Buying gifts for young people makes me think about my 3-year old niece. What will I buy her? And more importantly, what kinds of gifts did I like to receive when I was a young person? Shopping for young people doesn’t have to be intimidating; there are so many great, enjoyable, and educational gifts to share with them.
I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I’m serious about gifting fanny packs. Avenue Dee sells cute fanny packs that will guarantee the young person in your life remains stylish. I’m fond of the Watermelon Fanny Pack, which also comes in a kid size; it’s perfect for storing snacks.
It’s never too early to teach children about gender-neutral pronouns. Lourdes Rivas, a transgender elementary-school teacher in Oakland, has written an English- and Spanish-language children’s book that explains gender-neutral pronouns. They Call Me Mix will be released on December 26, so preorder your copy today!
So much of the merchandise advertised to young people is gendered. So if you’re looking for a gift that doesn’t conform to the gender binary, please consider this “Too Cute to be Binary” pin from intersex activist and artist Pidgeon Pagonis.
A young girl of color would surely benefit from joining the Radical Monarchs, a program that’s similar to the Girl Scouts, but gives “radical badges” for participating in social justice and self-empowerment field trips and workshops. Cofounder Anayvette Martinez helped create the Radical Monarchs to help her own daughter build strong relationships within their community and with other young girls of color. You can join an existing chapter or start a local chapter.
If you want a child to become more involved with their community, then consider signing them up for Assata’s Daughters, a grassroots intergenerational collective. The collective currently has three groups operating in Chicago—Akerele, Ominira, and a Community Garden. Support them!
Every young person needs a calendar, and this year, I recommend the Certain Days yearly wall calendar, which is a “collaboration project with outside organizers and political prisoners being held in maximum-security prison.” Each year, the calendar has a theme, and 2019’s theme is health/care.
You should definitely grab Certain Days’s 365 Daily Affirmations for Revolutionary Proletarian Militants: A Perpetual Calendar. There is nothing better than starting the day with an affirmation.
Have a graphic-novel lover in your family? If so, a copy of Gabby Rivera’s The Life & Times of America Chavez is a great gift. Rivera was contacted by Marvel (MARVEL!) to create this amazing queer Latinx superhero. That’s definitely not the norm.
Check out Lawrence Lindell’s zine From Black Boy with Love if you want to give a young person an affirming message.
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