So you think you want to buy me something….

If you know me well—and I certainly hope you do, what with your browsing my wish list and all—you know that I’m on an admittedly Quixotic personal campaign to abolish calendar-based gift-giving. Spending money just because it’s a particular day is silly—and this seemingly scandalous idea, which has feminist roots at least a century old, has been beautifully championed by New York Times/The Atlantic/Quartz reporter Jake Flanagin, and is at the heart of the burgeoning AdBusters movement.  Even Adam Conover has “ruined” gift-giving:

Once you take off the rose-tinted Glasses of Tradition, it’s easy to see that there are so many more meaningful ways to express affection and gratitude! If you’re thinking of getting me a gift for a birthday, holiday, or special occasion, please know that my first choice is always spending some quality introvert time together. Suggest a date (or three) and let’s set something up!

Of course, getting together in person isn’t always convenient.  And even I have been known to buy gifts for friends “just because,” on days that had no special meaning except that my friend came to mind.  So for such occasions, I offer the following.

Best: support a cause I believe in
A Close Second: support a friend of mine
Good: gift cards
If you must: stuff

And whenever you spend money…

hrcshopPlease—when buying gifts for us (and making any purchases at all, actually)—consider the information found in the Human Rights Campaign Buyer’s Guide. This document rates major retailers and other companies based upon their workplace policies toward LGBT employees. Every person deserves a chance to earn a living in a supportive environment, and it’s important to Mark and me that we support companies who believe LGBT persons are valuable employees too. Click here to find out the many ways you can consult the HRC Buyer’s Guide before spending your money.