Friday, December 7, 2012

Homesteading Christmas Gift Ideas

It's that time of year when everyone is wracking their brains trying to think up good gifts for friends and relatives.  Going through it myself at the moment for a few relatives, I got the idea to do a post on some homesteady-types of gifts.  Really, it's probably going to end up more like a list than an informative article, but I'm hoping someone somewhere will get some use out of it.  If I can help one person who's stumped for the perfect gift for that not-exactly-normal special someone in their life, well, then I will consider it a success.

If you know some homesteading types of people, or you yourself are one of those self-sufficient types who isn't into newer bigger televisions, smarter phones, jewelery or knick-knacks, then you know that this time of year can be tough.  As for myself, I want to give a gift that the recipient will both like and use, not just something that is a token "here, I felt like I had to get you something and I saw this on sale at the mall" kind of thing that ends up cluttering up their closet or put out in their next garage sale.  I also prefer to receive useful gifts, because it is awkward when you get something you have no foreseeable use for, yet know the giver is going to look for it to be displayed prominently in your house or on your body the next time they see you.

Here are some tried and true gifts that we've received at this little place here, either from each other, or from people who "got" that we aren't quite mainstream in our tastes and lifestyle.

Animal related:

  • incubator for chicken eggs
  • gift certificate to my favorite hatchery
  • new horse brushes (cuz they do get worn out after a while)
  • new lead ropes (ditto, they get worn out after 10 years or so. . .)
  • rabbit nesting box
  • 'small, sharp knife for gutting chickens' (this is what I wrote on my wish list.  What I received was a Buck knife with a 2" blade.  Very useful for gutting chickens, and carrying in my purse.)

Hunting related:
  • butchering knife set
  • gambrel
  • rope
  • game scale
  • skinning tool
  • insulated camo coat/bib overalls
  • insulated camo hat and gloves
  • wool socks
  • buck grunt
  • doe bleat
  • hand and toe warmer packs
  • tree stand
  • canopy for tree stand
  • gun cleaning kit
  • archery target
  • low-activity level thermal underwear
  • bone saw
  • gutting knife
  • skinning knife

Heating-with-wood related:
  • new chain for chainsaw
  • small whisk brush for cleaning chain saw
  • small wedge (for use in cutting down standing trees)
  • safety helmet & ear protection
  • welding gloves (for stoking the fire)
  • log chains
  • cant hook

Gardening related:
  • 1 yard dump cart (can be towed by hand or by attaching to small tractor/lawn mower)
  • new sprinkler
  • Stihl mini-tiller
  • hoe
  • floating row covers
  • gift certificate to my favorite seed supplier
  • gift certificate for fruit tree supplier

Cooking-from-scratch related:
  • Kitchenaid Professional 600 mixer (although it didn't last making bread every week; killed 2 in 21 months. . . but still works well for mixing batters--vs doughs--and whipping cream or meringue, as well as using the slicer/shredder attachments.  DS2 calls it the Power Shredder)
  • electric skillet
  • electric griddle
  • 6 qt crock pot
  • assorted glass bakeware:  pie plates, bread pans, casseroles, etc
  • pressure cooker
  • deep fryer
  • electric meat slicer
  • 18 quart electric roaster (great for open houses, I actually own 2)
  • large glass mixing bowls
  • cookbooks (especially those that have recipes for things that usually come in a can, box, or seasoning packet at the store)

Food Preservation related:
  • dehydrator
  • canning jars
  • canning lids
  • vacuum sealer
  • numerous books on growing/preserving food

Brewing related:
  • 5 & 6 gallon carboys
  • 12 oz & 16 oz glass bottles
  • recipe books for different types of beers
  • a Periodic Table of Beer Styles (DS2 found this at engineering college last year, and made a poster sized one for DH)
  • hydrometer
  • hops rhizomes
  • soda pop extract (so the kids could 'brew' their own pop in 5 gallon batches.  We learned not to bottle the cream soda after an explosive incident that left most of our 12 oz bottles broken and the basement very very sticky. . .  5 gallon soda kegs work better. )
  • 5 gallon stock pot (aka brew kettle until we converted a keg to boil 10 gallons of wort on the turkey fryer. . .)
  • airlocks

General 'life on the farm' related:
  • Carhartt coats and bibs
  • rubber knee boots
  • work gloves, both insulated and summer weight
  • fur lined hats with ear flaps for winter work
  • tractor-sized wrenches and sockets
  • work boots
  • heavy duty snow shovels
  • pocketknives (even the girls own pocketknives)

Handmade wearable stuff:
  • scarves
  • crocheted blankets
  • denim quilts (made from our own outgrown/worn out jeans and backed with warm flannel)
  • flannel pjs

Crafting stuff:
  • knitting lessons (shhh, this one is for both my daughters this Christmas, and I get to tag along for free!  All 3 of us will receive a 'starter knitting kit' and 'lifetime lessons' at a local knitting place.)
  • books of quilt block patterns
  • sewing machine
  • rotary cutter
  • acrylic rulers 
  • cutting mat
  • crochet hooks and yarn
  • fabric
  • measuring tape for use when quilting (120" long!)
  • needle threader
  • sewing machine needles
  • hand sewing needles
  • pin cushions
  • quilting pins
  • cardstock
  • gel pens
  • ink pads and rubber stamps
  • calligraphy pens, ink and book
  • counted cross stitch design books
  • embroidery floss and needles
  • aida cloth (for counted cross stitch)

Fix-it-yourself related:
  • battery charger
  • battery booster pack
  • tow rope
  • work lights
  • assorted wrenches
  • bench grinder
  • floor jack
  • bottle jacks
  • car ramps
  • rubber mallet
  • utility knives (mine says "MOM" in black permanent marker so as to not walk off in DH's hand when he can't remember that his is silver and mine is green.  His has a tendency to get lost.)
  • hammers
  • screwdrivers
  • tool boxes
  • measuring tapes
  • 4 lb sledge (mine, because a hammer just isn't hefty enough to pound stakes into the garden with, but the 8 lb sledge is overkill)
  • axe
  • 10' step ladder
  • amp meter/electrical tester
  • tool belt
  • carpenters pencils
  • speed square
  • jumper cables
  • 4-way tire irons
  • tire gauges (great stocking stuffers for anyone who drives)
  • portable tire pumps (you know, the kind that plugs into the cigarette lighter/port in your vehicle)

Outdoor recreation related:
  • snowmobile helmets
  • kayak
  • canoe paddle/kayak paddle
  • floating eyeglass/sunglass cord (for canoeing/kayaking)
  • snowmobile boots
  • snowmobile pants
  • snowmobile gloves
  • ice skates
  • cross country skis
  • rock climbing gear (shoes, gloves, ropes, etc)
  • ice fishing poles & lures
  • Mr. Buddy portable heater
  • sleds (one year DH & I bought the kids the best plastic sleds.  They were so heavy duty, but also fast!!!  In fact, DS1 broke his wrist on New Year's day--one week after receiving his cool new sled.  Even so, those sleds lasted for years.  Unfortunately, we haven't been able to find similar ones to replace them with.  Must have been 'too dangerous' to continue to be sold, LOL.)
  • snow boards
  • 2-man tents
  • mummy bags (for winter camping)
  • riding gloves (horseback riding)
  • riding boots
  • riding pants (usually for English style riding)
  • riding helmet

Whew!  If you've read all the way to the bottom of the list, I sure hope I've given you an idea or two.  

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