In symbolic exchange, of which the gift is our most proximate illustration, the object is not an object: it is inseparable from the concrete relation in which it is exchanged, the transferential pact that it seals between two persons: it is thus not independent as such. It has, properly speaking, neither use value nor (economic) exchange value. The object given has symbolic exchange value.
― Jean Baudrillard
Fresh from the Black Friday rush we come again to you, ushering in Thanksgiving. This deeply historical holiday is a time centering on community. Peel back the layers of seasonal dishes, the coming together of family and friends, and the patterns of relationship dynamics that surface — at its core, the essence of this celebration lies in its name.
One of the first celebrations was in 1621, when the Plymouth Pilgrims held a 3-day feast, sharing their first successful harvest with their Native American allies. This exchange of bounty was the European settlers’ way of giving thanks for the knowledge and shared skills from representatives of the Abenaki, Pawtuxet, and Wampanoag tribes. It was honoring the harmony that can exist between cultures when benevolence supersedes differences.
It was in 1863 — after 36 years of campaigning through editorials and letters — that Sarah Josepha Hale finally achieved her dream of Thanksgiving to be recognized by the whole nation. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation establishing the last Thursday of November as a time to come together during one of the darkest, bloodiest periods of American history. It was a unifying call for healing as a community, and endeavoring to provide hope in the midst of strife.
Perhaps when it comes to giving gifts, becoming more personal is one way of deepening the connections that truly matter to us. It does take more effort and consideration on our part — this taking into account the idiosyncrasies of the recipient — when choosing gifts that fit. When seen in the light of gratitude for having this person in our life however, a thoughtful gift transcends its monetary value to become a symbol that strengthens our bonds.
I see who you are to me, and with this gift I thank you for being in my life.
This is what we would like to encourage here at EndlessPens — that during this Thanksgiving (or any other occasion) may we continue to select our presents with a caring eye. A gift from the heart can become a constant, uplifting reminder of our regard.
Traditions are what keeps our celebrations alive through generations. Adaptation is another element, since we live in a world where individual situations, available supplies, and far-reaching events have proven time and again to be far from static.
The giving of gifts generally follows the customs of our heritage. Likewise, the evolving wants and needs of our intended recipients and our own resources usually shape our choices. To help you navigate through the myriad of options available, we would like to help out with some examples that might resonate with the different people in your life —
⁓ This line of bags, pouches, pen and tool rolls, and painter’s kit all carry that old-world charm that deepens with use. My sister-in-spirit knowingly gifted me with the Mini Artist Sendak Roll, which I treasure and have been using ever since.
⁓ Choose from this array of all-in-ones to offer your friends or family a multi-layered experience. The Faber-Castell Calligraphy Gift Set is a great starter for someone who wants to try their hand at decorative writing. My very same penabling friend let the secret slip that she would give me one of these MD Paper Gift Sets for Yule!
⁓ From Limited Editions to themed sets of fountain pens and inks, this selection offers choices with resonant stories from the creatives behind their chosen designs. Here are a few that might tickle your recipient’s fancy —
Tailored Pen Company Labradorite Limited Edition Endless Exclusive 2022 ⁓ The Labradorite is believed to be a powerful protection stone (if not the most powerful), warding off negative energies and opening up the Crown, Third Eye, and Throat chakras — that the bearer may know, see, and speak their truth. - @micahfinds
Opus 88 Endless Exclusives ⁓ If your recipient loves mini fountain pens with generous ink capacity, this collection is a good source to choose from. There are numerous designs that fit different personalities and preferences. One of my favorites is Beautiful Writing, because it reminds me of one of my personal goals when I started my fountain pen journey.
Tailored Pen Company New Year, New Hue Essex Limited Edition Endless Exclusive 2022 ⁓ Each time you reach for this pen, may it serve as a reminder — that no matter how difficult and dire the recent years have been, we can give ourselves permission to dive back into beauty and rekindle our passions. - @micahfinds
⁓ Alright, I know this is a huge selection (Be still, my inkaholic heart!). Choosing from such a wide array may seem daunting if you have no specifics yet in mind. So let me direct you to some options with particular flavors that may delight your loved ones —
Robert Oster Cozy Comforts Endless Exclusive 2022 50ml in Campfire Crackle and Coffee Date ⁓ These two ink colors are perfect for those who love the excitement of dancing firelight and the soothing heat of a cup of joe.
