gift your feminist friend a healthy dose of girl power and help her stay warm and fuzzy all through the winter months with this cute beanie. P.S., beanies are the best way to combat those bad hair days that are somehow more frequent when you have to go out and meet people.
If your feminist friend is a hoarder of stationery then this set of badass pencils will be the best Secret Santa present you can gift them with. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but pencils with empowering feminist messages etched on them are definitely a close second.
9. Coffee Mugs
Coffee is essential for survival and so are women’s rights! Get your caffeine-addicted feminist friend this fiery mug that will surely charge her all up in the morning to get through the day and also to resist the shackles that the patriarchy tries to bind her in.
If your feminist friend has a fascination for tiny, cute pins then these “me too” pins will make a perfect addition to their collection, and continue to bring awareness to everyone around them regarding the hashtag that recently took social media by the storm. These pins wonderful way of standing up in support of those who were brave enough to come out and share their experiences of sexual harassment with the world; and encouraged others to do the same.
This festive season, we urge to support small businesses by dropping the mass-produced stereotypical holiday presents and instead choosing these thoughtful gifts with powerful messages on issues that matter. A lot of these small businesses tend to be active participants and supporters of the movement, and helping them out by purchasing their products also helps in their financial growth.
Suggested read: 12 Reading Resolutions For A Feminist By A Feminist
This Christmas let’s smash the patriarchy and extend support to all our feminist friends out there, and remind them that they’re not alone in this battle. We wish you a new year that is filled with love, respect and equal rights and privileges for all!
Featured image source: Instagram