826 Valencia's Holiday Gift Guide for 2019

826 Valencia's Holiday Gift Guide for 2019

Dec 17th 2019

It is time for gifts.

Well, soon, anyway. The agreed-upon time for gifts is not quite now, but it is coming, and, actually, gifts are nice at any time. We're standing by our initial statement. It is time for gifts. We, ourselves, are struggling with this. What gifts would they like to receive, the people to whom we wish to give gifts? How can we bring happiness to the people for whom we care? We are confused, we are overwhelmed, we are caught up in the many options available to us. We need clarity. We would like advice.

We asked our students.

They often see things more clearly than we do. Their internal compasses are less responsive to the many, potentially imagined, lodestones with which we surround ourselves. We are relieved to pass this burden to them, and relieved also that they did not seem to see it as a burden, but rather, as a pleasure, as we think gift-giving should be a pleasure, as acts of caring for and giving care to loved ones must necessarily be a pleasure, as caring, in various forms, is perhaps the only pleasure. We digress. Anyway, we asked our students, and we gather their wisdom here, for you, grouped into helpful categories.

Things your loved ones are already using, but better

Audrina A-S, age 10, of our Mission Bay center, recommends a vintage journal.
These are made out of other books, which is like recycling.

826: Who would you give this to?
AA-S: My cousin who is 11. She takes a lot of notes and sometime she gets bored and she does not have anything to write in so she can write. My favorite part is that she does not only have a limited space, she has the whole book so she can do whatever she wants.

Pema Y, age 10, of our Tenderloin center, recommends a letterpress journal.
These are handmade by humans in the pacific northwest. That's fancy.

826: Who would you give this to?
PY: My teacher, because then she could write notes and reminders.
826: What’s your favorite part?
PY: The cover. The branches and leaves are colored nicely and I like the art style.

Moez E. of our Mission Bay center and Mario L. of our Mission center, both age 10, recommend the Captain's Log.
These are limited-edition journals, designed by us, with a new, unique design every year.

ME: I would give this Captain’s Log notebook to my friend – he has one but it is small with not enough pages, but I think he would want this one. The first thing I noticed that it has a lot of pages and my friend has such a tiny journal. My friend would write in it, do notes in it, math in it, remember decimals like ¼ = .25 and he would draw in it.
ML: I would give this to my mom. I like the design and I think my mom would like it. My favorite part is that some of them have graph paper and I like to draw on graph paper.

Moez also recommends a mossy birdhouse.

ME: I would buy a birdhouse for my dad’s friend because he has 7 birds and it is better than a cage. He would keep his birds in it. It has moss — birds normally make their nests in trees where there are leaves and so predators cannot see them.  My favorite part of the bird cage is that it’s eco-friendly also the birds are not locked in a cage they have their freedom and can go in and out.

Imani N, age 12, of our Tenderloin center, recommends the Squish Globe.
Squeezing the world makes you strong.

IN: I chose this because this helps me a lot when I get angry when I can’t do my homework. I have 25 [squishy toys] at home and I’m excited to get more, because every time I get mad or upset, or I don’t get my homework and I get frustrated, this helps me calm down and also build muscles. I like how it’s a circle; I can really hold it. Sometimes when I’m doing my homework and I get mad I hold it in my left hand and can still work on my homework.

Pema also recommends the Unicorn Horn Polish.
PY: It could be actually from a real unicorn!

826: Why would this be a good gift for your friend?
PY: It is chapstick. I know she wears a lot of chapstick and she always brings it to school, so I’d give her a pack. She’d be wondering why it’s unicorn horn polish.
826: What do you think her favorite part of this would be?
PY: That she’s going to put it on every five seconds.

Things that are fun, that's all, just fun; everybody likes fun.

Christian P, age 10, of our Mission Center, recommends the Shark Hat.
Honestly, we agree. These are hilarious.

826: What was the first thing you noticed about this object?
CP: It looks cool and it’s so funny!
826: Who would you give this to, as a present?
CP: I would keep one for myself and give the other to one of my friends who I play soccer with.
826: Would you wear it while you play soccer?
CP: Yes.

Jonny V., age 9, of our Tenderloin center, recommends the Make and Move Mega.
Paper creatures you can build. Less terrifying than their living counterparts.

826: Who would you give this to?
JV: To a kid who loves art and animals and the earth. When you have free time you can use this to entertain yourself. If you love earth or the animals this is perfect for you.
826: What ages is this best for?
JV: Kindergarten to about 8. From a kid, to a tiny bit a grow-up. It can lead them to what they want to be.

Audrina also recommends the Make it Yourself Fresh Flower Necklace.
Bring your own flowers. If we included them, they wouldn't be fresh anymore.

AA-S: I would give this to my friend, because my friend really loves friendship bracelets and necklaces. We are [writing] the feature articles in our school newspapers and she is writing about flowers. My friend likes fresh flowers and she likes hiking. My favorite part is since you can make your own fresh flower necklace, you can go hiking and find cool flowers and see the flowers and remember the day you went to get it.

Emerson H., age 9, of our Mission Center, recommends the pirate hook.
He has good taste.

826: What was the first thing you noticed about this object?
EH: That’s its a hook, you know, like a pirate hook. It’s what almost all the pirates wear.
826: Who would you give this to, as a present?
EH: My dad. I think he would really like it.
826: Is he a pirate?
EH: No. 
826: When would a pirate use this?
EH: When they are making people obey them. You know why? Because this is supposed to be sharp, but it's plastic.

Lastly, Pema recommends our attractive pins.

826: What was the first thing you noticed about this object?
PY: It’s a pin. I just like it, the color, its like a fishbowl. It’s round, it clearly has water, and it has a ladder in it for someone climbing in there.
826: What’s your favorite part of this object?
PY: The fish tank. 
826: What would your mom’s favorite part be?
PY: The ladder.
826: When would you use this?
PY: I would probably put it on my backpack.
826: Would it give you cool points at school?
PY: No.

After gathering this advice, we felt relieved. We saw the justice of these opinions, and we saw how we could extend these principles to other areas of our lives. We offer them to you, in this time of gifts, in the hope that they benefit you as they have benefitted us.

If not, consider these other gift ideas.