The Best Counter-Culture Gifts of 2021


Everyone has a friend that challenges the norm and thinks outside the box. When holidays arrive, it’s that friend who’s the hardest to buy for, as mass-produced, capitalism-centric gifts are often met with disdain.

When buying a gift for your counter-culture loving friend, think outside the big box stores. Your task is to find something that fits their lifestyle and unique views of the world. Here are some of the best counter-culture gifts for 2020 to inspire you.

A Me Time Box

While marijuana use has been legalized in various countries and states, it’s still not considered mainstream. Cannabis culture has been prevalent since the glory days of the 1960s, intending to free one’s mind and connect on a different plane.

The Me Time Box is a fusion of traditional counter-culture with a modern twist. The box can be purchased as a one-off or a subscription and comes filled with hand-picked Me Time Box Products with the intention of helping the recipient live better. This is the perfect gift for your chill friend who likes to relax and unwind.

Banned Books

Literature has long played a role in counter culture and freedom of speech. Throughout history, hundreds of books have been banned due to their controversial content. Fighting against censorship is a lasting form of counter-culture that evolved with communication methods over time.

The gift of banned or previously censored books is the ultimate gift for the liberation-seeker in your life. Some classics include:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Color Purple
  • 1984
  • Lolita
  • Slaughterhouse Five
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Tropic of Cancer

While book banning may seem like a thing of the past, it happens every year. Book bans and Fahrenheit 451 style book burnings have occurred as recently as 2019. The bright side is, you’ll have gift inspiration for every year forward.

Original Art

Mass art productions and recreations have become the norm over the past few decades. Department stores sell prints of once-original masterpieces. Online shopping and social media have made it easy to acquire or recreate artwork that’s been done a thousand times before.

For a truly original gift, buy your friend a piece of art from a local artist. Look outside the painters who frequent the local farmers’ markets and put your ear to the ground to find a local legend. Panhandlers who sell their wares and artisans who live on the fringes of society is where you’ll want to look for a one-of-a-kind gift for your offbeat friend.

Herd Mentality Game

The Herd Mentality game is a tongue-in-cheek gift that your original thinker will love. Many counter-culture connoisseurs operate under the belief that mainstream society is composed of sheep who follow the herd. The Herd Mentality game embraces that theory and puts it to the test.

In Herd Mentality, the goal is to write down the same answers as the other players. Rather than thinking originally, you’re trying to predict what mainstream thinkers would say in response to a question. If you answer the same as everybody else, you get to collect a cow. If your answer is different, you get stuck with the pink cow (the game’s proverbial black sheep) and can’t win until you’re rid of it. Herd Mentality is a game your friend will love to hate.

Donation in Their Name

Chances are, your friend has a lot of causes that they support. Counter-culture is all about challenging the norms, which often takes on a political note. For a non-capitalist gift that shows you care, consider donating to one of your friend’s causes in their honor.

With these five gift ideas, you can celebrate what makes your friend unique, even if you subscribe to different beliefs. After all, it’s the original thinkers that make the world such an incredible place to live.