Each year I try to give suggestions on great gifts for people that don’t take up space, don’t add unnecessary crap to people’s lives, and don’t play directly into the hands of huge retail chains that pump out poorly made trinkets.
2008 suggested what to do and what not to do for last minute present buying.
2009 listed some consumable gifts that won’t leave a trace when they’ve been used. (Well apart from the obvious trace a tattoo will leave.)
This year I’ve got a whole lot more ideas that I would be really stoked to receive. Many of them won’t cost a thing. Others will have a small but worthwhile cost. The physical things on these lists can easily be bought second hand, some can be created from your own hands. Some only require your presence.
We’ve all gotten lost so far down the rabbit hole that we don’t even realise we’ve turned into capitalist consumerist whores. He who dies with the most toys wins and all that rubbish. We all need new clothes, and new computers when our current ones die. This is modern life after all and a computer is an integral part of living in the modern Western World. But spare a thought for those 200,000 Kiwi kids in poverty when you’re debating whether to get the $800 leather bag or the $200 leather bag.
So without further ado – here’s the first in my list of awesome shit that you should think about gifting to the people you love:
You thought these went out around the same time tapes did didn’t you? Well you thought wrong. Mixtapes are still one of the ultimate romantic gifts. And even if you don’t have much of a clue about the music your giftee will like it’s really the thought that counts here.
Make a playlist for a specific mood: your favourite songs for getting ready to go out, the best to cook to, a chilled out selection to have on in the background when there are people over, power ballads that everyone loves to sing at the top of their lungs.
Find all the rare b sides and live bootlegs from your giftee’s favourite band and burn them to disk with some homemade cover art.
Or the ultimate in selfish gifting (other than the old classic power tool gift that you really want for yourself) spend an afternoon (or a lifetime) cultivating your favourite songs of ALL TIME and put them on a flash drive. Your recipient might be exposed to some new music they love just as much as you do, and if nothing else they’ll have music to put on when you’re hanging together.
If all of my friends sent me 10 of their favourite songs I would get some much needed exposure to new music and I’d finally be able to offer up my iPod for the stereo when there are people at our house! Apparently I’m the only one who chooses to fill the majority of their soundscape with Finnish metal and sex addicted pop rockers.