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Ready or Not #36: Preparedness Christmas Gifts

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

My family and extended family wait in anticipation every year to see what I am going to give them for their Christmas gift. They wait more with curiosity than with excitement because they know that it isn’t going to be the run-of-the-mill gift.

One year I made toiletry gifts for everyone out of towels. I folded one end up and made pockets to hold combs, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, razors, and other sundries. I then went halfway up the towel and sewed a rope so that they could tie it around their waist, like an apron, and not have to set anything down on the ground or on a dirty sink when camping – or in a disaster. The extra piece towel on the on the other end served as a rag to dry their face and hands. It was the best gift ever!

Some of my family members looked at me like I was nuts, others chuckled, and some even asked what it was, but it didn’t matter – I had a plan, I was going to get them prepared in spite of themselves. The next year I gave everyone a three-day supply of MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat). The year after that I gave everyone flashlights that didn’t need to have batteries (not the nice new ones, but the ones that you have to hand pump – which was the only thing available at the time. They can buy the new ones themselves.)

When my daughter got married, the first Christmas gift she and her husband got from us was a 72-hour kit. The only reason that I do this is because I love them. I want my family to be safe and Christmas time is the perfect time to show them how much I love them.

I’ve got some good ideas to get you started thinking about what kind of things you might want to give to your loved ones. First, let’s start with a 72-hour kit stocking stuffer items: flashlights that don’t need batteries and are rechargeable (the new cool ones), anti-bacterial foam or spray, waterproof matches, and a waterproof container (depending on their age), a poncho, the small aluminum blankets, a water purifying straw, a mess kit, or a whistle on a string.

Want to get a little more aggressive? Assemble 72-hour kit backpacks (I gave you a list a while back), make water purification kits. You can make one for less than $50.00. Can you show someone that you love him or her more than giving them the gift of clean water? I think not - unless of course, you give them food storage. But you still need the water.

My in-laws are the best. Every year they give both my husband and I each 20 lbs. of hamburger as one of our gifts. Does it get any better than that? No! Forget the the latest digital accessory; give them a wheat grinder. Who needs another electronic game that makes noise? Give them a year’s supply of wheat, or powdered milk, or maybe a case of toilet paper. Think how easy it would be to wrap up a case of tuna fish (and think about how confused they will be when they try to shake the box- Ha!) Okay, most of those gifts are more appropriate for grown children, but I think you could come up with some pretty creative preparedness gifts for younger children.

I know that these are some pretty weird gifts in the normal world, but in the world that I live in, these are beautiful and thoughtful gifts. All that I ask is that you take a few minutes to really look at what you are giving to your loved ones. Go ahead and buy a few fun and frivolous things, but also take some time to give them something that could help them stay safe and help them to become better prepared. And if you are on my list, you are just going to have to wait and be surprised. I love Christmas!


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