“What do you want for Christmas?” I inquired.
“Uh, I dunno – sweatpants?” he responded. I was the third person who had received this response, too.
I’m sure everyone has THAT person. The one who is impossible to shop for. And sure, I could purchase another gift card but I can hear my dad grousing that “It’s better anyway because they can pick out what they want” is the lazy way out (because they could just tell me what they want, right?)
Over Thanksgiving, I had overheard my mom talking to my nephew about the new tires he had just put on his car. And it hit me – I would put together a car care kit for him! Ok, more aptly, a driver survival kit.
A Gift Basket Idea for your favorite Driver (new or experienced)
Stick with me for a minute on this one.
Older car. The aroma of stale fries and gym socks, crusted with road salt from the first snow of the year. And it’s date night. What’s a guy to do?
To Keep It Clean and Fresh
I started out by picking up a couple of car air fresheners. Let’s be honest – men have a totally different perspective on fragrances than women do, so I was happy to discover a guy-friendly Yankee Candle Midsummer’s Night fragrance, as it is less floral and more musk, more “manly”, if you will. The Clean Cotton always reminds me of freshly washed laundry, so I grabbed one of those for him too. The latter is a Smart Sense Vent Clip to attach to the air vents and the former, in the Car Jar Ultimate style, can hang from a string from the rearview mirror. (Or sit on a dresser. Ahem, stinky soccer clothes.)
Then I headed for the seldom ventured-by-me automotive department where I found a container of interior cleaning wipes – perfect for giving the car a quick clean up before a date.
Since we’re in the middle of a pandemic, another nice addition would be a travel-sized hand sanitizer to stash in the center console.
Car safety necessities
I also picked up an emergency kit (everyone should have one in their car) that has jumper cables, a flashlight and batteries, a tow cable, etc., all bundled in a handy kit. I also threw in a tire pressure gauge because every car should have one – this one is an inexpensive, old-school kind, but if you’re like me and need readers for everything, this digital one my dad uses might be just what you need!
One other item that people might not consider – including me, as I left it off the original list, only reminded of it (again) when I needed it last week – is a portable air compressor. If your tires lose air with weather changes, you know what a pain it can be to go out and try to find a working free air compressor at a gas station. This gadget is about the size of a loaf of bread and plugs into the cigarette lighter. I’ve had mine for a very long time, so the extra bells and whistles on this one are pretty nice.
Now, I bet you didn’t know that your local car wash sells gift certificates/gift cards! (If your coin-operated wash is managed, they likely sell tokens, too). I added three certificates for car washes AND one for an oil change from his usual place. Another nice addition is an ice scraper mitt because if you live in cold weather, you know what it’s like to scrape your windshield when you’ve forgotten your gloves. Brr.
Lastly (because you need fun with your practical) I added in a gift card for a favorite drive-in restaurant as well as a gas gift card. I organized the entire bunch into a trunk organizer bin, so everything in the gift is usable.
Thoughtful AND practical, I think this is a great gift for not only your new driver as well as for any hard-to-buy-for relative.
The best thing about this gift is that it is MOSTLY a one-stop-shop kind of gift. You can find all the car care supplies (emergency kit, cleaners, air fresheners, tire gauge), trunk organizer, and gift cards in your favorite big box store, and just swing through your car wash (your car probably needs one anyway) and oil change place for gift certificates.
I must admit I get a little giddy when I find a really unique Christmas gift. It’s definitely a step up from a standard gift card and I know everything in it will get used!