Author of Be Ready for Anything and Build a Better Pantry on a Budget online course
Chestnuts are roasting, bells are ringing, and presents are under the tree. But if you are into survival, then you might put a slightly different twist on things during the holidays. I can help turn you into Survival Santa, with this guide to the most prepper Christmas around!
But first, a word about disasters.
No preparedness article would be complete without at least some reference to disasters. So here it is – whether you are traveling or hosting, a disaster during the holidays would have a whole new list of complexities beyond that of a less-people-y emergency.
If you’re hosting and some event occurs that keeps people stranded at your home, here are some of the things you need to think about.
- Consider the personalities of your guests. Who is likely to be troublesome? Who is likely to NOT follow the safety rules? Who will
whine like a little…incessantly complain? Who is going to be paralyzed with fright? Knowing these things ahead of time can help you to cut problems off at the pass before they affect everyone else.
- Do you have enough water for everyone? If the event was one that took out the water supply, would you be able to keep all your guests safely hydrated for the duration? You may want to add to your water supply. If the situation looks like it might go on for a while, you may need to dole the water out like a dictator, because wastefulness could pose serious issues.
- Do you have enough food for everyone? First, let’s understand right away that initially, no one who isn’t a prepper will really appreciate your freeze-dried food buckets. There won’t be an outcry of joyful gasps like if you brought out a 3-tier Christmas cake studded with sugar plums. I just want you to know that so you won’t be disappointed. If they don’t really grasp the seriousness of the situation, they’ll wonder why on earth you’re feeding them stuff like this. But, if it’s the only option, they’ll adjust. Make sure you have lots of extra shelf-stable food and a way to cook it for large quantities of people. (And don’t forget the extra fuel!) Hunger is the surest route to anarchy. (And not the good voluntaryist kind – the kind where someone would shiv Grandma for a cookie.)
- What’s everyone going to do for entertainment? I’m sure that your own well-behaved children would never whine, but what about your bratty nieces and nephews? (I’m just guessing, but it seems like every family has at least one kid who is spoiled rotten.) Have some things for kids (and grown-ups) to do to pass the time. Songbooks can be fun, as well as games, read-aloud stories, crafts, etc. Here’s a whole list of things to do when the power is out. What good is survival if you lose your sanity?
- And then there’s sanitation. Probably the worst of all possible scenarios would be one in which the toilet was not an option. Talk about the poop hitting the fan. Heaven forbid that this should happen, but if it does, have supplies for your human kitty litter box and learn how to set it up in this article. Be sure to provide detailed instructions to your horrified guests or someone will do it wrong and you’ll have quite the mess. Load up on baby wipes, hand sanitizer, and bleach wipes as well.
(Looking for more winter power outage advice? Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide on the subject.)
If you’re traveling, the dynamic is different. You don’t get to be the boss of everyone like you would in your own home, but if things were really bad, people would probably want you to be. Bonus: You’d no longer be that crazy aunt or uncle and you’d actually be the cool one.
- If you’re traveling by plane, your options are limited. Really, the TSA doesn’t want you to survive. Let’s just get that one thing clear. But there are a few essential tools you can get past them that will help in an emergency. Here’s my list of TSA-approved survival items. Okay, “approved” might be a little bit extreme, but “tolerated” would work.
- If you’re driving, you can probably stash quite a few survival supplies. Hide them in your car until they’re needed and then you can be the hero of the whole gathering. I usually keep a bucket or two and my little emergency stove and fuel. Unless you’re going in an RV, you probably won’t be able to bring water but you CAN bring a portable water filter like the Sawyer Mini or the Lifestraw. The items in your auto emergency kit may also come in handy.
- Bring a solar phone charger. If you can keep the little hoodlums entertained by staving off device withdrawal, your hero status will be indisputable. (Okay, let’s be real – it isn’t just the kids who you’ll be making happy.) This nifty kit has a light, a power bank, and a USB charger. This gadget is just the phone charger.
If you’re stocked like this, hopefully, the worst part of the crisis will be listening to the unprepared family members complain about how inconvenient it was of the electric company to let the power go out during Christmas.
Here are some prepper Christmas gift ideas.
Of course, it would be WAY nicer if your family could just be better prepared next year, wouldn’t it? Following, you can find all the gift guides I’ve written. Some will delight the preppers you love the most, while others will sneak some preps into the homes of the unsuspecting.
- Stealth Survivalist Christmas Gifts for the Non-Preppers in Your Life
- 12 Christmas Gifts for the Healthy Cook’s Kitchen
- 25 Ways to Give the Gift of Preparedness
- Our Top 20 Works of Fabulous Fiction to Inspire Self-Reliant, Liberty-Loving Children and Teens
- The Essential Prepper’s Library: 25 Books Every Prepared Family Should Own
- The Reader’s Choice Survival and Preparedness Library
Here’s how not to spend a zillion dollars.
As much as many people love the holidays, it can get outrageously pricey. Being in debt afterward is a terrible way to start off the new year. So here are my best frugal holiday tips.
Get my book, Have Yourself a Thrifty Little Christmas and a Debt-Free New Year right here.
Here are some other ideas:
- 20 Free and Festive Ways to Wrap Christmas Gifts
- 10 Ways to Reuse Christmas Cards
- The Traps Retailers Use to Get You to Exceed Your Christmas Budget (and How to Avoid Them)
- How to Make a Frugal Christmas Dinner from the Pantry
- What to do with Those Christmas Dinner Leftovers
(Want uninterrupted access to The Organic Prepper? Check out our paid-subscription newsletter.)
And that is your guide to a very prepper Christmas.
Maybe this will be the year that some of the people you love begin to see the light about getting more prepared. Heaven knows, we’ve had a year of evidence supporting the need to be prepped, what with hurricanes, wildfires run amok, and economic woes. Sometimes we can gently encourage them to get on board and it actually works. But trust me, forcing the issue rarely works and is much more likely to cause animosity than acquiescence.
I hope that your holiday season is full of fun and that all visitors leave right on schedule as opposed to hunkering down angrily in the darkened living room of your home without their cell phones. But if you DO have to pull out the emergency supplies due to a poorly-timed winter storm that closes the roads and takes out the power, I hope that you’ll be ready.
Do you make any special preparations during the holiday season?
Are you prepared for folks to be stranded at your home? Are you ready to be potentially stranded elsewhere? What steps do you take? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites. 1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2) The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.
Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.