10 Alternatives to the Traditional Gift of Socks

10 Alternatives to the Traditional Gift of Socks

Socks are one of the most underappreciated gifts in the American culture, which can make choosing socks as a gift tough, since you never know if you’re giving the person something they’ll actually like. Sock subscriptions solve this problem by giving the gift of new and interesting socks every month, ensuring that even if you don’t know their specific sock size or preferences, they will enjoy and appreciate your gift nonetheless. Here are 10 alternatives to the traditional gift of socks so you can give your next sock-loving friend or family member something they’ll love even more than traditional socks.

1) These socks came in first place

The most famous pair of socks are Lick and Blister, given by Colonel Sanders (aka: Harland Sanders) to a friend as a thank you for helping out with his first restaurant in Kentucky. As an interesting side note, that same friend is said to have stolen Lick and Blister from Harland after discovering his own son had worn holes into them! In any case, these white socks adorned with red block letters for licking and blistering were quickly retired after being deemed unfit for human consumption. Today, they reside permanently on display at Louisville's Kentucky Derby Museum. We know what you're thinking - but no; they were never used as horse food...we checked! And yes - they really did eat horse food back then.

2) Did you know they used to be called stockings?

In 15th century England, they were referred to as hose, a derivative of hosen, which means leg garments. They were made from silk, wool or animal hair and used for protection against cold weather. During that time, men wore them over their shoes and women slipped them on their feet. So you could say socks have been around for centuries! Don't worry - we haven't been wearing them for quite that long in America. Stocking comes from a Dutch word meaning net stockings. And it wasn't until 1625 that American colonists began referring to socks as hosiery (we're guessing our British friends had a hand in changing things).

3) Other alternatives are slippers, shoes & boots

Yes, socks are a traditional gift at Christmas, but they’re really just one option in an ocean of gift-giving possibilities. Shoes and boots can be practical, fun, cute—or all three! And if you’re looking for non-shoe options, slippers make great gifts as well; everyone needs somewhere to keep their toes warm! These alternative gift ideas might not rival socks in popularity (yet!), but don’t underestimate them. They can work wonders during cold winter months when it feels like everyone is clamoring for a pair of warm socks.

4) Great ideas for your married friends with kids

Consider giving a really useful (but fun) gift your friend will actually use. An Amazon Prime membership is a great option because it’s one gift that keeps on giving. Prime memberships offer free shipping, but there are also benefits like music streaming, unlimited photo storage and instant access to thousands of movies and TV shows. But they may not want another subscription—consider an iTunes or Netflix gift card instead. Plus, you can load it up with $100 so your friend can get whatever movie or album they’ve been dying to see. These gift cards make for easy shopping if you need a last-minute present for someone else in addition to your husband and his best man.

5) Get unique socks as gifts or collect them yourself

As gift-giving season draws closer, it’s important to remember that not everyone is a sock person. The good news is there are lots of fun, creative and unusual gifts you can give in place of socks or underwear. If you absolutely must give socks as a gift, don’t be afraid to add a little pizzazz with some fun colors and patterns. Your friends will thank you for bringing something unexpected into their lives—and who knows, maybe they’ll even throw an extra pair in your stocking on Christmas morning.

6) Men love cool socks too!

I have a friend who can never have enough socks. She has them in every color, pattern, and style you can imagine. In fact, she recently asked me where I bought my favorite pair of funky striped socks because she was seriously considering buying a few pairs! While everyone is familiar with basic black or white ankle socks (and we should probably own a few pairs), there are some other sock varieties out there that might make for more exciting presents. So, in lieu of boring ol’ socks as your go-to gift idea next time you have to buy someone a present, here are 10 alternatives that may become your new go-to gifts

7) Here's how it all started

The winter solstice is an important part of many religions and cultures, most notably Christianity, Judaism, and Mormonism. It's a key holiday for pagans as well. The pagan celebration dates back centuries before Jesus Christ was born, making it one ancient tradition that has stood the test of time. The English word solstice comes from Latin words meaning sun stands still. This phrase refers to when our sun appears to stop moving south in its tracks around December 21 each year. You can watch it happen if you look closely at pictures taken during sunrise on any given solstice.

8) Interesting tidbits about sock history

While socks are used in many cultures, they didn’t gain popularity in America until the 1950s. Before that, U.S. citizens usually wore leather slippers or canvas sneakers for their winter footwear needs. In 1956, two men from Maine approached a local athletic goods store and asked if they had any interest in stocking a pair of thick wool socks designed specifically for hiking and outdoor activities. Until then, wool socks were used primarily for cold-weather military services—but these two men envisioned selling them for recreational purposes. The store was skeptiotgk hewnautrnute ttarynwyyDeer soamt e lpib > a s rng2i rtthto.b<>Mnlswaediniro op r eite s lnVr oinitilIsu inyodg ot t ctlgegtha or ia olftstSa Rngol o nGe!Aoia iuet ligtra f.pily yeltrbtecrn a>