Holiday Hustle with Coffee and a Plan
I am rarely a Christmas Eve shopper. However, I am almost always trying to get it together the week before Christmas; thus today marks my holiday hustle (insert large travel mug of coffee here). If you are like me, or just happen to be like me this year, I have a few gift ideas for you and some strategies for avoiding the dreaded mall. So remember, get outside first (go now) then come back, refill your coffee, read this post and you can gear up for the holidays with a plan and a buddy (because good strategies always have all of the above....coffee, concrete ideas, and buddies).
1. Shop local: ski socks from your local snow shop, coffee from your local roaster, pottery (mugs for coffee), wine, locally crafted jewelry, gift cards to go do local things such as ski, snow tube, snowshoe, art classes, food making, massage, etc.
2. Jar of Joy: buy a cool jar/container and fill it with whatever you think is joyful such as coffee, or chocolate covered coffee beans (or candy, jerky, nuts, tea, cotton balls, q-tips, sea salt, etc). You could also craft the perfect personalized trail mix for the ones you love (bonus thoughtfulness points here!).
3. Go to an outdoors store (that isn't attached to a mall) and do your shopping there. They sell something for everyone on your list and you may even inspire your old Uncle Johnny to get outside in the process. Some great gifts to consider are: travel mugs (the good kind that keep your beverage HOT... think Insulated Kleen Kanteen), hand warmers, chocolate (MEC has a great chocolate selection), warm waterproof mits, socks (get the good merino wool ones), water bottle, head lamp (good for camping, night walks, working on the car, etc). Make the packaging nice and include some inspiration on why they needed the item or ways they can use it... and you are golden.
4. Order online... yes, there are still many stores that will get your order to you before Christmas but you gotta stop reading this and start your online shopping trek. A nice cozy pair of sweatpants from Roots.ca is always a welcome gift.
5. Take a day off work (call in sick, take a me-day) and get your craft on. Now, I am not listing this last because its a last resort... its actually probably one of the best gifts and the truest to the holiday spirit. This is last because there isn't much time left and depending on how far behind you are on your holiday list this may not even be a realistic option. If this option does suit you, 4 great things to make include: 1. treats in a jar or cool container such as a Naglene, Stainless Steel Cainster, or Mason Jar filled with: hot coco mix, cookie mix, pancake mix, trail mix, etc, ((see above "Jar of Joy")); 2. Knitting, painting, crafting, baking, photography, writing, woodwork... whatever you are good at you should share your skills and pour some love into it; 3. Take a cool pic or get one you already have printed and go find a unique frame at a thrift store (repaint it or just clean it up, or make one out of barn board); 4. Make a first aid kit geared toward your loved one's personal type of adventure and put it in a handy waterproof bag, or a cool box.
There you have it, folks! Keep it thoughtful, meaningful, and inspired. Happy Holidays!
For those of you who need specifics... here is a short list of gear that is buyer friendly and that I think everyone would love and use (kiddos included). These should all be available at your local outdoors store:
- Kleen Kanteen Insulated Travel Mug with the Cafe Lid
- Smartwool socks (hiking, snow, and lifestyle)
- Biolite Stove (because this means you can basically have your own little campfire anywhere!)
- A hammock (check out the crew at kammok.com)
- A multipurpose neck scarf like a Buff
- A decent headlamp (this is a great one for kids too!) or the Biolite Powerlight Mini
- A small, portable camping chair like the ones from Helinox or Alite
- A travel/portable first aid kit (homemade or one from a company like adventuremedicalkits.com)
- Stuff sacks for packing and travel (MEC makes several different styles)
- A trucker hat (Patagonia and Mountain Standard are my personal favs)