Bitch in a Box: A Gift Guide of Presents That Aren’t Stuff

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This week, we’re putting together a series of feminist gift guides. Today’s guide for is a list of great presents that aren’t stuff.  

If you’re me, or any of the other folks I know living in 850 square feet or less, the absolute last thing you want for the holidays is, well, a thing. The good news is there are so my wonderful gift options out there that aren’t stuff. Bonus: stuff-less gifts can easily be eco-friendly, creative, art-based, from the heart, and FREE.

a hot tub at sunset

Some Serious Relaxation

For every feminist that is utterly exhausted from fighting the patriarchy, the gift of relaxation and wellness is always a nice idea. Get them a massage (or give them one yourself); or perhaps a yoga, tai chi, or Pilates class; or a visit to a hippie bath house (#totallytrendingrightnow). Namaste.

A Great and Inspiring Class

Do you know that person who is always wanting to do X, Y , and Z but has A, B, and C excuses for not pursuing this dream? Why not give them a nudge in the right direction by gifting them an educational experience? Check out your local community college’s community education programs for creative arts, home and garden, recreation and wellness classes. These classes tend to be pretty affordable with many options under $100. For foodie folks, perhaps it’s a cooking class. For the nester that’s had their hand-me-down sewing machine in the closet for three years, gift them a class on learning how to sew! Or maybe it’s a horseback-riding excursion for the adult you know had a love for My Little Pony as a child.

Very Sweet Date Night

I’m always at a loss for what to get for my parents.  If they want something, they usually just go out and buy it themselves. The one thing they don’t often do for themselves that is go out. So most years for Christmas, I get my mom and stepdad tickets to an opera, symphony, or theater performance in their town along with a gift card to their favorite restaurant. They love it. Not only do they get a good meal and a fun experience, they get to spend some quality time together—which can be surprisingly rare during the hullabaloo of the holiday season.

A Workshop on Simplifying Your Life

Instead of buying your friends and family a physical object, consider getting gifting them a class or workshop. The five-session "Voluntary Simplicity Course" from Northwest Earth Institute in Portland is a wonderful way to learn how to simplify your life and mitigate your reliance on the “stuff” that clutters our lives. A great companion to this course is The Center for American Dream’s Simplify the Holidays booklet. 

Your Time

In a recent Bitch Media Popaganda episode, "Subverting the Holidays," Allison Cook from the Story of Stuff project shared a heartwarming story of how she and her siblings give each other the gift of time for the holiday season by going on a hike together. Isn’t that really what its all about? Set aside an afternoon, or even a whole day, to do share in a treasured activity with a favorite person.

Read the rest of our feminist gift guides


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