Now that we have recovered from Turkey overdose (of which I loved every minute), the last of the pie is long gone, and Black Friday is over, we can get down to the serious business of Christmas presents. Of course, you know that I am talking about special presents, the kind of presents that even if “they have everything” you can still find something cool and useful for them – I’m talking about preparedness and storage presents.
First let’s start with stocking stuffers. Flashlights fit into stockings. I’m not talking about flashlights that need batteries, but the neat LED flashlights that has its own generator in it and all you have to do is crank it to make it work. They would be perfect for your Under the Bed Kit, your 72-hr kit, or to put in your nightstand for emergencies. If you want light, but you need your hands to be free, then get the headlamps that are gaining in popularity. I got some for my family a couple of years ago and we love them. When my husband needed to see something under the sink or behind the stove, he could do it without having me hold the flashlight. Like I said, we all loved them. And the newest ones are rechardeable and don't use batteries. Perfect!
Hand warmers are another useful, small, and inexpensive gift. Grab a bunch of them and stuff the stockings. When you start to put your gifts away put some of them in your 72-hr kit and the rest of them in your car jockey box (or glove compartment – whatever you call it.) If you have a scout have him put a handful in his scout bag. These are so universal, and you can use them for more than just your hands; put them in your socks or boots to warm them up before using them. If you get cold, then put them under your arms or under your hat.
Another warming gift that you might not have thought about is the new heat wraps. I have always used ThermaCare® for my aches and pains, but they would be perfect for emergencies because you can put them on, and they will stay in place and keep you warm for eight hours – and they will fit in a stocking.
Light sticks would also be useful. You may have only thought of them as being a source of fun on a summer evening, but during an emergency it would be a very useful and safe source of light and they would look kind of cute (or macho depending on the gender) in the stocking.
First-aid kits are also useful and fun (yes, I said FUN) gifts to give. They come in all different sizes: small, medium, and large. The small and medium ones can fit in purses, cars, desks at work, or lockers at school. The medium and large ones probably won’t fit in their Christmas stockings, but they would be very useful in your home, 72-hr kit, car, and any other place you might get hurt. I have a small one in my purse, a medium sized one in my car and a large one in my house and a few others scattered here and there. Show the love and give first-aid supplies.
Two or three silver emergency blankets would also be a thoughtful stocking stuffer. If you are in danger of hypothermia, these blankets help you to retain your heat. They are also good if you need protection from the rain and they make really good emergency shelters. If you are a really active outdoors kind of family, you will want to make sure that you have plenty of these around and placed in your vehicles, snowmobiles, saddle packs, backpacks, and 72-hr. kits. In really desperate times they can even be used to haul water, but that would only be if you weren’t prepared and hadn’t stored your emergency water and taken some of it with you – two gallons per person, per day, for a two-week period.
Next week we will discuss bigger and better Christmas gifts and until then I want you to start thinking out of the box. You can still get a few cutesy odds and ends, and clothes are always nice, but this year think a little more preparedness – which can be fun. Get your loved ones prepared so that you can relax when the new year starts.
One of the gifts I’m going to give my daughter is a case of her favorite soup and my son is getting a bunch of hand warming packets and more first-aid supplies. (Don’t worry – they won’t know because they don’t read my articles – so please don’t give them a heads up. Thanks).