It can be tough to find creative holiday gift ideas for servicemembers. And if your Sailor is going to be on deployment this Christmas, you’ll want to send his or her gift soon. Here are some ideas to consider for this Christmas, for Sailors at home and deployed:
Junior’s Bullet Pens Company makes pens out of once-fired ammunition. It was started by a father whose son was killed in Afghanistan.
Bullets2Bandages makes customizable bottle openers made from used ammunition and donates 15% of profits to veterans charities.
Yeti rambler mugs, tumblers, and coolers always make great gifts.
Preload an iPad with your Sailor’s favorite movies, songs, and apps.
Military Coin Rack
If your Sailor collects military coins, you can find display cases online. Or, to get creative, find an antique wood printing tray.
As the saying goes – our military runs on coffee, and what better coffee to give than a veteran-owned small-batch, roast to order coffee company. Black Rifle Coffee offers a variety of different roasts to bring life to your Soldier. You can either purchase one or more batches of coffee for your Soldier or purchase them a coffee club membership so that they can receive caffeine all year long.
If your Sailor loves tools, you can have a hammer engraved with your handwriting on Etsy. This also makes a great gift from kids.
Sports tickets, movie tickets, concert tickets, and comedy club tickets are always appreciated. You can also buy a Ticketmaster gift card and let your Sailor choose.
Tactical Christmas Stocking
This Army-green tactical stocking is a fun twist on your typical Christmas stocking, and has outside straps to clip on extra gifts.
Gift a subscription to favorite magazines; an audiobook app like Audible; food products; streaming services; or meditation/exercise apps.
For a Sailor who loves learning, Great Courses offers online course videos on topics from history and psychology to wellness and travel from the world’s best professors.
The Best Socks
Darn Tough Socks are made of merino wool, made in Vermont, and claim they are “the world’s best socks.”
For Sailors On Deployment
The Twelve Days of Christmas
Write and seal twelve letters, one for each “day of Christmas” and include a photo with each. An alternative is to collect letters and photos from twelve of your Sailor’s closest friends and family members.
Any gift that invokes the senses is a great deployment gift (one of the reasons why snacks are always appreciated). I love Barefoot Dreams blankets. They’re pricey, but you can’t beat them for softness (Tip: You can often find them at Nordstrom Rack on a discount). Sherpa blankets are also great.
Who is your Sailor’s favorite author? Even if he or she isn’t doing a book event in your area, you can contact their literary agent (often found on their website) and ask if the author would be willing to sign a book for you by mail. A lot of writers are happy to do favors like this to support service members. I once contacted a very famous writer and asked him to do this, and he was more than happy to.
Whether your Sailor is spiritual or religious, faith gifts make great deployment ideas. Some examples: Religious medals (St. Michael is the patron of the military and St. Christopher is the patron of travelers). A leather-bound Bible, prayer book or other religious text. Rosary beads (you can find lessons to make these by hand online with beading wire, and they are amazing keepsakes). More spiritual ideas include a recording of a meditation in your voice, a meditation box or Zen garden, or crystals.
Gifts from the Kids
If you have kids, have the kids draw on a pillowcase with fabric markers. Or include artwork made from their handprints or footprints.
Still need more help coming up with the perfect gift for your Sailor? Here are some additional military gift ideas.
What gifts have you gotten your Sailor in the past that they enjoyed receiving – let us know in the comments below!