Although most are not quite as energetic as her, I am amazed at how often others bring up the topic of being prepared and storing extra food and other things. It's quite comforting to know that I may not be the only one on the block with an extra bag of beans! Christmas is the perfect time to give the gift of preparedness and peace of mind. Especially when so many of us are struggling against the crumbling economy and our dollar only buys a fraction of what it did a few years ago. You may be surprised at how grateful friends or family may be to receive a gift that eases their load and worries a little.
Since my parents and siblings are as interested in being prepared as my husband and I are, we often give storage items to each other for Christmas. Here are a few ideas of things someone on your list may appreciate...
- The holidays are one of the good times of the year to take advantage of sales. Since many baking and cooking items are on sale during the holidays, it's a great opportunity to stock up on vanilla (not imitation), nuts, aluminum foil, baking powder, seasonings, roasting bags or hot cocoa mix.
- Give a nice Dutch Oven and include a few "lumps of coal", i.e. a bag of briquettes. When the power is out, a good Dutch Oven can still produce a wonderful gourmet meal.
- A bucket of honey is a sweet gift. Find a good bulk source and pay half or less what you pay per pound for the small containters in the grocery store. You can get a good deal if you buy 5 or 10 buckets and give one to each family on your list.
- A water purifier - one Christmas my mother gave us a "Big Berkey" water filter. It requires no electricity and doesn't need to be hooked to a faucet. It filters and purifies a couple of gallons of water at a time.
- Give someone a 72-hour kit.
- Give a water storage barrel to a family.
- Give a bag of wheat and a hand grinder.
- Give First Aid kits for a car or home.
- Give a food dehydrator.
- Give some Heirloom seeds to someone who loves to garden.
- Give any food items. Buy in bulk and save lots of money... a 25 lb. bag of rice, beans or oats, 50 lbs of wheat, a bag or #10 cans of powdered milk, a case of canned peaches... Or give some "luxury" items that they may not be able to buy very often, like a large jug of pure Maple syrup.
- Give a nice tool kit for home or auto repair to someone who doesn't have one. Maybe a college student or young couple just starting out.
- Give some gardening tools and book on gardening.
- If they have propane heat, give a gift card for a tank refill.
- Most people don't know that you can pay utility bills in advance. If someone is struggling, pay a month or two in advance of their gas or electric service.
- Give a gas coupon at a local filling station.
- Give some warm blankets or a quilt.
- Give a camp cook stove and some fuel for it.
- Give a fire safety ladder to someone with a 2-story house.
- Give some flashlights and extra batteries.
- Give a solar oven.
- Give some nice work gloves.
- Give a tent or other camping supplies.
- Give a heavy-duty snow shovel and set of jumper cables.
Help them to be a little more prepared for the hard times that we are in, and the even harder times that seem to be on their way.