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Give your loved ones the gift of safety

Do you have an impossible person to buy for on your Christmas shopping list? Or perhaps you’re looking for a crowd pleaser gift for an upcoming gift exchange.

We here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor are the experts in most things housing – not necessarily in gift giving. However, we do have some gift ideas that fit right in with our goal to encourage home ownership and safe, affordable housing for all.

Many folks derail their budgets at Christmastime. We gave some tips in our last blog on how to avoid that. The following gift suggestions vary in price and are mostly in the “practical but thoughtful” category.

Perhaps you don’t have a hard-to-buy-for person, but YOU are that person. Maybe you will want to add one of the following to your wish list!



We think these gifts express that you want your loved ones safe, warm and well in the New Year!

  • An All Hazard Weather Radio. They can be purchased at local hardware stores, box stores and online and have a price tag between $20 and $50.

  • An “Emergency Kit.” You can make one yourself putting items into a backpack or a small travel bag. The kit can contain things such as energy bars, water, a radio, flashlight and light sticks and a first-aid kit. These kits can be kept in your car and home.

  • A box containing an emergency three-day supply of food and water. Don’t forget to include the pets!

  • A First-Aid kit for either home or vehicle.

  • A good quality fire box or fire safe to protect important financial and personal documents. Standard fire boxes run about $25. They also make ones now that protect against water.

  • Battery-operated décor candles so that a loved one can obtain the ambiance of candlelight without the risk of fire.

  • A carbon monoxide detector. These are helpful for any home that has some type of fossil fuel heating device such as a woodstove, fireplace, gas or oil furnace or kerosene space heater. They are true lifesavers.

  • A “second floor” escape ladder. These collapsible contraptions fold up and out of the way until needed. They are available at local hardware stores or through a fire equipment supply company.

  • An emergency blanket for the car.

  • A flashlight and batteries or better yet, a wind-up flashlight (Even if they have one, another might be nice for the car or for a bedroom.)

  • A gun safety lock for each gun.

  • A gift certificate for a chimney maintenance/cleaning.

  • A gift certificate from a local contractor to clean gutters and inspect the roof.

  • A 5-pound ABC fire extinguisher for the kitchen or garage

  • If you’re feeling really generous – how about getting someone started with a renter’s insurance policy? Many renters are unaware of the fact their contents are not covered by the building owner’s insurance. (Actually they are surprisingly inexpensive.)

  • Maybe someone you love is ready to make the switch to a safer artificial tree. Get one on sale for them this year with the promise of a safer Christmas next year.

  • A pre-paid mobile phone

  • Calling cards for loved ones who travel and don’t have cell phones.

  • Light sticks

  • A stocking stuffer could include a whistle to go on a key chain or perhaps in an emergency kit

  • A doorbell with built in camera

  • Outdoor security cameras

  • And our favorite – an extension ladder stand-off attachment


Do you have a real Christmas tree? If so, make sure to give it a good drink today. Keeping it watered makes it last and lowers the risk of fire.


Did you know that NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor has a Facebook page? Follow us! And, also take a look at our website at! We have helpful information in an archive of past columns, quick videos and tips. Take a look and even ask us questions about home maintenance, home buying, budgeting, renter-landlord issues and way more. Try us – like us – share us! For sure come and see us for your housing needs.

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