Holiday shopping — and giving — just got easier with UC Berkeley’s 2020 gift guide

Although the Bay Area is following new, stricter guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the coming weeks, UC Berkeley still has an array of holiday gifts for all ages and interests, from artisan crafts and science kits to new books and Cal gear. Give the gift of performance with a subscription to an arts streaming series or support a cause by donating to a volunteer group distributing protective face masks to vulnerable Bay Area populations. And don’t forget to peruse a selection of new books by Berkeley faculty. All gifts can be purchased online and are available for pickup or by mail.

New books and publications

book cover that reads "scammer's yard"

Scammer’s Yard: The Crime of Black Repair in Jamaica (2020) by Jovan Scott Lewis, an assistant professor of geography and the founding director of the Berkeley Black Geographies Project

The Coevolution: The Entwined Futures of Humans and Machines (2020) by Edward Lee, professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer sciences

Edward Said and Education (Routledge Key Ideas in Education) (2020) by Zeus Leonardo, a professor in the Graduate School of Education

After Prison: Navigating Adulthood in the Shadow of the Justice System (2020) by David J. Harding, a sociology professor, and Heather Harris, a postdoctoral researcher in sociology

Talking Politics: Political Discussion Networks and the New American Electorate (2020) by Lisa García Bedolla, vice provost for graduate studies, dean of the Graduate Division and a professor in the Graduate School of Education; Marisa Abrajano, a professor of political science at UC San Diego; and Taylor Carlson, an assistant professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis

Native people marching down a road

A photo of Catcher Cuts The Rope, a Marine injured in Fallujah, leading a two-mile walk in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline is featured in Picturing Resistance. (Photo by Alyssa Schukar)

Picturing Resistance: Moments and Movements of Social Change from the 1950s to Today (2020) by Ken Light, a professor of photography at the Graduate School of Journalism, and Melanie Light

Architecture as Measure (2020) by Neyran Turan, an associate professor of architecture

A Student Guide for Community Organizing (2020) by Itzel Calvo Medina, an undergraduate student in ethnic studies

Trumpism and its Discontents (2020) edited by Osagie K. Obasogie, a professor of bioethics; essays written by an interdisciplinary group of Berkeley experts

Justice, Justice, Thou Shalt Pursue (2020) by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Berkeley Law professor Amanda Tyler

Black Landscapes Matter (2020) by Walter Hood, a professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning and of urban design, and Grace Mitchell Tada, a graduate student researcher in the College of Environmental Design

book cover that reads: "Let them eat tweets"

Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality (2020) by Paul Pierson, a professor of political science, and Jacob Hacker, a professor of political science at Yale University

The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It (2020) by Robert Reich, a professor of public policy

Perfectly Confident: How to Calibrate Your Decisions Wisely (2020) by Don Moore, a professor in the Haas School of Business

Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control (2020) by Stuart Russell, a professor of computer science

Empire of Resentment: Populism’s Toxic Embrace of Nationalism (2020) by Lawrence Rosenthal, chair and lead researcher of the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies

The Gratitude Project: How the Science of Thankfulness Can Rewire Our Brains for Resilience, Optimism, and the Greater Good (2020) edited by a team at Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center: Jeremy Adam Smith, Kira M. Newman, Jason Marsh and Dacher Keltner

Arts and crafts

handmade mugs and ornaments on display

Crafts by local artisans will be on sale at the Berkeley Art Studio’s online pop-up shop through Dec. 12.

Berkeley Art Studio holiday pop-up shop: Pottery, jewelry, paintings, drawings, holiday decorations, greeting cards and other artisan crafts will be on sale at the Berkeley Art Studio’s online store through Dec. 12. All work is made by local artists and craftspeople. Proceeds benefit artists and creative programs for UC Berkeley students. Purchases can be picked up at the Cal Student Store.

Moffitt Library’s Makerspace: Although its doors are closed to the public, Moffitt Library’s Makerspace offers virtual tutorials and workshops to give you a head start on your DIY holiday gifts. Learn to design holiday cards in Adobe Illustrator, sew an apron or embroider a monogram. These skills will come in handy — not just for this holiday season, but for the many holidays, celebrations and milestones to come.

yellow thermos with bees on it

Honey bee stainless steel vacuum flasks are on sale at the Botanical Garden’s online shop.

UC Botanical Garden Shop and Plant Deck: Peruse the Botanical Garden’s selection of books, garden-related gifts and merchandise at the online garden shop, and head to the virtual plant deck to find a curated selection of plants for sale, from succulents to rhododendrons. All gift items can be shipped to you or picked up in person at the garden. Plants must be picked up curbside at the garden. Proceeds directly contribute to the UC Botanical Garden’s mission of plant conservation, education and research.

