by Amanda Warren
The blinds are down. The doors are bolted. You slept in. You still bask in the euphoria of a pleasant evening with friends, family, and grateful feasting. Maybe you even helped others.
Congratulations – you had a great Thanksgiving! And you didn’t cave to the pressure to freeze in the cold night, suspend empathy and stampede your fellow man, pregnant woman*, child, old lady, disabled veteran, for overpriced made-in-China trinkets.
So you’re indoors, away from Black Friday’s most dangerous zombies – these ones can run! – and maybe wondering what you could give your loved ones that circumvents the mainstream fishies’ way of life. There’s still a pressure to get the coolest gadget and maybe you’ve gotten or made handcrafted gifts that seemed chintzy and cheap. Ever notice how thrilled people are when someone has donated to a charity in the recipient’s name? Not so much.
I could kick myself, because, again, I put stock in consumerism to show a token of friendship with gifts. I bought bulk organic makeup for my non-prepper friends – it wasn’t – it claimed it was from the Amazon with clay – it wasn’t – and I wasted money for foreign crap thinking it was a better way through the season. And I felt like a cheap snob. I quit!
I mean, I really want to walk away from it all, no matter how difficult. Isn’t it too late to be yearning for things that won’t matter in the upcoming months concerning the times we live in? Too late to condone the 5-sense way of life with fake money? If I give a gift it will be one they can actually use to prepare for the future, or a gift that includes making a memory.
My father inspired me with his new hobby of making birdhouses and what some call “junk art.” People have offered him money for it – now there’s a thought. Instead of watching TV he used his spare time to do something he enjoyed, that others will later enjoy.
Here are some gift ideas for your friends that will be there when the time is right and that your non-prepping friends and family won’t spit on (mostly):
Things that are storable, but do not take up too much space:
- Seeds, kitchen herb garden sets
- How about colloidal silver
- Prepping type books
- Classic books, or print out a free .pdf book and bind it
- Recipe book, assemble, print, done – try outdoor cooking, camp burner, dutch oven ones
- Food storage sampler
- Ammo – NOW is the time, it’s running out
- Gardening gift sets you assemble with separate items in a basket
- DIY body care products
- DIY anything
- Simple alkalizing detox bath, could be a footbath. Simple recipe: 1/4 cup Epsom salts, 1/4 baking soda – could add herbs or just a couple drops of essential oils
- Essential oil and homeopathic emergency or coldcare kits
- Any kind of coldcare package
- A month of organic food delivery or fresh farm co-op membership – or just buy the stuff and make sampler baskets
- Upcycle some clothes – lots of blogs and Pinterest pics on that
- Upcycle the giftwrap, boxes, and ties – better yet, use prep tools like paracord
- Use jars to mix up the dry seasonings & other ingredients for a dinner or dessert and include the recipe
- Could also make jars with sauces, dressings, and marinades – if you made it, it’s gourmet
- A microbrewery kit
- With some meal prep, you could deliver frozen meals, homemade ready meals, homemade pie
- Make winterwear – sometimes as easy as just cutting some fleece
- Upcycle junk into something else
- Burn a CD with shared favorite songs or an online music mix
- Photobook – easy to make online. Many women say that photos are the one thing they wish they could carry from a burning house
- Different colored duct tapes are really in right now, especially among youth
Things that aren’t things:
- Coffee and dessert at home
- Create a video with a favorite song and pictures for the backdrop
- Local music or event
- Farmers market trip
- Work on a project together – see all ideas above
- Take a cooking or meal prep class
- Try something new together
- Refinish something
- Write something
- Host a movie night with a meaningful movie (Like They Live! Kidding)
- Shooting range time, or Women in the Outdoors and Project Appleseed events
- Grab a friend and both do something for someone else together – do you know how many elderly are completely alone? Go on a mission to find them.
- Just visit
Use any type of skill, gift or talent to contribute to another person – it shouldn’t go unappreciated. Giving gifts isn’t the only Love Language.
Anything that involves not buying prepackaged garbage and does not support overseas money or economic gobblers here. Your family “who doesn’t get it” might roll their eyes, but wouldn’t they be grateful later? You think about their well being enough already, you can show it without actually showing what you’re doing. And if people have the gall to scoff at those thoughtful gifts, then maybe ask Santa for new friends.
Please add your own in the comment section below!
*True story: I know a young girl who was 7 months pregnant out on Black Friday who got slammed and toppled over by a ruffian and she had to go to the hospital for early contractions! The older man did not help her but instead shouted “Iss not my fault! I didn’t do that! Y’all saw it – you can’t sue me!” Then everyone blamed her for going out. Wait a second, shouldn’t a pregnant woman be able to shop without the fear of losing her baby? But, as for me: PASS.
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