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6 Socially Woke Holiday Gift Ideas for Progressive Friends

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‘Tis time to celebrate the winter holidays! Traditionally, gifts are involved. May I ask what you’ll be giving your best progressive chums? If you haven’t yet decided, consider these socially woke gift ideas. They’re sure to bring smiles and heart warmth to this year’s season of peace and love.

#6 – Socially Conscious Gifts That Help Children

Want your holiday gift-giving to celebrate caring, but must avoid politics? Helping and protecting innocent children is the no-brainer social issue that everyone supports.

Shop for holiday presents that help save children’s lives, all around the world, at the UNICEF Gift Shop and Market. They sell fine items, from signature UNICEF cards, to handmade artisan jewelry, and fair-trade alpaca scarves.

Shop for a better world with UNICEF Market.

Wall calendars make great winter holiday presents. You can also find many that are appropriate for summer holidays in the southern hemisphere. For instance, nobody loves to help children more than Australian firemen. They first began producing the Australian Firefighters Calendar in order to support the Children’s Hospital Foundation. 27 years later, they’ve donated over $3 million to charities that help kids and animals.

A look behind-the-scenes of the “Australian Firefighters Calendar” photoshoots.

#5 – Games That Change the World

If you’ve ever wanted to increase anyone’s awareness of fascism, civil rights, or worker co-ops — and have fun, instead of arguments — TESA educational games are for you. They make great gifts, too. Break one out after the holiday meal. Imagine the discussion!

#4 – Mind-Opening Reading

Give the gift of reading this holiday season. Open-minded topics range from veganism to billionaire elites, from biographical history to cli-fi. Check the Library of Progressive Culture for some great books I’ve recently spotted.

One of my favorite historical reads this year was The Man Who Saved the Union by H.W. Brands. Ulysses S. Grant is known for having been an excessive drinker. True, but if his aides helped him, he could stay away from the bottle. The full Grant story is surprising, fascinating, and an enlightened history of the American Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Personally, I gave the book 5 gold stars.

Book cover of "The Man Who Saved the Union" by H. W. Brands
Book cover of “The Man Who Saved the Union” by H. W. Brands

For holiday gifts that continue to give throughout the year, consider magazine subscriptions. Progressives will enjoy the cover art and articles from The New Yorker, The Nation, Jacobin, or Dissent.

The Fall issue of Jacobin.

Finally, there is the most important reading gift, and it’s a freebie. Help friends connect to the nationwide Overdrive library app — to enjoy ebooks, audiobooks, and movies on their electronic devices. It’s free (no fines possible; loans end automatically). The only requirement? A library card. An added benefit? Conservative readers may soften toward “socialist” programs like public libraries.

#3 – Homemade-Art Protest Signs

It’s so annoying to be at a protest rally, without a good sign. This holiday season, lift the game of your nonviolent demonstrating friends. How? If you’re artsy-crafty, make a homemade protest sign for every progressive friend on your gift-giving list — tailored to the issue of their greatest concern.

The materials you’ll need:

(Attend en masse, and next year’s protest events will be awesome!)

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#2 – Infographic Energy Transition Coloring Book

Adult coloring has been hot for several years. It’s relaxing, and enjoyable to do alone or around the kitchen table while chatting with friends. Enter the Infographic Energy Transition Coloring Book for a trendy (and informative) holiday gift idea.

This award-winning activity book playfully breaks down climate change and the energy transition through hand-drawn, engaging infographics!

#1 – Gift Donations to Political Leaders & Activists

2020 is an election year. Now is the time to send a holiday contribution, in the name of each progressive friend, to his or her fearless political leader. That’s right. Forget exchanging gifts. Shoot the money straight to Bernie Sanders‘ presidential campaign (look for the red “Donate” button). Or to Tulsi, Elizabeth Warren, or any favorite Green candidate. Most candidates sell campaign merchandise. For the deluxe touch, tuck the donation receipt within the fold of a campaign t-shirt, and tie with bow.

Keep in mind state candidates running for national office. A donation to one of them may make the perfect gift for a friend of yours. Follow the links below to find revolutionary progressive candidates.

Ditto with activist groups. These organizations represent worthy causes that may fit the bill for progressive holiday gift-giving: Sunrise Movement (climate), March For Our Lives (gun control), and CodePink (peace). There are many more!


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