200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, (510) 642-3343, For plant availability inquiries, email

Performances, museums and science

A violinist performs on stage next to a piano

Violinist Tessa Lark performs for Cal Performances at Home. (Photo by Ras Dia)

Cal Performances: The largest performing arts presenter in Northern California, Cal Performances invites audiences to enjoy original, professionally produced performances with its streaming series, Cal Performances at Home. From Manual Cinema’s A Christmas Carol to a New Year’s Eve musical celebration, performances can be streamed to home screens, and most will be available to watch for three months after their premieres. Tickets for all performances are $15 for a single viewer, $30 for two viewers and $60 for a household. For Berkeley students, tickets are available for just $5. Cal Performances offers gift certificates, which start at $10 and never expire.

For those who want a deal, Cal Performances is offering special early bird access to the spring 2021 season. Audiences who buy a pass before Jan. 12, when the full lineup is announced, will get full access to the season’s 12 upcoming performances for $96 — the lowest ticket price for the season.

the front of a puzzle box with a picture of a quilt on it

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA): Although BAMPFA’s gift shop is closed right now, along with the rest of the museum, it is accepting reservations for Rosie Lee Tompkins catalogs and merchandise. Orders will be filled as soon as the museum is able to reopen. The exhibition, Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective, which presents nearly 70 quilts created by Tompkins, will be extended through July 18, 2021.

Lawrence Hall of Science Discovery Store: Check out the discovery store’s holiday gift guide, where shoppers will find sciencey gift ideas for all ages, from a dinosaur-themed bundle to a discovery telescope to a Sunprint Kit developed by educators at the Lawrence Hall of Science.

Women in tech holiday gift guide: The Women in Tech Initiative at Berkeley has developed a gift guide this year to boost and support the persistence of women in STEM. For a younger audience, pick up a book about curious girls with questions about how the world works. More established leaders can find a list of organizations working for gender parity to get involved with and support.

Support and donate

paper bags with pictures of people wearing masks on them

As of mid-November, the Common Humanity Collective had given out 5,900 gallons of hand sanitizer, 13,500 high-quality face masks and 500,000 disinfectant wipes.

Common Humanity Collective: A mutual aid group of UC Berkeley scientists, Bay Area activists, community leaders and conscious neighbors, the collective is making and distributing free submicron face masks and hand sanitizer to dispossessed and vulnerable people across the Bay Area. As of mid-November, the group had given out 5,900 gallons of hand sanitizer, 13,500 high-quality face masks and 500,000 disinfectant wipes. Organizations serving vulnerable populations, essential businesses in need and people who belong to a threatened demographic can request supplies. The volunteer group is looking for more volunteers and is accepting donations.

Cal Nourish: Give the gift of food by donating to Cal Nourish, a campus initiative that helps feed Berkeley students who struggle to make ends meet during the winter break. Donations will be distributed to undergraduate and graduate students in programs across campus, including the Student Parent Center and the Undocumented Student Program. 

Cal gear and merchandise

Alumna Marilyn Luna, wearing a Cal t-shirt, is a student coordinator for Golden Bear Orientation

The Cal Student Store has Cal swag for sale, like this T-shirt worn by alumna Marilyn Luna, who graduated in May 2020. (UC Berkeley Student Affairs photo)

Cal Student Store: Find your favorite Cal gear, from a fleece hoodie and a silk woven tie to a tapestry blanket and a “Beat Stanford” button, at the Cal Student Store. Not sure what your loved one would like? Digital gift cards are now available. All sales help support student organizations and programs. The student store is open for in-store shopping, curbside pickup or online.

2495 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704, (510) 229-4703,

Health and well-being

Dispatch Goods: Order a meal or buy a gift card for family and friends from Dispatch Goods, which partners with San Francisco restaurants and consumers to provide reusable container options for takeout and delivery food. The startup, which was founded by Lindsey Hoell, an MBA student at the Haas School of Business, picks up the containers and washes them to be reused.

stack of cards

Greater Good Toolkit: The Greater Good Toolkit, created by the Greater Good Science Center, includes 30 science-based practices for a meaningful life for wellness practitioners or people looking to bring more meaning and well-being into their lives. Each practice is broken into four sections: why it is important, how to do it, why it works and the primary research that supports it. GGSC memberships are also available, which offer access to research-based articles, videos, podcasts, books and courses that aim to help users achieve a more meaningful existence.