‘Tis the season to be jolly, and what better way to spread the holiday cheer than by choosing the perfect gift for the salty sailors in your life? Going on 5 years of living aboard Avocet, some of the best gifts we have ever received are those of necessity and convenience, or experiences all together, which have inspired us to share a list of what gifts we feel could benefit any minimalist or salty seafarer this holiday season and many seasons thereafter. So let’s get into it!
1. Luci Lights and Headlamps
Luci Lights made our previous gift guide list from 2020, but they are just so good we felt the need to include them again. They are a must-have for any sailor or traveler since they collapse and solar charge, providing hours of light during night passages or illuminating a dark campground. They come in many shapes and sizes, we have the original but have put the “twinkle lights” on our wish list after seeing them aboard our friends’ boat, Esprit! Keeping in the theme of “lights” headlamps are always a great gift, and we have recently found that these LED Headlamps that are low profile, wide light pattern, rechargeable and comfortable.
2. Ocean Safe Sunscreen
We should all strive to buy eco-friendly and reef safe products, even when not living on a sailboat but with so many options available it can be tough to decipher what is actually ocean safe and what is a blatant marketing cash-grab. Thankfully, we met Maddie, the owner of Live Sunny Suncare. Not only is Live Sunny a woman owned brand, but it is also an organic, superfood mineral sunscreen that is reef safe, breakout free, and SPF50+ built for adventure!
3. Stadium Seats
These are another item featured in our previous gift guide that is well deserving of the spotlight again. Stadium seats are great for outdoor lovers. We found ours in a “free” pile at the marina, and we have managed to long-term borrow my mothers-in-law’s from her boat because they significantly increase comfort in an uncushioned cockpit, dinghy, or on the beach! They are collapsible, making them a perfect “bench” seat to share or store in tight storage space.
4. QEJA Socks
Okay, okay, I know: when you were a kid the last thing you wanted for Christmas was socks, right? Well, as an adult sometimes it’s the simple necessities that really make a difference. I have always had sensory issues when it comes to socks – the toe seams would make my skin crawl and if they wern’t tight enough my day would be ruined. Obviously I have lived to cope with these problems because I didn’t think there was anything better out there… until our friends Mitch and Quincey founded a sock company that emphasizes style, comfort and function. One sock for life! Although we are generally barefoot or in sandals lately, when we do wear socks they are always QEJA’s. Light weight, durable, breathable, and they have an invisible seam. So, if you know someone like me that is picky with socks or perhaps just wants to up their comfort and style game these are the socks you want to give. Use AVOCET15 at checkout for a discount!
Games are a great gift for a family or for a solo traveler, being something that can provide entertainment and mental stimulation. Chris and I have many games aboard, from dominoes to cards, but if you follow us on Instagram you have probably seen us play this marble game a lot. The game goes by many names, but for the sake of this gift guide we will refer to it as it was introduced to us: Stans Marble Game. Even though these boards come from a man named Stan in Utah, I have found reproductions online for your purchasing pleasure. When not playing Stans Marble Game, Chris and I have become quite fond of Farkle, thanks to our pals Max and Karen in Mexico. I recently gifted Karen a travel sized Farkle set that is perfect for those impromptu game moments!
6. Dry Bags
Dry bags are crucial for any sailor providing protection from the environment from which they live. Chris and I have tried out a handful of dry bags in differing sizes and have found that a small/medium bag stuffed with goodies makes a great boat-warming gift or gift for the holidays. A great thing about dry bags is they are not only for sailors but any outdoor enthusiast! The backpack dry bags are one of my favorites, see the styles HERE
7. Noise Canceling Headphones
Wireless headphones are a good gift for anybody, but when Chris and I were in the boatyard they were lifesavers keeping us sane in the constant state of noise. With wireless headphones we were able to put on our favorite music or audiobook and tune out the outside world, focusing on the tasks at hand. There are many types of wireless headphones but we prefer noise-canceling ones like THESE. A pair of AirPods would also be an awesome gift – I always had one in during night passages to listen to audiobooks or music which really set the scene for me to pretend I was in my own music video. A gift that keeps giving!
