Holiday Gift Guide

by Sara Gran

Here’s my suggestion for the holidays: buy nothing! Instead, tell the people you love that you love them. Give them the gift of your full attention and devotion, instead of pretending to listen when you’re really on facebook. Keep your promises and apologize where/when you’ve been a jerk, which I promise you every single human being has been at least once this year. And that won’t end up in a landfill! If you must give something, I suggest a gift that gives thrice–you get something for the recipient, something for a good cause, and you get the gift of feeling like you did something good for the world, instead of the usual vaguely-guilty schmuck-y over-privileged feeling most of us walk around with all day. Win-win-win!

Buy a shirt or other cool gift from Street Yoga, which brings yoga to homeless youth and others in need. Think homeless people don’t need yoga? Well, PTSD and other trauma-related issues are both a major cause and a major effect of homelessness, and yoga is one of few proven methods to help alleviate the symptoms of such. I should know: yoga and meditation helped me move forward after 9/11 and Katrina, so this is a cause near to my heart.

Adopt a manatee!! These gentle giants are getting screwed by us humans–show ’em we’re not all so bad! I have adopted manatees for both adults and children and this gift NEVER fails to please. You can even go to their refuge in Florida and meet your manatee–I did this when I lived in Fla. and it was one of the more fun days of my life. You get a neat package of stuff about your manatee and a lot of good information.

Get a calandar & other cool stuff from The Sula Foundation! The foundation works both to directly improve the life of pit bulls in New Orleans, and to raise awareness of the awesomeness of pit bulls around the world. Founded by brilliant writer Ken Foster, I know that nearly every penny raised goes to help the dogs. How do I know? Because I know Ken personally, and I know it’s not one of these bullshit foundations where they claim to care but then the CEO makes a million bucks a year off YOUR donations.

And that’s it! I wish you all the best holiday season ever.

2 Comments to “Holiday Gift Guide”

  1. Or donate to Union Settlement, a social service agency in East Harlem where I’ve worked for seven plus years! It’s one of NYC’s oldest, most beloved settlement houses and helps thousands of struggling residents each year learn English, gain their GED, find jobs, get into college, raise families, all the good stuff!
    http://www.unionsettlement.org/donate

  2. Yes, a wonderful cause!! This is another one of those nonprofits where I think you can really trust your money is going to good works, and NOT some fucking CEOs pockets.

    I forgot another fabulous option–The Housing Works Used Book Store in Manhattan! All the books are donated and the money goes to help homeless folk living with/affected by HIV/AIDS. They run a lean, no-bullshit operation–I’m proud to have been an employee and I hope to do an event there for CLAIRE!!

    http://www.housingworks.org/social-enterprise/bookstore-cafe/

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