Time for the Fakequity 2022 Holiday Guide. This isn’t a shopping guide – it is a guide to being more thoughtful in gifting to people you like or feel obliged to gift too (let’s be honest sometimes that happens). Not everything has to be bought, if COVID slowing down and the current economics, and environmental/climate change crisis has shown us we can honor people in ways that doesn’t have to be bought or at a detriment to other values.
If you are buying gifts this guide can help you be more thoughtful about where you are spending money and investing it into communities of color or people with disabilities.
Buy Local and Donate Locally
With COVID restrictions easing in many places, craft fairs or other gatherings where you can find local POC artists are resuming. I follow a few local crafter gatherings on Instagram and Facebook to make sure I know when their artist sells happen.
Last week I visited one hosted by Beacon Arts (as in Beacon Hill Seattle, sorry Boston not your Beacon Hill). My colleague was selling her fab earrings; I don’t have pierced ears anymore but every time I see her stuff it makes me wonder if I should re-pierce my ears. Other vendors of color, including Blackout Accessories, were at the event too and I ordered a bunch of gifts from their websites. Please be respectful and wear masks if the hosts ask you to, if you don’t want to wear a mask many of the vendors have online portals for ordering. Other fairs are coming up such as the Ayame Kai featuring a lot of Asian artist – I’ve found some very fab Christmas ornaments at this fair.
Other ways to buy local are to find great experiences for your friends and families. Signing up for classes is a great way to support local POCs. Find studios or sports camps owned by POCs and offer to pay for classes for your gift recipient.
In Seattle, Northwest Tap Connection is Black owned and I hear has fabulous dance classes. Kim’s Taekwon Do is Asian owned in South Seattle. If you’re stuck, The POC business map started by our friends at Equity Matters is a good place to start (please also add POC businesses to the map), or the Intentionlist website is a great help too.
Along with experiences, find a locally owned movie theatre and buy tickets to Wakanda Forever and other movies featuring POC stories. While you’re at the theatre, buy some concessions (aka popcorn, candy, and drinks) this is where the movie theatres pay themselves not from screening the movies.
Donating to your favorite local POC-run and embedded organizations is so appreciated too. If you need suggestions let me know. I have my list of faves in Seattle. When in doubt you can also drop off grocery store gift cards to your local public schools and in my experience, the staff will make sure they find their way into the hands of families who need them.
Gifting a food basket of locally grown food from POC farmers is a very worthwhile gift. I’ve learned a lot more about local food and POC farming this year from my friend Friendly of Friendly Hmong Farms. There are a lot of winter farmers markets still happening, so stop by and pickup some fresh seasonal produce and flowers from them to gift to neighbors or friends.
Restaurant gift certificates for businesses owned by POCs is another great way to invest locally and in POC businesses. Some of my Seattle faves include:
- Communion – Black owned and soooo delicious
- Buddha Bruddah – Asian owned, their pies are heavenly
- Lil Red – Black owned, this is on my wish list to try, but everyone who I respect that eats meat says it is the place to go.
- Salvadoran Bakery in Burien is the place to go for papusas. Whenever I bring these home my kid devours them. I also love tamales from Cafetal Quilimbo – perfect for holiday gatherings or dropping off as a gift to show your love.
- The new ʔálʔal Café — a Native-owned and operated café/eatery inside the Chief Seattle Club in the Pioneer Square just opened up. They also have gifts and items for sale by Native artists and creators.
- Flour Box in Seattle and King Donuts are two worthy donuts to bring to a Hanukkah gathering or to take to someone as a holiday treat. Both are Asian owned.
I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there. Except to say if you’re in Hawaii, go check out Nisshodo Candy for mochi and other ono-licious sweets.
Again, not everything has to be purchased. If you’re looking for a gift idea, collect recipes that connect you to your culture and compile them into a recipe book or guide for the special people in your life. I keep a copy of my great-aunt’s andagi recipe in an online folder and pull it out several times a year to make a gigantic-party-pack worthy batch of andagi (fried Okinawan donuts). The original recipe was passed to my mom from her cousins as a thank you gift. Another friend treasures her sister’s guide to making pie crust and freaked out when the webpage temporarily went down – that is how much she loves that pie crust recipe. Sharing your culture is a way to support POCs because you’re learning and deepening your own understanding of yourself, which helps you connect to others in new ways (just don’t be weird about it).
Eighth Generations has gorgeous Native made gifts. They also have various price points, so you can find something for everyone. You can shop online, or if you’re in the Seattle region visit their store in Pike Market. Today I was wearing a pair of socks a friend gave me from here several years ago. I hope I get more gift socks from Eighth Generations.
Emily Landau has an awesome holiday guide around shopping from people with disabilities. So many great gifts and a few discount codes if you shop soon. Emily’s list includes a few POCs so make sure to pay attention there for a double impact – people of color with disabilities.
A few of my favorite books for gifting right now.
Modern Asian Baking at Home is my new fave. Their milk bread recipe is on point.
Not yet released, but I’m excited to see it in April 2023 – so order it now and tell the recipient it will be delayed gratification – Project 562: Changing the Way we See Native Americans will be worth the wait based on what I’ve seen on this project.
Meet Claudie is a new book joining the American Girls line of books and dolls. Author Brit Bennett (author of the Vanishing Half) wrote this and it is so good. Claudie lives in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance and she has to figure out her special talent to help her community. This is perfect for beginning chapter book readers.
Grounded doesn’t come out until spring 2023 but mentioning it now because it is worthy of a pre-order. A group of kids, all Muslim, meet at an airport after the conference they are at lets out. The kids bond over searching for a missing cat at the airport and in the end learn about each other and their own diverse Muslim families.
For the nonfiction readers in your life Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes through Indigenous Science is so fascinating. I’m listening to the audio version and learning a lot about the Indigenous and Latin American Indigenous experiences and wisdom.
Enjoy your gifting experiences for all of the various holidays this dark-but-lighted winter season. Stay warm and cozy too.
Why I wrote this: Being intentional with gifting is an important way of investing in POC, disabled, and local communities.
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I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, Snohomish, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.