We are about to spend our 7th (!) Christmas aboard – where has the time gone? If there is one thing I have learned about spending the holidays aboard it is that you don’t have to give up your traditions, you just have to make them boat-size. We’ve happily had a 2-ft tree perched on a shelf in our salon completely lit and decorated. One area I don’t really have to make changes is with our stockings. Stockings have always been my favorite part of Christmas morning – it seems good things really do come in small packages. Now that I have a daughter, its a fun challenge finding little goodies that warrant their space aboard and fit in her stocking. This is the first year she seems to understand what is really going on and I am LOVING it! She has been pretty easy, but where my real challenge comes in is in finding stocking stuffers for the adults. Below are a few of my favorites for life aboard.
The Best Stocking Stuffers for Sailors
Headlamps are a necessity aboard, but the batteries always seem to die at the worst possible moment. We’ve been using rechargeable headlamps for a while now and they are perfect. When the light starts getting dim, just plug them into the USB charger to repower. They are always there for you when you need them.
I can’t seem to go anywhere without my Anker portable charger. This little bad boy’s high-speed charging can recharge my phone so fast so I don’t miss a single thing. My phone is my camera and I take a photo probably every few minutes (hey, I just can’t miss a single thing my 2-year-old does). My Anker can charge my phone about 3x before it needs to be recharged which is very convenient when you are away from endless shore power.
I think the Hydroflask Cooler Cup is the absolute perfect cup for life aboard. Technically it is designed to keep beer cans cold (which it does superbly), but I also love to use it for wine and cocktails as well. Simply slip the rubber lid on the bottom and it becomes somewhat non-slip. The cup is double-walled so it keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks warm – it is the Goldilocks of drinkware.
The Apeman Mini Projector is a truly BIG gift in a small size. This pocket-sized projector is perfect for anchorage movie nights or just to cuddle up in bed and watch a movie on the bulkhead. This little guy can project an entire movie on a single charge (the manufacturer says it can last 1.5 – 2.5 hours each charge) and can easily be recharged by a portable charger.
A digital angle finder may not be the first gift you think of, but that is why it is so perfect. I bought this for a non-boat project and am constantly finding myself using this aboard for so many projects. Is that line square when I am cutting fabric for my cushions? Just what angle do I need to cut the new foam for my v-berth mattress? What angle is the hull inside that cabinet? The use cases are truly endless.
I work from my boat which means that if I am going to get any work done I need to make sure I have a pair of headphones for calls and video conferences. I love my Soundpeats bluetooth headphones so I don’t have to worry about a cord getting in the way. The audio quality is great and they are comfortable in my ears. I’m not a fan of over the ear headphones so these are perfect.
I have only recently discovered Good Hangups and I am obsessed. These are so brilliant I wish I had come up with them myself. Good Hangups allow you to turn any surface into a magnetic surface – perfect for displaying kids’ artwork, shopping lists, project organization and more. They use a repositionable magnetic base that you can attach to any surface (and safely remove!) and a small magnet that you use to keep everything secure. The magnetic base is completely covered so it should help with any corrosion.
A great thing to throw in the stockings of water-loving kids and adults are reef-safe sunscreen sticks and lip balm with SPF. I always have a lip balm within arms reach and in every pocket because I truly hate having chapped lips, and sunburnt lips are even worse!
For the little sailors I’ve been stocking up on nautical board books. I think my favorite for this year is Go, Go, Pirate Boat. We have Car, Car, Truck, Jeep and absolutely love it. These books are set to be read to popular children’s songs so they are truly catchy and the kids get really into it and start reading it to themselves as it is set to a tune they remember. The illustrations are also boldly colored and present an opportunity to work on your colors as well.
What are your favorite stocking stuffers? I am always looking for new ideas!