Gifts for the playa

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike

Postby Eric » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:34 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Even I don't read much there.


I bring magazines to flip through on the ride up (seldom do) and the ride back (definitely useful) and for the night we stay in Reno.

I've never done any reading on the playa that wasn't playa-related.
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Postby AntiM » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:37 pm

He never touched a book. The story is long and paints no pretty pictures. I'm sure he would have been glad if we'd grabbed one for him when he was in the med tent for dehydration come Burn Night.
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Postby Trishntek » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:52 pm

We just discovered some miniature bottles of Chambord and will bring all we can find for our fellow eplayans. Mix two parts vodka to one part Chambord,,,, MMmmmmmm good!
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Postby jcliff » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:04 pm

This might sound harsh, but I agree with the article that was posted. 95% of the gifts I've been given on the playa have ended up in a trash bag in Reno. The gifts that I've been given that were actually useful were decorated lighters (I have 2 of them on my desk right now.) Even if you don't smoke, they're useful to light someone up who does. Two years ago I brought a couple bottles of Neutrogena Cooling Sunscreen Spray. They really do cool down the skin. I offered to spray down some poor folks who were overheated and getting cooked by the sun. They seemed pretty grateful for the tingly cooling spray. I've also given decorated Altoids tins to smokers that don't have a container to dispose of their butts.
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Postby teardropper » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:53 pm

Couple of things. We set up a small bar and, at our convenience, give drinks-- boiler makers are popular and particularly cruel, my own Playa Breeze, kind of like a cosmo with champagne, beer and Marguaritas, while offering a playa bowling alley. I also make up photo pins with a pic I take of the last years Man and the current year on them. The pins are not cheapies and I doubt that any end up in the trash. Everyone likes a cool drink, so that is popular and the bowling alley, lit for night use, gets used all through the night.

Mini bottles of call liquor, hand sanitizer, sun screen, uh, things like that. Useful and appreciated.

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Postby socks » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:21 pm

I just don't understand some people who get a gift and then judge the gift.What kind of Fucktard are you?A gift is a gift so sorry it doesn't meet your standards.The very fact you were gifted one out of 50,000 people should say something to you alone.Accept the gift with the love it was giving with.
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Postby tamarakay » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:34 pm

we found some little flashlights with a loop on them. going to either put a necklace on them or a caribeener and hand out to people with no lights. sometimes i just can't push down my practical side. we may or may not print up a few stickers, lots of moop potential with those, but i've received some stickers through mail and love them. we were working on engraving these copper disks, but the noise of the engraver really makes the five month old grand daughter that lives with us FREAK OUT. they sure were pretty, only got like 20 done before Lillian said no.
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:32 am

And Tamara, if you and Ken do make stickers, make sure you mention a certain camp...
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Postby tamarakay » Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:46 am

Dr. Pyro wrote:And Tamara, if you and Ken do make stickers, make sure you mention a certain camp...


lol, front and center. maybe barbie and dre battling (or something)!
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:59 am

socks wrote:I just don't understand some people who get a gift and then judge the gift.What kind of Fucktard are you?A gift is a gift so sorry it doesn't meet your standards.The very fact you were gifted one out of 50,000 people should say something to you alone.Accept the gift with the love it was giving with.

I'm the one that says that cheap plastic shit from China isn't inevitably horrible, and even I take issue with this. "Love" is a specific emotion, not an automated gesture. The relationship between giver and givee is an intimate gesture. If someone brought 50,000 Mardi Gras necklaces and is doggedly give one to each and every person on the playa, we may salute his vigor, but, come on, it's not love that he's giving. This changes as people give out fewer and more personal gifts, but dust catchers are dust catchers, and better by far to refuse a gift than to throw it away when you get home. And if a simple "no, thank you" isn't enough, then that's a problem with the giver, not the recipient.
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Postby phil » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:16 pm

socks wrote:I just don't understand some people who get a gift and then judge the gift.What kind of Fucktard are you?A gift is a gift so sorry it doesn't meet your standards.The very fact you were gifted one out of 50,000 people should say something to you alone.Accept the gift with the love it was giving with.


Shrug - I'm the kind that judges a gift. A pasteboard bookmarker from a library does not meet my standards of a gift.

I did accept the gifts, and I thanked the givers profusely. But pasteboard bookmarks that you took from the giveaway stack at a library suck as Burning Man gifts. If that's the love it was given with, keep the gift and the love.

> The very fact you were gifted one out of 50,000 people should say
> something to you alone.

No. This person had a stack of pasteboard bookmarks taken from the library that she was handing out. She was stopping people so she could give them pasteboard bookmarkers from the library.

In the real world and on the playa, some gifts suck. Hence my suggestion to first-time attendees that they not bring a gift their first trip to BM. Go see what it's like and get an understanding of what's going on. There's no _requirement_ that anyone give gifts. No one _has_ to give gifts. We're not a Kwakiutl potlatch. My request is that if you're going to give stuff out, kindly figure out a way to channel your generosity into the spirit of Burning Man and not feel you're expected to give stuff away so you take bookmarkers from your public library to fulfill your obligation. That's not love, hon. That's Orange County.

