Here at The L Magazine, we're trying to figure out the terms and conditions for our annual Secret Santa. One of rules being floated is that we can only purchase anonymous presents from our local pharmacy or liquor store, which, we guess, means everyone will be getting either booze or condoms for Christmas this year. But it doesn't have to be that way! The current issue of The L, on stands right now, is all about gifts, and guides to purchasing them. Because, dear reader, just because the credit crisis canceled the holidays doesn't mean they're truly over -- it was never over, and it still isn't over, to quote one Ryan Gosling of The Notebook, which we know you sometimes watch when you have retreated into your Holiday Dark Place, or maybe that's just us? Anyway, we have some ideas for you: stuff to put on your wish list, stuff to buy yourself because you deserve a treat, stuff to get for others, and ways to save, economically, as well as environmentally!
- Let's start with music -- now is the time to spend the money you've been saving by downloading everything for free. Mike Conklin, Lauren Beck, Marc Hogan, Jeff Klingman, and Tom Breihan have prepared a round-up of gifts to purchase for your favorite Music Lovers. This means: kindly buy everything in this feature in triplicate and send them, wrapped in recycled paper, with loving messages, to 20 Jay St., Suite 207, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Heart hugs and thanks in advance.
- Moving onward, to the Books Section, our resident literary expert Nate Brown compiles a list of books The L's reviewers have decided you should purchase right now, immediately, if not sooner, before the publishing industry dies and everyone at Houghton Mifflin Hardcourt blames you for ruining their lives and James Wood frowns darkly and Harold Bloom lets a single, solitary tear run down his cheek and Levar Burton circa Reading Rainbow shakes his fist at you, angrily, you former Book Lover, don't do this to him, don't do this to Levar.
- Fashionville's own Recessionista Laurel Pinson has decided to go totally local this holiday season. As such, she's got a boatload of suggestions of independently-owned shops and boutiques for you to patronize, instead of those massive chains (so impersonal and dry) or the Interwebs (it's just a series of boring, long tubes anyway). Plus, snack options near several of these destinations!
- The Conscientious Objector Amanda Park Taylor goes above and beyond this week with an ethical gift exchange guide. She's got a series of quality green alternatives for jewelery, alchy, pet stuff, shoes, food, and lots more that will reduce your carbon emissions and make you feel like a good person, but not in the hokey holiday way, in the real, irony-free, I'm doing something good for my planet kind of way. Green gift power!
- Elsewhere, we excerpt Ben Greenman's lovely new book Correspondances with a story titled "What He's Poised to Do"; Benjamin Sutton mulls over Beyoncé/Sasha Fierce's paen to the single ladies; the film section pre-reviews a vast number of holiday flicks, and the Natural Redhead considers the boundaries of monogamous true love, which does not necessarily include getting hummers from random drunks in bar bathrooms, unless that's something you're thankful for, in which case, we probably do not want to date you.