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Its been 283 days, give or take, since our lives went into pandemic mode. At this point, you can’t blame family or friends for getting antsy, anxious, or even going batshit* crazy over never-ending social distancing. So what can you do to help their situation? Aside from radical acceptance and understanding, here are some gift ideas designed to lift their spirits and/or shake them out of their Covid disgruntlement.

1. Think a member of your household is slowly going mad from isolation? Why not get them the gift that helps probe their unconscious and get at their deep-seated feelings? You never know what might emerge from this couch time.

2.  Looking back, it sure would have been good to know what was coming in 2020. Why leave next year to chance? Turning to a trusty Ouija board to communicate with the spirit channel may help uncover what new challenges — and opportunities — await.

3.  As Todd Rundgren surmised, it’s hard to be anxious and depressed when playing the drums. No room in the studio apartment for a 16-piece kit?  Bongos are just the thing.  Need an instructor? How about world-class percussionist Sheila E. According to “E,” she’ll have a student grooving so fast, a job as a touring musician may be on the horizon once the pandemic’s over.


4. Nothing sends out good vibes like an authentic SuperOptimist t-shirt. Here’s one that offers a positive greeting to all those fortunate enough to come into contact with the wearer, even if it’s just family, zoom meeting colleagues, or pet iguana. Plus it’s accented with a pineapple, the most historically valid symbol of hospitality of any fruit or vegetable.

5. If the receiver of your gift has had it with the digital domain, what about a good book to while away their hours? “Sironia Texas” by Madison Cooper is one of the longest novels ever written at 1,731 pages. For a slow reader, this two-volume set about a small town during the early 1900s should provide enough distraction to make it clear through April.

6. And don’t forget yourself, as you settle in for another evening of Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Peacock, Youtube, Disney+, HBO Max, Sling, Twitch, Crackle, and Crunchyroll. A Danny DeVito pillow to hug to your chest when you realize it might be another 40 weeks until it’s your turn for the vaccine is just what you need to meet the moment.

Until next time, we wish you and yours glad tidings of great joy, no matter what the circumstance!

*BONUS SELFLESS GIFT: Bats have had a tough 2020, taking some of the heat for the virus that’s caused a world of hurt. But it’s not their fault that the Chinese handle them with such disdain. The fact is, it’s human interference with these helpful creatures that’s at the root of the problem. Hundreds of plant species rely on bats for pollination and insect-eating bats save farmers billions each year by reducing crop damage. Show these creatures vital to our ecosystem that there’s no hard feelings by giving a donation to batcon.org in your loved one’s name.

Thanksgiving comes but once a year, and with it the blessed gravy boat.

But why should this beacon of gastronomic goodness be relegated to brief appearances at holidays? Why not make the gravy boat a staple of every meal?

Consider the expression “it’s all gravy.” Meaning “an abundance of good things in a given circumstance,” it’s a key pillar in the practice of SuperOptimism. We take it to mean embracing each and every circumstance as a fortunate occurrence — no matter how screwed up, off-putting, or painful — since the mere fact of being alive (as opposed to the reverse) is a miracle in itself!

None of us are promised another day, much less another government holiday, long weekend, or winter break.  So why not celebrate the good fortune of being conscious and functioning today with a deep and abiding gratitude. And gravy!

You have our permission to pull that gravy boat back out of deep storage, place it in the center of your dining table, and fill it to the brim with the following recipe. And if you’re thinking we want you to soak up a high fat, high chemical concoction until your heart stops on a dime, take note: the following contains no gluten, grains, corn starch, flour, or filler of any kind. We invite you to pour generously at every meal. Breakfast included.*

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 quart organic low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 6-8 cloves peeled garlic
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, unsalted butter, or coconut oil

Start by dumping the broth, onions, garlic, and thyme into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil on high.  Then lower the heat to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes or until the onions and garlic are really soft. At this point, taste for seasonings and added salt, pepper, and coconut aminos.

Then pour everything into a blender, add 2 tablespoons of ghee, and blitz everything until it is uniform.  Voila!

*But lay off the biscuits. Those things are like edible hand grenades for your body. Reach for some pineapple instead.