Many of us have loved ones that refuse to prepare for even the most minor emergency. They don’t have even have a simple first aid kit. Many only have enough food in the house for a day at a time, creating a grocery store trip for the simplest thing, like flour or beans.
And any time you share with them how you prepared a bit more recently – such as creating a car emergency kit – they roll their eyes and retreat even further into a state of unpreparedness.
In response to this, many of us preppers suffer from an instinct to help them get prepared by giving a thoughtful gift. Something that, to us, is simple and can be used for more than a disaster – like a good flashlight. But still, our rigidly unprepared loved ones recoil in fear of this strange “prepper” gift.
But we’re not going to suddenly give the folks we love a new pair of Jimmy Choo shoes or a big ol’ bottle of eau de Kardashian.
How then, can we give a truly heartfelt gift to our unprepared loved ones and still retain our prepper dignity?
Here’s 5 ideas that may help:
1. Make sure your clever gifts match their interests
This may be an obvious one – but many of us (yours truly included) have been guilty of giving something we think the recipients need rather than something they actually want. In our zeal for preparedness, it’s easy to overlook the power of giving a gift to our loved ones that truly matches their interests.
For instance, if your unprepared loved one is really into scrapbooking, don’t give her para-cord for which she has no immediate use. Instead, consider a gift that she can use in her scrapbooking hobby and that has a preparedness use as well. Perhaps a sturdy pair of scissors may be appreciated, and can also be used to butcher a chicken in a post-SHTF world.
I’ve put together two gift guides that may be of assistance, one for cooks and more of a general-purpose guide. In both of these, I give some examples on how to position each gift so it will be well-received.
2. Gauge the level of potential recoil, and give accordingly
Unpreparedness comes in many shades of gray. Some folks are extremely fearful of “preppers,” while others are merely unconcerned about the whole thing. Use this to gauge what type of gift you give.
For instance, if your loved one is on the extreme end of fearfulness (or just plain old snarkiness), tread lighter and closely examine the gift from his perspective before giving. But if your loved one is merely unconcerned, you’ll have a bit more leeway for your gift being on the preparedness side of things.
3. Tie the preparedness gift in to an event
Consider an event that’s occurred in your loved one’s life recently – a new car, a move to a new home, retirement, etc. – and give a gift that complements that event.
As an example, if your nephew just learned to drive, now’s the time to give a car emergency kit. If you give a car emergency kit to someone who’s been driving for a long time and there’s no update to that situation, a car emergency kit will just look pushy and “preppery”.
4. Highlight the positives
You’ve taken the time to figure out the perfect, clever “prepper” gift for your unprepared loved one. And it truly is very clever, you’ve even impressed yourself.
But now, make sure they understand the non-prepper use of the gift – before they even open it. Perhaps include a card that says something like “I thought you’d like these solar garden lights since you guys re-did your backyard this year – and they had great reviews online.” By framing the gift in this way before it is opened, they’ll unclench a bit. Not only have you presented the gift in a positive way, you’ve also illustrated to them that other people like it too.
5. Don’t talk about the post-apocalyptic uses of the gift
It’s tempting. I know it. But don’t do it. Nothing will make a rigidly unprepared person retreat faster. Just give the gift, mention how you thought they might like it for their scrapbooking or flower-arranging hobby, and shut up about it already. How have you successfully given a “prepper” gift to your unprepared loved ones? What were the gifts and how did it go?