However, we're all free to have our opinions and to express them. We're all free take them for what they're worth. Take mine for what it's worth.
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Postby Eric » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:39 pm

socks wrote:I just don't understand some people who get a gift and then judge the gift.What kind of Fucktard are you?A gift is a gift so sorry it doesn't meet your standards.The very fact you were gifted one out of 50,000 people should say something to you alone.Accept the gift with the love it was giving with.


Bite me. The fucktards are the ones who buy some random cheap shit because they think they're supposed to and then foist it on people and expect us to take it. That's not "love", that's fucking laziness.

I stand by every word I wrote in my gifting article, and newbs would do the whole community a favor if they took the sentiment to heart.

Don't give people crappy shit. Either give something genuinely useful or give of yourself- assistance, conversation, a smile. Or don't bother.
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Postby teardropper » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:07 pm

Eric wrote:Don't give people crappy shit. Either give something genuinely useful or give of yourself- assistance, conversation, a smile. Or don't bother.


Or something cool...

I've gotten crappy stuff totally unrelated to BM, I think I may have gotten some of those bookmarks. And other crap. I have a lot of cool schwag in a drawer, and none of that is there. I had to take it off the playa... and then toss it.

I have gotten original pieces, that had nothing to do with BM. Still have some of those.

I like to give stuff away. But it's usually not random. After a conversation, a dance, a cocktail, something that connects us. I want to, maybe, be remembered. Selfish, I know. I like it personal.

There's no obligation to "gift". None. Don't "gift" crap.
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Postby AntiM » Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:35 am

I recycle crappy gifts into art, or at least stuff to tape to my pens at the Home so they don't get adopted. I will take crappy plastic gifts as art supplies. Perhaps I should start a crappy gift receptacle, except I know it would fill with real trash all too quickly.
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Postby Turnip » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:25 am

My favorite gift I got from a kid that had to of been no older than 16 years old.
He was wearing a cute skirt that I legitimately loved and would have wore in the default world and I complimented him on it and he turned bright red and took off his hemp bracelet and gave it to me. We hugged and talked for a few, then my boyfriend came out of the potties and the poor little guy took off. =(

I wore that bracelet until it fell apart. It wasn't my first physical gift that week but it stuck with me the most. Actually get kind of teary eyed thinking about it!
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Postby graidawg » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:29 am

i was in my local supermarket yesterday and bought a couple of crappy tins i thought would make great portable ashtrays, by the time they got home they had become little survival packs i could put emergency supply tins with a mini torch tp a couple of cigarettes and matches so often the crappy gifts can with a bit if thought become something cool i dont intend to bring things as random gifts, some things i will bring as planned gift for certain people but I for noe have listened and as a burgin i'm bringing me as a gift that should be enough
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Postby Eric » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:16 pm

AntiM wrote:Perhaps I should start a crappy gift receptacle, except I know it would fill with real trash all too quickly.


The last few years of Piss Clear we were getting so many... um.... "lovingly given" bits of crap that we finally set up a "Gifting Box" by our main shade structure. A lot of what would get put in there was the expected mardi-gras bead type stuff, but then we'd find top shelf vodka & tequila, mushrooms, assorted really cool stickers... It turned out to be a really interesting addition to the camp.

We'd let people take from the box as well, so it evened out what we had to haul home.

Grai- making something inexpensive but useful isn't a crap gift- ie: giving an altoids tin ashtray to a smoker isn't a crap gift, your "emergency kit" wouldn't be a crap gift to a smoker either. A crap gift is one that's truly useless and given simply because the person thinks they have to gift. They don't.

edit: spelling
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Postby graidawg » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:59 pm

Eric wrote:
AntiM wrote:Perhaps I should start a crappy gift receptacle, except I know it would fill with real trash all too quickly.


The last few years of Piss Clear we were getting so many... um.... "lovingly given" bits of crap that we finally set up a "Gifting Box" by our main shade structure. A lot of what would get put in there was the expected mardi-gras bead type stuff, but then we'd find top shelf vodka & tequila, mushrooms, assorted really cool stickers... It turned out to be a really interesting addition to the camp.

We'd let people take from the box as well, so it evened out what we had to haul home.

Grai- making something inexpensive but useful isn't a crap gift- ie: giving an altoids tin ashtray to a smoker isn't a crap gift, your "emergency kit" wouldn't be a crap gift to a smoker either. A crap gift is one that's truly useless and given simply because the person thinks they have to gift. They don't.

edit: spelling


oh it wasn't the crap gift it was the tin then i thought, some poor smoker run out of cigs or lighter or whatever would probs die for a little pack of essentials - they even have little clips on them to attach to belts now i just need to hide the hanna montana logo by decorating them.

