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Holiday cheer and feminist killjoys: this week's blog roundup

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The holiday season is upon us, which means that grand old Western tradition of mindless consumerism and superficial community outreach! If you do want to give back, but also don't want to be terrible, then read Cathy Crowe's pointers on how to kick your seasonal charity habit and be a warrior for social justice year-round. It turns out, socks may not be enough, but a combination of downstream and upstream solutions will make everyone happy.

Speaking of upstream solutions, the Housing First initiative has been getting some traction in recent years as an alternative to reactive solutions to homelessness. The initiative posits that shelter is a human right, and seeks to provide individual homes for the homeless population. Matt Stock and Evelyn Peters take a look at the program's viability.

When your loved ones ask you what's on your Christmas list, do you respond, "The eradication of the patriarchy?" If so, you may be a feminist killjoy. Anne Theriault has the perfect gift guide for you.

But the holiday season is about so much more than gifts and giving – it also marks the end of the year, which means end-of-year lists! Karl Nerenberg takes inventory of the Harper Government's 2014 shenanigans. Warning: may cause forehead to collide swiftly with desk.

But lest not all this holiday hoopla eclipse another milestone this December: the anniversary of the Montreal Polytechnique massacre, which happened on the sixth. Though the tragedy may have occurred 25 years ago, it is still fresh in Canada's collective consciousness. Lucia Lorenzi and Judy Rebick honour the memories of the women slaughtered, and check on our progress since the tragedy. Lorenzi asks if academic spaces are safe ones for women today -- not life-threatening, perhaps, but are they receptive to female scholars? Rebick, meanwhile, asks how we can uproot sexism outside institutions and in our communities.

The government, it seems, is on a constant mission to uproot "evil," and this takes form as a hegemonic Iran. But Scott Vrooman is suspicious of the gov's historical amnesia, and asserts that the only clear and present danger here is the one the West poses to Iran.

But we have some real imminent threats to deal with: namely, climate change. Today is the final day of the Lima conference, so get caught up with our bloggers. Aleah Loney muses on the conference's corporatization, and Green Party leader Elizabeth May tells us why COP20 discussions will come down to the wire.

Finally, it seems that politicians and pundits are always concerned with what the economy "needs," as though it is a sentient thing whose health we must work to maintain. If we can talk about the economy in this manner, what about the environment? Lizanne Foster talks about the importance of integrating environmental responsibility into our school's curriculums. 

Jessica Prupas is a freelance editor and journalist living in Montreal and the rabble.ca Blogs intern.

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