So you want to give Keith a gift …
I cannot imagine what would cause you to want to do anything like that. I am not a thoughtful person by nature, so your largess will probably go unappreciated. Moreover, I’m a Scrooge when it comes to gift giving and someone who rails against crass commercialism in general, so I will probably think less of you for having done so. I’d recommend against the whole gift idea and ask that you just think nice thoughts about me instead Seriously. You have a ‘bye’ on buying me anything. However, if you feel really must, here are (rank-ordered) recommendations regarding what would please me in the way of gifts.
1. Charitable Donations
In general, I dislike stuff, and what stuff I do like, I am fussy about, so you may find me hard to buy for. Since I don’t need anything, I would really prefer you donate to one of the charitable organizations I support (or some similar charity of your choosing) to provide for those who do have real need or in some way make the world a better place. That makes me feel warm and fuzzy, which is the real point of gift giving, no?
- The American Civil Liberties Union
- The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
- Equal Citizens
- Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Give Directly
- The Life You Can Save Charities
- Heifer Project International
- Grameen Foundation
- Environmental Defense
- Environmental Defense Action Fund
- The Nature Conservancy
- Sierra Club
- Sierra Club Foundation
- Sierra Club Environmental Law Program
- Planned Parenthood
- American Red Cross
- American Players Theater
- UW Madison Foundation
- Public Radio
2. Services & Consumables
If charitable giving doesn’t satisfy you, here are some second-tier gift ideas that won’t clutter up my life or offend my “anti-stuff” mentality. (Obsessive and controlling, aren’t I? See how this whole gift idea really is not worth it?)
- Culture: Tickets to Boston or Cambridge theater (Catalyst Collaborative, Huntington, Emerson, Central Square, …), Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Museum of Art,
- Dining: Gift certificates to restaurants near 02132. I like nearly all ethnic cuisines but don’t eat mammals anymore.
- Cheese: I am a turophile with fantasies of becoming an artisanal cheesemaker when I retire. I like sharp, nutty cheeses from cow, sheep, or goats milk, but nearly any flavorful variety will satisfy this cheesehead.
- Wine: I’m an oenophile but not a wine snob. Nearly any red will have the desired effect.
- Beer: Any robust stout, porter, dark lager, or brown ale will make me quite hoppy.
- Spirits: I like gin, but I’m starting to acquire a taste for whiskey, so feel free to educate my palate.
If my protestations to the contrary have not deterred because you genuinely understand the psychology of gift giving and feel you really must give me something durable, a (gently used copy of a) book or other item from my Amazon Wishlist would maximize what little pleasure a consumption curmudgeon like me derives from a gift. I may also not dislike:
- A wardrobe for this century. My clothes were out of style when I bought them at the discount bin a decade ago, and now most are too big for me and/or threadbare.
- Top: Men’s small – 14.5″ collar, 34″ sleeve
- Bottom: 30″ waist x 30″ inseam
- Educational audio. Though I do welcome print books, I listen to far more books than I read. A The Great Courses or Audible subscription or Chirp credits would feed my mind.