Give Gifts Creatively for Survival

The holidays are really being rammed down our throats this year.  Stores have slashed prices far in advance of this so-called “Black Friday.”  Some radio stations have started playing Christmas music days, even weeks, before Thanksgiving.  I agree with a talk show host I heard last weekend who says Thanksgiving has become an afterthought.


            So why talk about gifts at all right now?  Because many feel the need to conform to the holiday spirit and believe they’re obligated to give gifts of some kind and may need to plan and make room in the already tight budget.  Of course, many are downplaying Christmas buying and giving this year because of the economy.  Remember that a genuinely given gift can be given any time of year, without the trappings of Christmas.  It’s with that in mind that I offer the following.


            A few days ago I read a blog post on the Lehman’s site featuring the comments and suggestions of Glenda Lehman Ervin, Vice President of Marketing for Lehman’s.  She encourages giving low-tech and no-tech gifts.  There’s something that can be found for everyone.  While I owe much to Ervin’s post for my thoughts here, I want to encourage you to consider gift giving from a survival perspective.  I believe you could really help a family member or friend if you gave them something they could use in a survival situation.  Below are a few suggestions.


How about food?  This is a personal way to give something that’s a favorite of the one receiving the gift.  I never refuse fruitcake or jelly.  My grandma made wonderful strawberry preserves.  You can find food baskets and old fashioned candy at Lehman’s.  Of course, you don’t have to give sweets.  How about tea, coffee, or homemade granola?  How about bags of dry beans?  What about providing a supply of meat for the freezer?


            It’s never too early to think about next year’s garden.  How about giving garden supplies or seeds from Gardener’s Supply?  If you’re a gardener, you know the kind of items you find useful.


            Ervin recommends kitchen aids to help a cook make pasta, cider or ice cream.  How about pails and dry boxes for storing food?  Dish cloths or towels might be a good gift item, intended for inclusion as spares in a survival supply kit.  My mother makes and sells embroidered dish towels as well as handmade soft scratchers for doing dishes by hand.  Perhaps you could give similar homemade items.


            Consider personal care items, such as skin moisturizers, which can be quite useful in cold winter weather.  If you know what kind of soaps the person or family uses, give a year’s supply.  First aid items for a med kit would be useful..


            “Green” or eco-friendly gifts are fashionable these days, too.  Giving someone a wind-up or solar powered radio would be very practical.  Perhaps you could give candles or a good flashlight for use in the home if the lights go out.


            Does the person or family have a 72-hour survival supply kit for home or car?  Why not get one?  Accessories for existing kits would be useful as well.  What about accessories for the hunter, like a good knife or bore snake for cleaning guns?


            For children, Lehman’s carries a selection of old fashioned toys to exercise the imagination and body, not just video game fingers and thumbs.  You might also consider working something out with the family to get winter clothing for the children, including coats. This may call for a shopping trip or taking individual measurements for ordering by mail or online.  I know from experience that providing such gifts is very useful and helpful.


            Let your imagination go.  Think outside the techno-box this season.  If there’s something you’re in need of for your own survival kit or supplies, chances are those you’re giving gifts to could use it, too.  We’ve often encouraged buying an extra item from one of our sponsors here for just that very purpose.


            Do you have a service you could offer someone?  Do you do house cleaning or babysitting?  How about yard or garden work when the weather’s warmer?  Do you do handyman jobs?  Give a homemade coupon redeemable in the future.  Be sure to keep your commitment when it comes time to redeem that coupon.


            Living on a Dime has a couple of e-books in their e-book extravaganza you might be interested in.  One is Debt Free Holidays, and the other is Gifts In A Jar.  Click here to see the offerings on their site.

            I realize I’ve tossed out several possibilities for you to consider, and I hope it’s not too many.    Giving doesn’t need to cost a lot of money, so don’t be pressured or stressed.  Naturally, I hope you’ll buy as many useful gifts as possible from sponsors here at DestinySurvival, but my goal is simply to help you think creatively and practically, while keeping survival in mind for you and the ones to whom you’ll be giving those gifts.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

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