10. Subscription to Their Favorite Sailing Magazine
A subscription to a sailing magazine is a thoughtful and meaningful gift for the sailor in your life for many reasons. Firstly, it caters to the passion and interests of sailing enthusiasts, making it a highly personalized and relevant gift. Magazines offer a diverse range of in-depth content that goes beyond the surface of sailing, providing readers with valuable insights, adventure stories, and practical tips. They foster a sense of community among sailors, connecting them with like-minded individuals who share their love for the sea. Moreover, a subscription to a magazine such as Latitudes and Attitudes keeps recipients engaged and informed year-round, ensuring they stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the sailing world – plus you encourage reading and support the writers that contribute!
In essence, this gift not only celebrates the recipient’s passion but also offers a continuous source of inspiration, knowledge, and connection with the sailing lifestyle. You can actually subscribe using OUR CODE!
On the topic of reading, sailing-themed books make fantastic gifts for sailors. First and foremost, they provide a source of inspiration and knowledge. These books often contain personal anecdotes and stories of epic voyages, which resonate with the adventurous spirit of sailors. Lin and and her late husband Larry Pardey are renowned sailing legends that have published many books. Lin and I have had the pleasure of working together and last Christmas I asked her if she could send me a signed copy of what in my opinion is her best work, Bull Canyon. She did, and Chris was thrilled to have such an amazing book to add to our collection, signed by the author and legend herself, no less!
Ultimately, sailing books are more than just gifts; they’re a gateway to the world of sailing, fostering a deeper love for the sea and enhancing the recipient’s sailing experience. Check out this collection I put together for your consideration: Click Here to Browse the Library.
12. Sustainable Home Goods
Chris and I always manage to add sustainable home goods to our wish lists whether it’s for a birthday or holiday, but we don’t just love receiving them, we love gifting them! While sailing in Mexico we had the opportunity to meet Nixie, the creator of Claryti Clean Zero Waste Products. She has a whole product line of all natural cleaners that are hand poured in small batches, made by sailors for sailors and landlubbers! Besides the awesome offerings by Claryti, I recommend looking into any of these items: Earthling Co Hair Bars, Reusable Ziplock Bags, Compostable Toothbrushes, Reusable K Cups, Dr. Bronners, and Dishcloths
13. Massage Gun (Trust Me)
After a long, long passage (or just existing as a human in general) I’m sure you can feel the knots in your shoulders pop up or maybe even a stiffness in your legs and back. This little beauty has been a life saver and increased the relaxation aboard Avocet. Now it’s easier than ever to get a massage! Seriously, this is a great gift for any sailor, athlete, or human you love. There are plenty to choose from, but here is what we have: CLICK HERE
The Cherry on Top of All Gift Recommendations (for Creators/Small Business Owners):
If you have a friend or family member that is a content creator or small business owner I highly recommend you give the gift of support all year long by sharing their work on your social media, engaging in the comment section of their posts, and recommending their website, page, or account to your other friends. Their success starts with you, and I promise the 5 seconds of effort it takes to share a post (like this blog) means the absolute world to content creators and small business owners. If you are looking to give a little extra ask if they have a Membership Platform to subscribe to! Example: For as little as $1/month you can support our creations, all you have to do is click HERE. Don’t forget, you can get 10% off Sailing Avocet merch by using the code SALTY at checkout! Visit our store: HERE! Lastly, if you are planning on shopping through Amazon this season, CLICK HERE first so we get a little kick-back! It costs you $0!
This holiday season, make the sailors in your life feel extra special with a practical, thoughtful gift. Whether it’s something they can use on their next voyage or something they can appreciate daily, there’s no shortage of sailor-approved gifts to choose from as long as they come from the heart. No matter what you celebrate (or don’t) this season, we wish you all safety, love, and happiness. May your holiday season be filled with fair winds and smooth sailing!
Marissa, Chris, and Cleo the cat