Your progressive holiday gift guide

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Thankfully, there are ways you can give meaningful gifts that are heartfelt, support your community and don't simply contribute to wasteful consumerism. 

As always, is here to help with holiday gift ideas that can bring a smile to the ones you love, support progressive values, and add to the holiday celebration of love, generosity and connection. 

Give the gift of media. Independent media.

You didn't expect us to leave out of this gift guide, did you? is free to all, but producing it isn't free. With a gift of a one-time donation or a monthly gift, you'll be keeping your loved ones in the know about all the stuff the mainstream media ignores and misreports. Who wouldn't want to receive that? Well, a certain former prime minister springs to mind, but everyone else wants it. Trust us!

There are also many other fantastic independent media organizations in Canada. Why not gift a subscription and share the joy of progressive media? Check out some of our friends like MegaphoneBriarpatch, The Monitor to get you started.

Lend a hand 

Sometimes there are tasks we need help with that we just don't seem to get around to. Shovelling the sidewalk? Cleaning out the garage? Making meals for the freezer? Finding a babysitter for a night out? These chores can make really great gifts when you help someone in need. In fact, if you have a special area of expertise that can really benefit someone else, offering them your services can end up being a holiday miracle. 

Give to progressive organizations

Do you have people in your life who seem to have it all? If so, adding more stuff to their collection might not be the best gift. Instead, giving to a progressive organization or cause in their name can be a really generous and meaningful gesture, especially if it's a cause that you know they care about. Not sure who to donate to? Some giving platforms, like Chimp, can help with that. In fact, you can even load up an account for someone and they can choose the charity the money goes to, making their gift truly personal and worthwhile. If you're looking for places to donate to Syrian refugees, there are a number of options -- donating to UNHCR or the Red Cross among others.


Do-it-yourself (DIY) crafting is a fun, inexpensive way to give unique gifts during the holiday season and some ideas are actually very easy! Looking for ideas? Here are a few below!


Sometimes, there's no better gift than the gift of food. Do you have a famous cookie or muffin recipe that your recipient loves? Have you tried your hand at making fudge or chocolate peppermint bark? Or, for the savoury lovers, did you know it's extremely easy to make your own infused salts and infused vinegars? Complete your gift with some nice packaging and whoever they are, they'll love receiving one of these tasty treats.

Bath and body

Who is the person who doesn't love a spa? Making a home spa kit filled with aromatic scrubs and body butters is actually quite straightforward. Ingredients like Epsom salts, coconut oil and sugar can even be found in your cupboard or local grocery store. Specialty beauty or DIY shops can help with the more obscure ingredients you might require. For something very simple, try this peppermint foot soak or this salt scrub. So relaxing.

For the masculine

DIY products are often presented as being quintessentially feminine. Believe it or not, there are more masculine options too! If you've got some simple sewing skills, a homemade bow tie can be a nice gift or homemade shaving cream is easy to whip up as well.

Artisan made 

Not the crafting type? Leave it to those who are! December is the time for local holiday craft fairs, all of which offer excellent gift options that support artisans in your community. A quick Google search of your area will show you what's on nearby. Can't make it to a craft fair? Etsy is a great online marketplace for artisan retailers where you can also find unique, handmade gifts.

Support local arts

Speaking of supporting local artists, consider giving a gift of theatre. Not only is this a fun opportunity for a night out, but it's a wonderful way to support the performing arts. Comedy shows, plays, ballets, musicals, concerts -- there's something for everyone. Many theatres even sell gift certificates so if you don't know the dates your recipient is available, they can choose a show that works best for them.


Happy holidays and happy gifting!

Alyse Kotyk is a Vancouver-based writer and editor with a passion for social justice, storytelling and tea. She studied English Literature and Global Development at Queen's University and believes in the ability to make positive changes through media that digs deep, asks questions and shares narratives. Alyse was the Editor of Servants Quarters and has written for the Queen's News Centre, Quietly Media and the Vancouver Observer.

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