Playa gift ideas

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Playa gift ideas

Postby Indigenous Alien » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:52 pm

What's the best gift you've ever received?
What's the best gift you've ever given?

My friend's a newbie who claims he doesn't have any artistic skills (not that he needs them) and wants to know what he can gift. I've been once before but thought I'd put it out there. Any ideas?
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Re: Playa gift ideas

Postby ibdave » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:47 pm

Indigenous Alien wrote:
My friend's a newbie who claims he doesn't have any artistic skills (not that he needs them) and wants to know what he can gift. I've been once before but thought I'd put it out there. Any ideas?


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Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:20 pm

A lot of times you can't plan the best gift; sometimes you just happen to have exactly what someone else needs. Custom-made Burning Man shwag, with BM logo and year, is popular but it can be a fine line between shwag and moop.
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Postby we0ne » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:19 am

We have been twice before and my son was ecstatic with all the "gifts" he received. The trouble is , very few of the things gifted to him are not in the landfill now and we reflected on that. The thought is always appreciated but we all have a responsibility to gift responsibly and like ibdave said "contact and a smile" goes along way. Write some random thoughts or short poems and hand them out, they are reusable, thought provoking and unless you find edible paper at least what they are written on can be recycled or composted. I vote for plastic free gifts at Burningman. You can always do up some fruit plates and wander around offering fruit to others, bring a spray bottle with H2O and offer to spray people off if they want to cool down. Offer your time out there to help someone finish their camp structures or art installation. Volunteer at one of the center camp stations. Most appreciated, spend some serious time during and after the event to pick up garbage. You'll know you gifted valuable things and everyone will benefit from your time.

Cheers
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Postby hsdavis » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:42 am

There may be a little confusion among newbies about gifting. This evolved from the "no commerce" concept. Gift by no means are expected or required in the form of a hard product to be traded or bartered for goods or services.
If you bring your kindness, compassion and thoughtfulness (I think I may puke from writing this) the rest will follow. As an example, I bring small flashlights on necklaces that are given not in exchange for anything, but to the poor souls waiting to use the port-a-potties in the dark. I am not expecting an embroidered doilie in return, just a thank you. What I may need as a gift, is the ability to stop into a camp, far from mine and ask if I can fill my water bottle. While there, I may share some fruit or make a new friend. A passerby may have a chain fall off on their bike and I can help to get it fixed for them. I am not looking for a plastic whistle for helping them, nor do I want them to negate my good gesture by digging into their bag to "pay me" with a piece of swag.
I can only picture first timers frantically scouring Walmart to buy things cheaply to give as gifts. An extra bag of oranges is a great thing to share and a perfect way to socialize. I love those little sealed fruit cups and always buy a few extra packages and offer one to someone nearby when I eat one. This gives me someone to chat with when I have a snack. Their company is alway a nice gift to me and they get a refreshing fruit cup.
Now, if you have some talent (singing, dancing, acting) or an ability to make something nice to share, by all means feel free to let your generosity and creativity flow. If you buy something like extra bandanas or dust masks to share in a dust storm, that would be awesome.
I hope this helps to put things in perspective. :D
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Postby DragginLady » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:14 am

I so agree with ibedave and hsdavis on this "gift" thing...
The stuff that really counts is the help given when needed, the sharing of refreshment when you are hot and dusty, the conversations when waiting in line at the port-a-potties....
and for first year people---don't sweat it; just come and you will see what it is about..
then giving a gift will fall into perspective...
This is not a birthday party where "goodie Bags" are de rigueur, after all..
Being open to the stranger who wanders in and needs some water or a place to sit for a bit...
To me, the "gift economy" means just that~~being open to sharing what is needed, rather than ignoring others because they are not part of your known community.

I am most grateful to the guys who helped us get air in a tire when it was time to prepare for leaving the Playa year before last.
and last year, I got called out on Saturday morning early because one of my sisters was gravely ill. Several people co-ordinated to get me off the Playa quickly... from my campmates, to the rangers, to the pilot who happened to be flying his small plane into Watsonville within the hour and offered me a ride out... It was all gifted with no thought of what I had to offer in return. A warm thank you and a hug of gratefullness was enough. Maybe this is part of why going to Burning Man feels like coming home to me.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:36 am

Garbage bags are about the most thoughtful gift you could give.
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Postby hsdavis » Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:41 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:Garbage bags are about the most thoughtful gift you could give.

I wait until the end of the week and then pass out nice big bulging garbage bags. I decorate them with lots of colorful ribbons and a note that says "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL CHRISTMAS"!
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:45 pm

If you hand me a poem, it will end up in the landfill.



okay, the recycling bin...
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Postby hsdavis » Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:54 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:If you hand me a poem, it will end up in the landfill.



okay, the recycling bin...

