SUPPORT SYSTEM: Say what you will about the spending mêlée that is December, but there’s something truly great about the holiday gift-giving tradition. This year in particular, though, I’ve adopted a brand-new Christmas mantra called “Experiences are better than stuff.” And let me tell you, it’s a total delight in practice.
How do you swap out your physical gifts for experiential ones, you ask? It’s simple. Instead of buying your beau a spendy new watch, propose a weekend getaway. Rather than gifting your BFF an awesome new T-shirt, get ’em concert tickets (and hope they take you as their +1). Or, if you really want to feel like Ultimate Santa, make a donation on behalf of a loved one. I promise, even the grinchiest Grinches will crack a smile when they’re on the receiving end of some genuine do-goodery.
If you’re intrigued but not yet 100 percent on board with the idea, I recommend giving it a test run this Friday, December 19, at FUNZONE. Starting at 8 p.m., the East Beach Batting Cages will host a four-band benefit concert for the Public Library in Ferguson, Missouri, featuring Santa Barbara’s own Watercolor Paintings, Chaye Tione, Sun Daes, and Bambo.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the news, it’s no matter. The show (which costs a measly $5, I might add) is not about lobbying for or against the police on the issues involving the death of Michael Brown. It’s about supporting a library that’s going above and beyond the call of duty when its patrons need it most.
Ever since the non-indictment ruling came down in the case of Brown, Ferguson has been a city under fire. Between looting, rioting, and general unrest, citizens (especially the young ones) have had few safe places to turn to. In reaction, the Ferguson Public Library has vowed to keep its doors open, no matter what the situation outside, and provide people with a safe, welcoming environment to get water, check email, and escape the disorder of the streets. In the case of school closures, the library has also opened its doors to children and teachers for activities and off-site classes.
As for FUNZONE, organizer and director Spencer VonHershman saw the Ferguson Public Library fund as an ideal way to help out a community in need without getting political about it. In conversation with KCSB’s Steve Snyder on Monday night, VonHershman pointed out that we Santa Barbarans often take for granted how safe our community is in comparison to the rest of the country and that, given our position, we should be giving to those less fortunate — especially around the holidays.
In addition to sets from the aforementioned bands, FUNZONE will be hosting a raffle and a silent auction. Prizes include (but are not limited to) gift certificates to Granada Books, the Isla Vista Co-op, and Santa Barbara Water Taxi, as well as a Fender Jazzmaster signed by Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis (!!!!!). So come hang out, buy a ticket for a friend, and then jump on board the “Experiences are better than stuff” bandwagon. Mutual seasonal satisfaction guaranteed.
For more information about this and all of FUNZONE’s upcoming shows, visit facebook.com/funzonesantabarbara.