I have always loved the holidays and holiday lights. This time of year brings back happy memories of my family together. And as the family dynamics changed with spouses, nieces, and even death the traditions evolved and morphed with each passing year. And this year is no different.
Dan and I stopped exchanging gifts years ago with the exception of stockings. Dan never had a stocking as a kid and the first he received was when he spent his first Christmas at my parents home in northern Minnesota. Our family stocking tradition might be considered a bit weird by some.
As kids we would go downstairs and get our stockings and return to my parents bedroom and all pile onto their bed. Yup, two adults, four kids and generally two Scotties all piled onto the bed. At some point earlier my Father would’ve slip downstairs to make my Mom her coffee as she always had it in hand by the time we invaded. There were staples that always went into every stocking – a tangerine, gold-foiled chocolate coins, and a small box of raisins. Those would provide sustenance until breakfast occurred much later in the morning.
When Dan joined the family, my Mom had a stocking ready for him. I have to admit Dan was a bit surprised with the requirement that he had to partake in the family bedroom tradition, although we had long since moved to chairs rather than hopping on the bed! Did I mention that PJ’s were also a requirement? My sister and her husband would drive over in their PJ’s under their winter coats and boots just to partake properly in the ‘ritual’.
Stockings always held the best of Christmas with funny, special items like wind-up toys, a few gag gifts like the lump of coal that would get passed around year after year landing in one person’s stocking. My Mom made sure there was always a backup stocking for the person who got the lump of coal!
As stockings are not generally very big (generally), I’ve put together a list of items that would be great holiday stocking stuffers for the sailor/boater or anyone else who likes weird and cool gadgets.
This is an amazing little flashlight, so much so that we’ve purchased several for the boat, car, etc. And it’s a perfect size for a stocking! Note: Eveready batteries work better with this light than Duracell.
If you’re looking for a hands-free flashlight the Mantus headlamp is awesome. Easy to turn on/off with white and red lights for night vision.
Plastic straws are terrible for the environment. So we have two different types onboard Gaviidae. The stainless straws are brought out when we’re being fancy, otherwise the reusable colored plastic straws are the everyday go-to.
We also use mesh bags when we pick up produce either at the store or a farmer’s market. They’re easy to clean and good for the environment.
Grapefruit spoons! The grapefruit wouldn’t fit in our stockings but they were also a holiday tradition. We would carefully cut each section so it was easy to spoon out. With a grapefruit spoon you simply cut the grapefruit in half and enjoy!
Flowers – I love fresh flowers but I don’t like things that break onboard. And then there’s the storage issue. We found this ‘vase‘ and it not only folds completely flat when not in use, it is also quite stable.
Luci Lights – I now have six onboard. We’ve used them as reading lights when we’re trying to conserve power, as a cockpit light so we can find our boat when returning by dinghy after dark and even to light the approach for another boat coming into their slip.
This might be a bit big for a stocking but it is used daily onboard Gaviidae as Dan does not function without his morning tea.This collapsible teapot is small enough when collapsed that it fits into a tiny area on the galley shelves.
While Dan has his tea, I have to have my coffee. I love my Aeropress! So much so that it travels with us in the off-season and whenever I go on a Women Who Sail trip!
One of the best purchases we made was our headsets, also known in the past as Marriage Savers. They are now called My Team Talks. Since they are only useful when bought in pairs (or more), putting one in each stocking would truly be a marriage saver! Think o f it – no more frantic gestures, yelling over the wind – just calm docking and anchoring, every time. P.S. Dan and I always say ‘I love you’ to each other before we disconnect our headsets.
One year Dan opened his stocking and found a new Boye rigging knife. My friend, Holly Scott at Charlie’s Charts swore it was the best rigging knife ever! I’m afraid I can’t swear to that as Dan always has it in his pocket and I never get to use it!
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. The majority are through Amazon or Mantus Marine.
If you click-through and order one of these products, we’ll get a tiny little credit – thank you, our sailing kitty purrs with appreciation at any support it can get! It won’t cost you anything extra but it will put a few extra pennies in our cruising kitty!