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It is that time of year again. It can be easy to get overwhelmed at the holidays. I have attempted to put together some pointers and gift ideas to get through this time of year without going over budget or getting overly stressed about what to give people.
Do what you can but don’t stress about not being able to afford to give as much as others
People get into a competition about gifts or “feel bad” if they got someone a gift that has a lower monetary value than the one they are given. Some families have solved this by setting a price limit on gifts or drawing names, and every adult gets one big gift, and that is it. Of course, plenty makes an exception with children. Just remember that if you agree to do Christmas a certain way, don’t be the one that shows up with a $100 gift when the limit was set at $50.
Consider making gifts if you have the time and skill
Homemade gifts can be the best, and they show that someone went the extra mile to do something for someone. Just make sure that you get started now, so you are not rushing to the finish.
Get gift sets and then redistribute them into gift baskets that you curate for each person on your list
This time of year there are a ton of gift sets that good companies put out to encourage people to try their products. For example, you can get Advent Calendars of products. It may be 24 days of beauty products or 7 days of socks. These are often an exceptional value in that you get very good items for half off because they are in a special set. Now I may not want to give someone just socks for Christmas, but I could combine a pair with something fabulous from another gift set and so forth.
I live big gift sets too because you can split them up into smaller bags of goodies, so you have something on hand for those times when someone surprises you with a gift at a holiday gathering. Sometimes people join in on the fun you don’t expect, and it is always a good surprise for them to have something, even if it is just some good cheese and summer sausage!
Special things to consider when giving food gifts.
I get that some people would not be that thrilled if you just put a wrapped up bucket with 72 hours of food rations under the tree for a gift. There are some people that would really like it too. If you are not sure how to handle a food gift or what food sensitivities someone has, then you may just consider getting a gift certificate for someone and letting them choose what they like. This adds some fun in getting to choose.
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This company is one of the most recognized camping and emergency food makers out there due to its vast distribution network and reputation for high quality and good taste. They stand by their products and offer good variety. If you are putting together a survival bag or Christmas stocking for someone, a few Mountain House pouches could work.
A way to cook without electricity
The Camp Chef Outdoor Oven is still a favorite of mine for portable emergency cooking because it offers an oven that will fit a large pan and two stove eyes so you can cook a real meal for a group of people.
Small stoves that can be used with very small twigs and windfall are nice if you live somewhere that you have access to such things. If you have a small stove live this you can use Sterno fuel or an alcohol burner that fits in the stove. These stoves are nice to use for camping trips and backpacking.
Some of these types of stoves collapse small enough to fit in a stocking too and they are lightweight enough to ship anywhere you want to send a gift.
Essential Oils and Accessories From Sparks Naturals
Sparks Naturals offers very high-quality essential oils for aromatherapy and medical uses.
Bags and Backpacks
Who doesn’t love a good bag or backpack? I like having them in different sizes. In fact, some small tactical bags are a million times better than any purse you are going to find! No designer handbag for this gal. I need something I won’t feel bad if it gets dirty or some gun oil on it.
For someone that travels a lot or wants a pack that can handle a bulletproof plate, the GoRuck is an option. Sure the price tag can be a bit hard to swallow for some, but it is made in the USA by hand and comes with an exceptional warranty. Consider how much money a person can spend if they go through a backpack every few years. A GoRuck is going to stand the test of time, and it is designed to protect valuables. If you have a nice laptop, gun, and other gear, why not protect it with something designed to withstand a bomb blast?
For more detailed info on the GoRuck be sure to check out my review of it.
Even if someone is not a prepper, a water bottle with a good filter is very nice to have. A lot of people travel for work, school, or when they volunteer. Water quality and taste can vary a lot depending on where you are. Even if the water is supposed to be safe to drink, that doesn’t mean it will taste good or not have some things in it.
I personally cannot stand the taste of chlorinated water. I have spent most of my life living in places where I did not have to drink it so if I am in town, I drink water that has been through a filter or carbonated water from a can.
A water bottle also makes it easy to have a solution in case of an emergency or boil water advisory. It is more manageable than a lot of filters for older people and those that cannot use their hands so well.
Waterproof and Lockable Cases
Pelican cases are very nice for transporting valuables or legally carrying and traveling with firearms. You can get different sizes and colors to suit your needs or the person you are buying for. Some Pelican cases have cushioning foam in them and some do not.
Everyone needs a few reliable flashlights around the home. There are plenty of options out there that have multiple ways to power them, but at the minimum, everyone should have a few that run on AA batteries because they are the most common size of rechargeable. AAA battery flashlights are also okay since most AA chargers will accept an AAA battery as well.
Small power banks are more affordable than ever. These are something that everyone has a use for. I am giving at least a few of these away this year just because I know that it is a safe bet when I don’t know what else to give to someone. If you are at a loss as to what to buy the person that has everything then buy a power bank that is compact and within your budget.
Blankets, Bivvys, and Sleeping Bags
While the mylar emergency blankets are inexpensive and great for emergencies, a real emergency bivvy is even better.
Then again maybe you don’t want to go the full-on emergency blanket route. In this case, why not get a nice blanket for someone to use at home whenever they want a bit of extra warmth?
A good wool blanket is a welcome gift if you live in a climate where you will actually use one. Pay attention to the weight of the blanket and buy the one that is best suited for the purpose you have in mind.
Over the years we have posted some articles with good blanket options for gifts. Here are a few links to a lot of choices for gift-giving this season.
Multi-Tools and Everday Carry Knives
Multi-tools and knives are popular Christmas gifts around my neck of the woods. There are some great sales on them during the season so if you have been wanting to buy a particular model for yourself or someone else, now is a good time.
I have to say that Leatherman has expanded their offerings a lot. I am a bit old fashioned when it comes to a multi-tool so I go for the models that are bit basic. I don’t want to carry around a bunch of stuff that I am never going to use. Unless you know someone really well and that they would use a lot of tools, I wouldn’t go any more complicated than the Wave.
At the same time, the Leatherman’s that are made for some kitchen duties are pretty neat as well and not something I would mind having in a picnic basket or basic camping gear.
Leatherman also makes some good everyday carry knives that meet a lot of the more stringent knife laws that exist in some areas. There are also times when regardless of laws, you don’t want the whole world to see a knife hanging off your belt.
Hopefully, I have helped you think about some reasonable options for the holidays!
Even if you don’t buy any of the items I have suggested, I hope it has helped you think about reasonable options for your family and budget. Feel free to add in other suggestions in the comments.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
Samantha Biggers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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