Holiday Gifts with Meaning

Barbra Sundquist

I have some
socially conscious friends who always give me the neatest
gifts – things I enjoy receiving because they’re not the
standard consumer items. Over the years they’ve made
donations to the SPCA in my name, sent me subscriptions to
cool alternative magazines, and introduced me to fair trade
chocolate. Last year I followed their example and gave the
following gifts:

You’ll notice this doesn’t encompass my entire gift giving
list. My shopping list still included some items that gave
me the willies, such as "parental content advisory" rap
music CDs, name brand teen clothing (probably made in a
sweatshop in China), and dare I admit it: a particular toy
only available at Walmart.

So what’s with this less than wholly socially conscious gift
list? I’ve given it a lot of thought and decided that for
me, the point of the gift is to get what makes the recipient
feel good, not what makes me feel good. If I can find an
intersection between the two, that’s ideal. But I refuse to
be known as the auntie who gives lame gifts!

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