Ive also got some lighters with tiny torches on. which realyl make sense at BM if not anywhere else :D

its fun looking for cheap but useful tat.
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Postby geospyder » Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:49 pm

I was wearing Playa clothing (along with many other local Burners) last night at the Nevada Museum of Art for the opening night of Leo Villareal. Today when I was putting things away I decided to go though the box of gifts I've accumulated. I got real and only kept items that had a real memory. The rest went into "landfill".
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Postby DB Cooper » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:44 pm

OMG I just ordered the best gifts! I'm going to give them out to EVERYONE, they'll really liven up the party. Soon to be prowd owner of 200,000 of these:
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I can't wait to see how much everyone loves them on they playa.
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Postby some seeing eye » Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:03 pm

There are many threads on this. Consider the idea of an experience that leaves no waste, nothing physical. It takes more sensitivity to exchange.
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Postby AntiM » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:19 am

DB Cooper wrote:OMG I just ordered the best gifts! I'm going to give them out to EVERYONE, they'll really liven up the party. Soon to be prowd owner of 200,000 of these:
Image



I can't wait to see how much everyone loves them on they playa.


You missed the Bad Advice thread, it is over there.....
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:42 am

Eric wrote:Grai- making something inexpensive but useful isn't a crap gift- ie: giving an altoids tin ashtray to a smoker isn't a crap gift, your "emergency kit" wouldn't be a crap gift to a smoker either. A crap gift is one that's truly useless and given simply because the person thinks they have to gift. They don't.


Eric, Tell us what you really think of little Burning Men made out of pipe cleaners! :D
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Postby teardropper » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:01 pm

DB Cooper wrote:OMG I just ordered the best gifts! I'm going to give them out to EVERYONE, they'll really liven up the party. Soon to be prowd owner of 200,000 of these:
Image



I can't wait to see how much everyone loves them on they playa.


Yeah, I think this guy is just a troll...
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Postby VeganChoirGirl » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:12 pm

graidawg wrote:
motskyroonmatick wrote:
Savannah wrote:I'm not sure anyone has gotten a haircut in that chair ever since the neck belt was added.


It's true. None has but it would be a great first. I'll supply the vacuum to pick up the hair so it does not become moop.
I should get the chair out and do some sprucing up on it. More restraints would be ... better. :twisted:


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Postby VeganChoirGirl » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:16 pm

Speaking of gifting.....

Does anyone gift the greeters?


It was not constant or expected, but in 2009 someone gave us a whole bottle of Grey Goose, which we passed amongst ourselves in the noon day sun as we finished our shift (oof) and the following year someone gave us cold beer, and another person in a separate car offered a box of fresh doughnuts at about the same time. Consumed together on Wednesday morning of the event, these were quite enjoyable. :) I remember a certain young Canuck exclaiming "this is just like breakfast in Canada!" with a mouthful of doughnut. So cute. :)[/quote]

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Postby VeganChoirGirl » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:27 pm

Also, in addition to gifting Greeters, consider gifting Gate. With liquor, especially whiskey/whisky or beer.

Gate stands out in the hot sun, working extremely hard. It's physical, hot/cold, 24 hours a day work for the whole event and MANY days before. These hard working VOLUNTEERS bust their butts to make sure that every body gets into the event safely, with a ticket, and without any of the forbidden items (firearms, fireworks, dogs, feather boas, etc.). Show some love!
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Postby Sic Pup » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:43 pm

teardropper wrote:
DB Cooper wrote:OMG I just ordered the best gifts! I'm going to give them out to EVERYONE, they'll really liven up the party. Soon to be prowd owner of 200,000 of these:
Image



I can't wait to see how much everyone loves them on they playa.


Yeah, I think this guy is just a troll...


I think he's and old "friend'..... 9764 posts worth, to be exact.

But what do i know?
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Postby AntiM » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:24 pm

What's sad is someone brought those popper streamer thingys to a regional. Education is a bitch.
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Postby Eric » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:45 pm

Teo del Fuego wrote:
Eric wrote:Grai- making something inexpensive but useful isn't a crap gift- ie: giving an altoids tin ashtray to a smoker isn't a crap gift, your "emergency kit" wouldn't be a crap gift to a smoker either. A crap gift is one that's truly useless and given simply because the person thinks they have to gift. They don't.


Eric, Tell us what you really think of little Burning Men made out of pipe cleaners! :D


In all honesty one of my favorite gifts last year was given to me by some Brit virgins who camped with Fandango- one of them put glitter glue on wooden clothes pins and wrote "magic stick" on them in sharpie. She gave them out at the end of the week, after they had proven themselves to be some of the most amazing stealth virgins ever; she intended them to be stupid sparkle-pony type gifts, they were, and they were fucking hysterical.

Sometimes the difference between a crap gift & a funny gift can just be the person who gives it.
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