Holigay Gift Guide: For the Overworked & Underpaid

Are the people you love getting the shittiest end of capitalism’s hell stick? Long days and even longer nights just trying to make ends meet? We can’t change everything but taking care of the mind, body and soul (very original) can hopefully make it a little easier. Check out these gifts to do just that!

Mind

It may because I have Android/PC but does anyone else keep forgetting about iTunes? I used to be hyped as shit to get iTunes cards for Christmas because musicals and you know what? You can download all your stuff onto devices so when wi-fi goes out, you’ll be able to still enjoy your shows (instead of watching Wreck-It Ralph on repeat on your broken DVD player in the middle of the night. Still a good movie, but I want better for you.) Let us not also forget about Wolfe Video (which apparently has on demand????) because the last thing you want to do when you get off work is scroll endlessly through Netflix and Hulu to find your lesbian movies only to be disappointed and going to sleep still covered in the world’s cishetero foolishness. Help your loved ones get queerly to the good stuff.

I just got into games heavy this past year and I love the idea that there’s a medium that gives you permission to fail, that lets you come back again and again until you get where you want to be. Life isn’t always that forgiving, so I’m big on giving yourself that kindness in media.

We all know books are my shit and so it’s taking all my might to just be like, hey check out a book or two even though I’m like LET’S TALK ABOUT ALL THE BOOKS EVER. Reading is better than using your computer before bedtime and I want you to get enough rest, so please invest in more books!

Body

I know absolutely nothing about makeup but I do know in the little corner of my heart where I keep femme aspirations, I want to look fly as fuck and Rihanna is on that shit. Like. I don’t even know what goes where (I spent fifteen minutes just confused as shit on Sephora) but I wanted everything Fenty Beauty after this video. I feel like its a makeup that everyone agrees is fantastic but it’s not cheap and people who love makeup should be treated to this.

Bose headphones are great because they truly help you ignore the bullshit around you. These say “I’m not listening to you” when you’re out and about and say “I deserve this luxurious atmosphere” when you get home.

My work lunches consist of whatever I find at the Dollar Tree next to my job. I know that the Wendy’s down the street will amount to $4.24 for their four for four deal. I’ve got a 1.25L of Mountain Dew sitting next to me right now and it’s 9 PM and we’ve still got miles to go before I sleep. What I’m saying is, I don’t get any kind of nutrients that my body needs until I get sick and throw a vegetable in there. Nutrition is not the first thing on my mind and I think, for a lot of people, it’s the last on theirs too. Help them out with a subscription service where we can come home and try to cook or just have enough snacks to get us through.

Good pajamas are so important. Nothing gently holds your hand and calmly tells you that you deserve the finer and quieter things in life like a motherfucking onesie. Sadly, these don’t have the feet on them but don’t worry I got you with a pair of super fuzzy socks.

Soul

Look, we all just get down sometimes, and it’s hard to come out of it. Sometimes you need little reminders to get you through, so check out these love notes that tell you you are more than the work you do, zines that help you cope with the uncertainty and dread capitalism brings and postcards to help your loved ones try to do the same.

Alexis Smithers (Lex Lee) is a black nonbinary person creating on the East Coast. They've volunteered for Winter Tangerine and currently are a Web Development Student at Bloc. A 2015 Pink Door Fellow & 2016 Lambda Literary Emerging Writer, you can find more of their work on their website and listen to them scream about poetry & other interests on Twitter.

Alexis has written 27 articles for us.

10 Comments

  1. Loved this!

    Also felt deeply for you re: your venture into Sephora. My spouse has never worn a spot of makeup ever and was very overwhelmed by Sephora, but also kind of loved the aesthetic of it. Also that little Fenty mini set is so cute and good for a lot of skin tones and the perfect price point to consider a “splurge” on something fancy AF without breaking the bank. A+ suggestion!

  2. Can I just say how grateful I am that you listed nutrition on this list? When I was living on a really, really low budget, having someone send groceries, a meal kit, or even some non-perishables from Amazon were lifesavers, but they feel so awkward to ask for. Presents are (obviously) lovely and exciting and fun, but sometimes food/toiletries can serve a much more useful purpose in the short term. I know you didn’t list this explicitly, but I feel the same re: helping someone pay off an overdue bill, make a student loan payment, or etc.

  3. FYI Apple now makes a Windows app store version of iTunes and from what people have told me(in fact I asked about it yesterday) it’s still that kind of bloated and laggy mess they remember it being. The MacOS desktop version isn’t that much better.

    Really liking the anti-capitalist love notes. Thank you!

  4. Ever tried packing lunch to work? It’s not only gentler on your wallet but healthier too. Sure you gotta set some time aside in the morning to make it but at least you don’t snatch up the first thing you see when you’re hungry and grumpy and wanting a quick fix.

    As for gifts, I now go with gift cards. Some people think it’s impersonal but I think they’re freakin’ practical and people will use ’em. I get my broke AF baby brother who is in college in The Great White North gift cards to Tims for his birthday and Christmas because it keeps him fed and warm and I sleep better at night knowing that even thought I’m thousands of miles away I can still somehow take care of him on my own pathetic budget.

    • I do not understand why people think gift cards are impersonal. Like you said, they’re so practical!!!! Instead of having to worry (on both the giving and the receiving end) about whether someone is gonna like their gift, you can be like, “Hey, I know there’s some stuff here you’ll like and here’s money to pick out what you want the most” is an A++++ decision! Especially when you can’t just straight up ask people to gift money gift cards are honestly the next best thing, they are GREAT MORE GIFT CARDS

      I love that, that you can still take care of him that way, like this anecdote should be reason enough we all invest in gift cards. Thank you for reading!

  5. Alexis “throw a vegetable in there”, ah that feeling is so true.

    Also +1 on the pj’s and fuzzy slippers, it’s cold where I am and I found a pair of fleece-lined socks on sale and I feel so comforted.

  6. Wow, this gift guide is spot-on for where I (+ loved ones) are at in life. Thank you!

    Also, I so feel you on the Sephora confusion! I don’t know anything about makeup, but I have really dry hands so I’m always using tester hand lotions at stores. Once I followed my makeup-literate friends into a Sephora, where I promptly lost them. Everyone in the store seemed to be trying out products on themselves, so when I thought I saw the one thing I know how to use use (hand lotion), I smeared it on with vigor. Alas, it was NOT hand lotion. Definitely supposed to go on the face. Definitely left my hands sticky and unusable, but also sparkly which I guess is OK? But next time I’m staying outside by the doors. LOL.

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