Well Crypto, that's why I give out pre-filled trash bags so nicely wrapped. When they end up in a landfill, I don't get insulted--I expect it! :D
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Postby michelet » Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:36 pm

A simple gift I received once at just the perfect time was a cinnamon toothpick. Thank you!
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Postby Kinky » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:16 am

Gifts don't have to be physical items. The nicest non physical gift I received last year was when I was dancing on the scaffolding at Opulent Temple and this couple climbed up the scaffolding just to say how much they liked my outfit. We exchanged hugs and they climbed down and went on there way.

The nicest physical gift I received occurred in 06 when a couple came running up to me in the middle of the playa. One of the women grabbed my arm and put a bracelet on it and simple said, "I know it's to dark for you to see this but you look fabulous tonight. Just remember this is from a couple from Australia". When I finally got to were I could see the bracelet it was a hand forged brass like bracelet that said "Burning Man 06" on it. I still have it to this day.

Last year my main little gifts where little snips of el wire with mini battery packs that I was giving out to the people walking the playa without lights.

One gift I always care with me that your friend can easly find and afford is surgeon masks. At the start of dust storm I pass them out to anyone that doesn't have one nearby.
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Postby sunn » Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:03 am

Best gift: last year I'd been having problems with my asthma with all the duststorms at BM, this guy wandered into our camp holding a flask of ice cold pomegranate juice, and said, "I heard you were having some breathing problems? This is really good for it." It was the first and last time I saw him there, but I thought that was so nice of him.

Definitely the best gifts I get are NOT schwag, even though I appreciate the gestures.
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Postby Marscrumbs » Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:33 am

Condom aside,a perennial favorite, usually something you made yourself.

Also glowsticks are handy to give out to newbies after you run into them.
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[b] Playa Gifting? [/b]

Postby BurningJim » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:26 am

What would be a good gift item to share on the Playa? This is my first burn. I want to stay away from items that will be thrown away sand end up as MOOP.
I've got a dozen sewn bandanna-like head scarves with flame patterns. I also got a dozen flashy LED heart-shaped pendants, which I hear frequently end up as MOOP. (I'll probably end up wearing these so I don't get hit by a mutant vehicle or drunk/stoned bicyclist at night.) Any other suggestions?
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Re: [b] Playa Gifting? [/b]

Postby fenwick » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:54 am

BurningJim wrote:What would be a good gift item to share on the Playa? This is my first burn. I want to stay away from items that will be thrown away sand end up as MOOP.
I've got a dozen sewn bandanna-like head scarves with flame patterns. I also got a dozen flashy LED heart-shaped pendants, which I hear frequently end up as MOOP. (I'll probably end up wearing these so I don't get hit by a mutant vehicle or drunk/stoned bicyclist at night.) Any other suggestions?
BJ
(BurningJim)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For a burgin - don't be hung up on "gifting". Sure it is fun to exchange trinkets and other items and make friends in the process, but seeing how you are a burgin - the priority for you is to experience burningman.

Somewhere - someone on a similar thread did offer a nice list of gifting ideas.

They include the following....

Bring some extra dust masks with you - during a dust storm, pass them to those in need.

Should you see someone whom is thirsty - offer them water.

Invite nieghbors to a pot luck dinner at your camp.

If someone needs help setting up camp - offer them a hand or tools.

After a dust storm, if a nieghboring camp was damaged (tents blown over) offer them a hand to secure their camp for the next storm.

Pick up some extra glow sticks at Home Depot - the crack and glow type, share those with "darkwads" at night.

Hugs work great as gifts.

Be nieghborly to those around you.

It's the simple things that make the best gifts.

I have offered to fix bikes, use solar to charge batteries, rebuild camps after dust storms, host pot luck parties, tools when asked, and many other items that require no offering of an object - just my time and assistance.

Enjoy your first burn, get a sense for the experience, and then next time worry about gifting.

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Postby gyre » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:08 am

Don't forget to be a good spectator.

Lights bright enough to be useful are great gifts.
Try to stick to ones with replaceable batteries.
They have micro lights that can come in a stick to diffuse the glow.
I've used some that come on a lanyard from walmart that would be great if they didn't glue them shut.
Can anyone figure out an easy way to get them open without breaking them?
They last almost a week and are bright flashing.

When you get out there, you'll figure out your best gift for next year.
Or just find something that needs doing that you want to do and go.

Find forgotten art and let the artists know when you like it.
There are gems hidden in the cracks of the city.


Appreciation is the medium of the commerce of Black Rock City.
Especially for art.
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Postby robotland » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:56 am

gyre wrote:
Can anyone figure out an easy way to get them open without breaking them?

I've just been cutting them open...not Maker-Friendly! They make good lightsources for little fiber-optic widgets.

