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SocietyDecember 9, 2020

A guide to passive aggressive Christmas gift giving

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It’s time to shop for Christmas! But what to get for your creepy uncle and judgemental aunt? Emily Writes has some suggestions.

Christmas shopping for people you love is fun. But obligatory Christmas shopping for awful people? Not fun at all. But you can at least make it satisfying, by giving gifts that also help out a worthy cause. Because who said charity can’t be passive aggressive?

For your uncle who constantly shares posts from the Taxpayers Union

Why not get tickets to your local theatre? Every theatre maker, crew member and actor was hit really hard by Covid-19. Then they got hit again by the whiners at the Taxpayers Union. Show your support for the arts and local theatre with a gift voucher. Almost all local theatres will have a way to do this and usually they can do it online. You could also give a theatre membership – for example, Circa Theatre in Wellington has a “friends of Circa” membership.

For your cousin who won’t shut the fuck up about how if you buy anything for your child other than a rattle made from papier mache and your own piss you’re Satan

Why not buy a toy library membership? This is a genuinely great gift for kids, it supports your local community while also not adding more toys to the world that are destined for landfill.

For your All Lives Matter landlord

Why not buy them When We Say Black Lives Matter By Maxine Beneba Clarke. It’s a children’s book that explains beautifully and simply the Black Lives Matter movement so even the All Lives Matter crowd should be able to understand it. You can also make a donation in their name to Black Lives Matter.

For the colleague you hate who you got in the office Secret Santa

He calls Jacinda Ardern “Cindy” and will mansplain for hours about how that’s not sexist at all. He thinks the Green Party is going to take all his money. He also has an issue with hygiene and close talking. The answer is obvious: get him Jacinda Ardern by Michelle Duff or Jacinda Ardern: A New Kind of Leader by Madeleine Chapman plus some natural deodorant (Little Mango is cruelty free and NZ made) and a face mask.

For your stepfather who is suddenly sharing JK Rowling essays and asking ‘Aren’t we allowed to ask questions anymore?’

He’s a misogynist so he’s found a perfect home with the TERFS. You’ve got a few options here. Why not buy him the gorgeous Gender Minorities Aotearoa calendar so he can get a monthly message about human rights. Or you can get this awesome Pronouns Matter tote from cute-as local shop Agnes and Edie. You can also get him Raven Wild, a New Zealand fairytale that Sir Ian McKellen described as “a beautiful book”. Rainbow Youth is also a great charity to support in his name.

For your manager who loves to say everything is Fake News

You could give a membership to The Spinoff. You can also by Spinoff merch. If you really want to piss them off – give them a membership to my newsletter. You can also donate to Stuff on their behalf. Or give them a NZ Herald sub.

For your Covid-19 QAnon conspiracy theory obsessed uncle and aunty

How about some Lonely Lingerie? I kid! I kid! Truly, why not buy them a sub for David Farrier’s newsletter Webworm? Or you can donate to the Unicef international vaccination fund on their behalf.

Your brother-in-law who keeps complaining that as a straight white rich man he is a MINORITY who is ALWAYS WRONG because everyone is TOO WOKE

Basically, any charitable gift in their name works. Sign him up to sponsor a child through Variety New Zealand.  Another great charity is Pillars – they support children who have parents in prison. JustSpeak is a youth-powered movement for transformational change of criminal justice towards a fair, just and flourishing Aotearoa. Even better, get him some PAPA merch to really piss him off.

Your great aunt who thinks children should be seen and not heard and spends a lot of time talking about how ‘mums these days’ aren’t house proud

Little Shadow offers low cost counselling for parents in perinatal distress. They rely on donations so make one in her name. Or support Ako Mātātupu which is working towards an Aotearoa in which all children can realise their potential, by addressing the systemic causes of educational inequality.

Enjoy! And remember: If anyone says the best gift is the gift of love they don’t really mean it.

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