Wearingeul Ink Monthly World Literature 30ml ⁓ This is a beautiful selection of inks inspired by classic literature. Choose from this set to warm the heart of the bookworm in your life. Each ink color is created to evoke elements from each literary masterpiece.
Colorverse Ink Series ⁓ Among these sets, New Horizons Limited Edition 2022 will appeal to those who love muted pastels, dark blue, and NASA’s endeavors. For the stargazers, the inspired ink colors of Project Vol. 2 Constellations will be quite interesting.
⁓ For the avid organizers in your life, nothing beats gifts with both form and function like these —
MD Paper Notebook Thin Planner 2023 ⁓ This iteration is perfect for those who prefer portability. Even though it has been slimmed down, the planner’s functionality remains unchanged. Memo pages with a 5mm grid are included, which some people will find easier to use.
MD Paper Notebook 1 Day 1 Page Planner 2023 ⁓ This is a thicker version with more space for daily writing and sketching for those who would like more room for self-expression. It has the same minimalist appeal as other products of this line.
Traveler's Notebook 2023 Diary Limited Edition ⁓ With different sizes and formats to choose from, you can take your pick to suit your recipient’s needs. These refills are considerate gifts for your practically-minded loved ones who prefer handy and refillable dated journals with their everyday-carry.
Washi Tapes ⁓ For friends and family who love embellishing their journals or planners in conveniently expressive ways, these decorative tapes will surely give them joy. Choose from a variety of designs that you feel will delight and inspire them.
⁓ Among all of these choices, there are several kinds that fit the specifics of a particular person —
For those who love refillable, customizable leather journals, the Traveler’s Notebook in Regular or Passport versions will fulfill a need. Take your pick from available colors — whichever suits your recipient best. Accessories in different sizes and styles further enhance the usability of these journals.
For others who prefer another style, LOCHBY has that hardy functionality. The line also has refills in two sizes and different formats, as well as accessories to protectively house various writing or sketching paraphernalia.
⁓ Fountain-pen friendly paper will make note-taking much more enjoyable. Among the choices presented here, these are a few of the most handy for class —
Kokuyo Notebook - Campus ⁓ These products are designed to provide ease of use for everybody in office and school environments with their understated colors. Campus notebooks are made of high quality paper with wireless binding.
Kokuyo Notebook (5-Pack) - Campus - 5 Color ⁓ With a dotted ruled line format, these lively colored notebooks are perfect for your more youthful recipients.
Rhodia Notebook Composition Book ⁓ This features the classic features of a composition notebook complemented by tried-and-tested writing paper, with the iconic orange and black covers.
Why not accompany any of these picks with these well-known Kaweco writing tools? This brand is known for durability and dependability, and has numerous options in lively colors and styles that appeal to the eager student.
⁓ For your boss or loved ones who value renowned quality that fit their working lifestyle, these are popular recommendations —
Mnemosyne ⁓ Designed with understated elegance, these special-purpose notebooks are perfect to use as a day planner or a task planner for managing schedules or organizing projects. With the different formats available, this line is also geared towards gathering ideas and visualizing brainstorms during business meetings.
LAMY 2000 Black Makrolon ⁓ You cannot go wrong with this lauded, trusted classic that has proven itself time and again. This fountain pen speaks for itself.
LAMY Studio ⁓ This fountain pen series elegantly shows just how complementary design and art can be. This premium writing instrument seamlessly fuses its individual elements with its convex cylindrical form while simultaneously foregoing all unnecessary embellishments. The propeller-shaped, seemingly twisted clip counters its objective elegance with an innovative design accent.
Pilot Vanishing Point ⁓ The innovative design of the first retractable fountain pen has experienced an amazing evolution since its inception while maintaining its most creative feature. Its brilliant design and ingenious technology make it a timeless icon for the new age.
In addition to our recommendations, we provide you with a shortcut. The Wishlist feature from EndlessPens enables you to build your own tally of wants and needs that can be shared with your loved ones. And they can do the same and send it to you. This feature makes sure that the element of surprise for the recipient remains, while the giver is offered more specific choices of possible gifts to pick from. Gift-giving is made easier!
We hope you will enjoy curating your own select ways of giving thanks for the friends and family who have made your life more meaningful and bountiful.
As always, Happy Shopping!
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Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!