But that reminded me of suggestions I used to make long ago when I was a part of an emergency preparedness website. That was to use the Holidays as an excuse to provide friends and loved ones with some practical preparedness gifts... what we now call "prepping".
I am always surprised by how many people I know who either do not have a flashlight in their home or if they do... have not checked the batteries since the last power outage. Now, in my case that would only be a few months ago but if one does not live in an area where squirrels are known to bite down on the wrong wires... that may be years ago.
While people may not get all excited if a good quality flashlight is their only gift, it provides an opportunity to give (along side what their heart desired) as a little "extra". They will love having it if a storm knocks out the electricity after the sun goes down. And if your budget allows, it can actually be a fairly sophisticated light source that will fascinate even the youngest among you.
I plan to give a couple of those pictured above this year. They are inexpensive but I have read they are quite sturdy. Associate Amazon link is... here. Yes, it is a shameless plug. ;)
Actually, kids love things like flashlights, and helmets with lights on them, and emergency radios, and real tools. We gave Christopher his own toolbox with a few inexpensive... but REAL tools when he was around nine or ten years old. As he grew older, he'd receive a couple better quality tools to go in his toolbox each year until by the time he left for his own apartment, he had a good collection.
We gave both our children a good quality Swiss Army knife when they were old enough. These days you have to be careful where you carry them, though. Even if they are at a university. Such is life today...
This Christmas one can include a NOAA weather alert radio with the other gifts for one's family. If the budget allows, a real honest to goodness emergency radio would wow just about anyone... especially guys who like gadgets. For it has everything from the proverbial weather alert radio to a solar power source to the ability to charge your cell phone to... a radio to listen to music. Some more expensive models can pick up short wave stations.
But every family should have some kind of a battery operated radio should the electricity go out. One does not want a storm raging outside and not be able to hear their local station. This is the one I'm giving this year (to someone who does not read my blog)... here. Yes, you guessed it... it is an Associate's link. I am so bad... But I also know not everyone has researched pantry lifestyle gifts.
It's a little harder to give a family prepper type foods. While I'd love to receive freeze dried packets of lovely long term storage food for my pantry, not everyone would get all that excited about it.
But... I don't know anyone who wouldn't appreciate some of those gift foods we've talked about before that do not require refrigeration. And receiving homemade jam or preserves have been known to make our household downright giddy (we just opened the last jar a friend gave us).
Here are some prepper style gift ideas to spark your own brainstorming...
*Assemble a sewing kit for the non-sewer (good scissors, needles, thread, etc.)
*A basket of some food items and throw in a high quality non-electric can opener. (This is one area where you get what you pay for.)
*Solar battery charger that also charges cell phones, etc.
*Paraffin liquid emergency candles (comes in a glass jar and are safer than wax candles)
*Or... sturdy American made nonscented candles (our laws are supposed to prevent toxic elements in candles). Allergy sensitive people may need soy or beeswax candles. Why nonscented candles? I still recall as a young married having a power outage with only a heavily scented candle to burn for light.
*Or... a pretty flameless candle, especially good for apartment dwellers and families with small kids or kittens.
*Old fashioned board games should the electricity go out.
*A warm and cozy throw for the sofa.
*Gloves... whether inexpensive gardening gloves or heavy duty work gloves, one never seems to have enough.
*An emergency car kit. Hubby won such a kit at a workplace party long ago and it proved to be invaluable a number of times.
Really, all you have to do is think of what you would like to have on hand if one were in the midst of a winter storm and home bound. These are all options a prepper person would enjoy and those who laugh at prepping probably would not return.
You know... a stealth way of making certain someone you care for has at least an emergency light on hand.
If a loved one is a true prepper and one has the finances available, a Berkey is a wonderful gift... here. We actually had one of these at one time and used it constantly. We still have it but we need to eventually buy new filters as our old ones broke during the move.