TFV's Gift Guide: 2017 Edition
It's official: this is the first ever gift guide from The Feminist Vegan! Much as I would love to tell you to avoid gifts entirely and flip the bird to late capitalism, the reality is that many of us (myself included) will be participating in some sort of gift exchange this holiday season. Gifts are not my love language - I quite literally scored a zero in that category - but I know they mean a lot to some people, and it's important to honor that. With that in mind, I want to help you gift as ethically and consciously as possible. The lists below include items that are focused on environmental sustainability, support businesses and artists of color, and are 100% vegan and not tested on animals. There are options for every budget, including those of us who can't spend any money, so get your gift list ready and read on!
This is for the person who's addicted to decluttering and insists, "I swear I don't want anything!"
- Free: Plan an outing for just the two of you that incorporates their favorite activities - plan a picnic, a hike, a day at the beach, a museum trip (to a spot that's free or has free days), a game night, or any number of other fun and free activities in your city. Make a cute card or coupon to go with it!
- Under $10: Make them a beautiful dish, like chocolate-chip cookies, your favorite granola, or brunch in bed
- Under $20: Donate to a cause that's important to them - remember to give directly to local organizations whenever possible, and write them a heartfelt card to go with it.
- Under $50: A professional lesson for something they've been wanting to learn, like guitar, photography, or surfing
- Splurge: A pair of tickets to a concert, play, or show that they would love
Just because they love the environment doesn't mean they don't want something this year - just make it eco-friendly or zero-waste and you're golden.
- Free: Get out into nature together! Take a hike, swim in a river, walk along the beach, or even just stroll through the park. Make a day of it.
- Under $10: Know how much plastic straws suck? A lot. Make sure they never have to use one again with these reusable straws that work for hot and cold drinks and come with a cleaning brush.
- Under $20: Know what's just as bad as plastic straws? Single-use plastic cutlery. Give them a travel set of bamboo utensils so they'll never toss another spoon into the landfill again.
- Under $50: Are they in the market for any high-quality necessities? Try an eco-friendly water bottle, tea/coffee cup, phone case, or beautiful replacement for that awful plastic Tupperware they use for their lunch every day.
- Splurge: Take a trip to a national park they've always wanted to visit. Camp or book a night in a hotel and make sure to bring the vegan marshmallows and a camera!
All of us have a mystic in our lives, whether it's the astrology-obsessed friend, the crystal maven, or the tarot reader (I'm all three). Indulge their spiritual side with a modern twist on classic practices.
- Free: Offer to calculate their sun, moon, and rising signs and chat about them. If they already know all that, gift them a movie night in - watch The Craft on Netflix together. Give them a box of vegan popcorn and a cheap bottle of red wine to share during the film.
- Under $10: A copy of Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman
- Under $20: The Radiant Rider-Waite tarot deck, which is a more vibrant version of the classic deck - perfect for tarot beginners!
- Under $50: An online course with the ultimate astrologer, Chani Nicholas, on the year ahead for their sign
- Splurge: A session with a life coach can be truly transformational, especially for someone who's tuned in to the more spiritual, mystical side of life. I can't recommend by friend Brandilyn Tebo highly enough after working with her! She also offers incredible retreats.
This one's pretty self-explanatory. Broaden your bookish one's horizons by lifting up and listening to marginalized voices.
- Free: Pull your most favorite book off the shelf, inscribe it, and give it to them. The key is to explain why the book means so much to you - rather than a mere "regifting," this will be an incredibly meaningful gift for a person you love. I would gift my copy of A Year in the World, Spring Torrents, or Letters to a Young Poet.
- Under $10: Pick up a bag of their favorite coffee beans, box of their favorite tea, or bottle of their favorite wine for them to enjoy with a good book.
- Under $20: Take your pick of my favorite releases this year - Hunger by Roxane Gay, Surpassing Certainty by Janet Mock, The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur, or Corazón by Yesika Salgado. Check out my reading log or Pinterest board of books by Black women for more fantastic ideas!
- Under $50: Gift them three months of Audible so they can listen to books anytime - the best part is that once they download their books, they'll own them forever.
- Splurge: A literary subscription box featuring diverse authors
Whether your foodie is exclusively plant-powered or not, these chef-inspired ideas are great for any home cook.
- Free: Offer to cook together - you'll bring the wine. Bonus points if you're a good enough chef to cook for your foodie friend.
- Under $10: They'll want to add this Black Truffle Infused Salt to literally everything they make!
- Under $20: Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the only vegan cookbook I own - it's a classic for a reason.
- Under $50: Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry is the cookbook that's been on my list for ages; his recipes look truly extraordinary.
- Splurge: This magnetic spice rack is pricey but gorgeous, and it's perfect for zero-waste chefs who like to buy spices in bulk!
The Beauty Babe
These suggestions are for the beauty and skincare junkie who isn't willing to sacrifice the environment or animals - and doesn't have to! - in order to look gorgeous.
- Free: Are you a beauty guru? If so, give them a lesson! If not, let them practice on you. Trust me, makeup junkies love trying out looks on willing test subjects - er, friends.
- Under $10: If they haven't learned about the miracle that is oil cleansing, gift them a small bottle of rosehip oil, which you can find at your local Whole Foods or health food store. Best makeup remover ever, and it will revolutionize their beauty routine.
- Under $20: The makeup from Eco Bella is zero-waste (refillable compacts!), vegan, all-natural, not tested on animals, and simply gorgeous.
- Under $50: The Blemish Control & Oil Balancing Everyday Essentials kit from Osea has saved my skin. They're all-natural, vegan, against animal testing, and have beautiful fully-recyclable glass packaging. There are also several other everyday essentials kits for different skin needs.
- Splurge: The Vegan Cuts beauty subscription box is amazing and will be so much fun for them to get on their doorstep every month.
For that friend or family member who spends their downtime organizing, going to protests, and smashing the white supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy.
- Free: Have they been trying to get you involved with a cause they care about? Support it! Show up to a protest, go to an event or meeting, and push their activism out on social media.
- Under $10: Freedom Is A Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis
- Under $20: The classic "Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you could just be quiet?" shirt from GreenBoxShop
- Under $50: Honestly, pretty much everything by Philadelphia Printworks is badass, but I especially love their super-comfy sweatshirts (I have one of the Cats Against Catcalling versions).
- Splurge: Give them the gift of liberation! Sign them up for the Safety Pin Box, a monthly subscription box for white people trying to be allies/accomplices in anti-racist work. The subscription financially supports Black women and femme activists, too.
No gift guide of mine would be complete without a list for the vegan in your life. As a vegan, I guarantee every single one of these will be a massive hit.
- Free: Cook and eat a vegan meal with them! Honestly, sharing vegan food is one of my favorite things to do with friends and family.
- Under $10: This adorable "In Plants We Trust" enamel pin
- Under $20: Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society edited by A. Breeze Harper (read my review of the book here)
- Under $50: "Badass Vegan" hoodie
- Splurge: Make sure they never run out of vegan snacks with the Vegan Cuts snack subscription box!
And that concludes the gift list this year! If you need additional ideas, comment below and I'll be here for all your socially responsible gifting needs. For an amazing Black-owned gift guide, look no further than Seren's annual list. For more zero-waste gift ideas, check out Lauren Singer's website Trash is for Tossers. Happy December!