Shopping is not really a great way to spend a weaponized bastardized American/pagan holiday—the Christmas industrial complex is a capitalist conspiracy designed to separate you from your taxable income in the first fiscal quarter, and none of us want to sit on any white men’s laps—but here we are. Seems like it might be better to travel, eat, and spend time with loved ones as surely the apocalypse is nigh, BUT, if you simply must spend your hard-earned cash on gifts this season, why not make them meaningful? Below, some suggestions.
The perfect gift for when our idiot president gets us bombed, global warminged, and/or taxed back to the Stone Age, this survival kit includes a battle axe, a multitool, a water purification device, and a small stove, among other things. Pair with food replacement survival tabs, Iosat Potassium Iodide pills (for nuclear radiation emergencies), and a copy of Chang-Rae Lee’s dystopian novel On Such a Full Sea for added style! — Isha Aran
The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit by Thomas Sugrue
Outsmart your Boomer relatives arguing how “good” cities used to be with Thomas Sugrue’s seminal book on race and development in postwar America. It details how federal housing programs, exclusionary financial codes, and racist community groups institutionalized segregation in Detroit’s boom years. Look no further for an explanation of how the postwar American system was premised on discrimination—and why white people asking what happened to urban communities of color need to look in the mirror. — David Uberti
A Red Hat ($8)
This year, get a hat for your friend who can no longer wear their favorite red hat because it makes them look like a fascist, even if they are just a normal red hat-loving person. But you don’t have to let their little heads go cold and cap-less! The money you spend on the hat can even support good causes like the ACLU, indigenous activists, socialism (OK it’s a knit hat but still), or Planned Parenthood. — Clio Chang
Help Puerto Rico
The people of Puerto Rico need help after Hurricane Maria and the Trump administration’s betrayals. Now, a new website called ShopandHirePR.com has been set up to connect people who want to send money to the island with a bounty of local businesses selling a wide variety of goods—from food to beauty products to apparel to even fishing gear. What better way to celebrate the holidays while doing a little to help get the island back on its feet? — Jack Mirkinson
Marie Callender’s Lemon Meringue Pie ($7)
Lemon meringue is a middling pie flavor. Pretty good, but not excellent. So this is the perfect gift to let you eat half, then smash the other half of the pie in the face of a pundit such as Brett Stephens when he comes to your college campus to talk about Conscientious Conservatism In and Unsettled Age. Yeah, unsettle this pie from your face! — Hamilton Nolan
How To Survive After Being Stopped By The Police And Other Lessons to Master The Game by Niketa Parker ($4)
So many people are being unlawfully stopped by the police and have no idea what their rights are. This book can hopefully inform some people of their rights, but of course, it may not prevent every bad thing from happening to you after being pulled over. — Tiffani DuPree
A Stress Ball Shaped Like Donald Trump’s Head ($12)
It’s fine! I’m fine! — Aleksander Chan
This unisex tee not only tells the truth about American history, it was was designed by Navajo artist Jared Yazzie, and is being sold by Beyond Buckskin, a South Dakota-based website dedicated to showcasing and promoting Native American fashion designers and jewelry artists.
As seen on activists like Winona La Duke. Proceeds go toward initiatives to protect sacred lands, stop extreme fossil fuel extraction at the source by supporting frontline Native communities, and to cultural revitalization initiatives.
The package design is beautiful, and the beans are roasted on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. And these are not just any coffee beans—they’re specially selected and blended from El Salvador, Chiapas and Costa Rican beans, and farmed and produced by women. — Dodai Stewart
Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature by Julia L. Mickenberg & Philip Nel ($26)
Perfect for the budding radical in your life, Tales For Little Rebels is a collection of classic stories, poems, and illustrations to encourage the time-honored tradition of questioning authority, and saying “fuck you” to the man. Because now, more than ever, the world needs the next generation of rabble-rousers to start fighting for a better future, and a later bedtime. — Rafi Schwartz
This year it is important to remember that food is fuel, even in times of stress. Beef jerky is a quick protein boost when you are reading the news and feeling that acute sensation of fear and paralysis, a simultaneous kind of filling up and deflation, moving from your stomach to somewhere in the middle of your chest. Also good to keep on your person if you are handcuffing yourself to someone else in order to block off the entrance to your neighborhood ICE field office and plan to be there for a while. You can also give to Make the Road New York, now and all year. — Katie McDonough
A Lefty Starter Pack
Although there can be no ethical consumption under capitalism, consider getting your most open-minded liberal cousin who’s impressionable and interested in the concept of “full communism” a lefty starter pack: a gift subscription to Jacobin or Current Affairs, (used) copies of Poor People’s Movements or Emma Goldman’s writings, giving a membership to the Democratic Socialists of America or paying the dues for a traveling member, an Etsy gift card to support a crafter-entrepreneur who owns the means of production and, perhaps if you’re feeling bold, a Patreon subscription to a good ol’ lefty podcast like Street Fight Radio or Chapo Trap House. — Katherine Krueger
Artist Julio Salgado’s experience as an undocumented and queer activist informs a lot of his artwork. Salgado, who grew up in Los Angeles, has created iconic images that are now regularly seen at immigrant rights events across the country. Salgado’s “I Will Not Show You My Papers” print can be interpreted in many ways by both immigrants and their allies. It’s also a good conversation starter, and it’ll look good framed in your living room, office, or you can gift it to your BFF who likes to question institutions and authority. — Jorge Rivas