Find forgotten art and let the artists know when you like it.
There are gems hidden in the cracks of the city.

Yay!


Appreciation is the medium of the commerce of Black Rock City.
Especially for art.
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Postby phil » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:07 am

I'm with fenwick: for your first burn, just be there. Don't worry about gifts, participation, or any of the BMOrg folderol. Just be there. You'll figure stuff out as you go along and come up with unique ideas none of us could think of.

If you must worry about gifts, there are lots of suggestions if you search here for that very topic, or see
http://www.cieux.com/bm/2dTime.html
for suggestions for second timers.
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Postby Gage » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:48 am

phil wrote:I'm with fenwick: for your first burn, just be there. Don't worry about gifts, participation, or any of the BMOrg folderol. Just be there. You'll figure stuff out as you go along and come up with unique ideas none of us could think of.

If you must worry about gifts, there are lots of suggestions if you search here for that very topic, or see
http://www.cieux.com/bm/2dTime.html
for suggestions for second timers.


Great site Phil. Hadn't seen this one yet...
"Not everyone who is single is lonely; not everyone who is taken is in love." I'm a seeker of (& full participant in) present-moment magic, and nothing beats playa love! <3
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Postby DoriumLux » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:22 pm

Lend a helping hand.
Give a compliment.


If you are going to gift make sure that it will not end up in a landfill after the event either. :)
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Postby DoriumLux » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:22 pm

Lend a helping hand.
Give a compliment.


If you are going to gift make sure that it will not end up in a landfill after the event either. :)
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:31 pm

i like to pick up just one, or two, sometimes three pieces of moop whenever i go from one place to another, especially out on the open playa. it is a gift that may not be noticed, or thanked, but is well received.

the playa will thank you in it's own way.
breathe deep, the playa is the dust of your ancestors

A gift for the Playa
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Postby fenwick » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:43 pm

Two ideas - one is cheap - one is a bit more of the coinage required.

Large bottles of sun screen

See someone looking a little sunburnt - offer them an application of sun screen, or offer to do it for them. Just be very very respective of applying sunscreen in some areas....



Lip balm / chap stick.

I wished they sold this stuff in bulk - single application amounts. But if you come across lip balm cheap - consider gifting it.
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playa gifts

Postby Linnea » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:07 pm

As a former recipient of many "I did/almost" run over you (it took three years to actually start bringing my own - Now I love tagging other hapless folks.... As a mom I want to thank all awesome gifters, it (the awesome gifting) is one of the reasons why my 3 and 5 year old look forward to BM more than any other holiday (as do their parents.) Much playa love - Linnea and the Dahl family
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Postby DoriumLux » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:34 pm

Good Cold Beer on a hot day is a great gift.
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Postby steveboy » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:03 pm

Two things stand out for me from last year (well, more than two, but I mean in this context!): One was a guy on the Esplanade late in the week handing out multivitamin packs. What a great idea! I took one and could practically feel myself soaking them up like a sponge.

The other was just one of those Moments: riding my bike toward the Man during the day, some guy riding away from the Man toward me. Held out his hand & we slapped palms passing. Not a word, barely a look. Just an acknowledgement. I've carried that silent communion with me ever since.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:26 am

the Bandana are a pretty solid idea. Taht's what DPW use instead of dust masks. Can be worn around neck to decrease sun's impact. And they tie up so nicely into a hobo bindle.


Wait, this isn't trainhoppersboard is it?
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best playa gifts

Postby serendipity » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:12 pm

one of my favorite gifts i ever received was a cold handful of pickled ginger in the sweltering exodus line-up. thank you random ginger guy!
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Postby ZaphodBurner » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:37 pm

My first gifting experience was some dude walking up immediately after we'd arrived, offering me coke. I said "No thanks. I drank half a case of Dr. Pepper on the drive here." He just sort of squinted at me for a minute and then gave me some really good advice about where to camp. Awhile later we stumbled into Playa-Go-Round, freezing, and huddled up on the couch. A couple of dusty hotties in metallic spandex got up on the coffee table in front and started dancing in front of us. Never said a word, just smiled.

The next day, some dude had his pickup parked beside the Esplanade and when we walked by he offered my wife and I to wash our hands. WTF was that all about? We talked to him for about an hour and discovered he was a movie producer and by the end of our discussion, we felt like legitimate citizens of Black Rock.

Our favorite "souvenir" gifts that year were two glow-in-the-dark Voodoo Shooting Gallery shotglasses that we still use, but the random encounters with playa people brought us home.

I brought a bunch of liquid latex and painted up some of the camp women for critical tits. That was my gift to a friend, and her friend wanted it done, and then a couple of others in camp... Pretty soon I was surrounded by topless playa women. Oh, the humanity.... The thing about gifting is, no matter what you do it seems to come around on you.

-c
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