When I was trolling around looking for interesting "neighbor gifts," I came upon people who like to give food-storage items.
Some practical-minded folks out there choose to give gifts that can be stored away for a rainy (or snowy) day. It's true that a box of pasta or a can of tuna may not have much festive ambience, but at least they're useful and won't go right to your waistline or into the trash, as do so many plates of goodies.
While locally, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are into food storage, I suspect these kinds of ideas gained even more momentum during the Y2K frenzy of 1999.
So, as a nod to those who want their neighbors to be prepared (just so they can borrow stuff from them?), here are some food-storage gift ideas. And yes, people have actually given some of these items, including the rolls of toilet paper!
Box of powdered milk: "This gift isn't fancy with satins and silk,
But in times of need, you'll always have milk!
A can of tuna: "Here's a can of tuna fish,
Good for many a tasty dish;
Stores a long time on your shelf;
Feeds your family and yourself.
'It's a Christmas gift?' you say,
'Yes!' we answer right away.
You'll think of us when times get hard,
Jar of honey: "A jar of honey is like money in the bank
Since you're the type of people
We'd really like to thank
For years of love and friendship
And the fact that you're so sweet,
We remember you with honey;
Gelatin: "If the times get hard,
You'll never have to cry
If you have some Jell-O
In your year's supply.
So we're giving you some
Wheat: "Wheat for man, the scriptures say,
But have you put some wheat away
For future time and for rotation;
You could find wheat your salvation.
This wheat is for emergencies,
So add it to your storage, please,
From us, with fondest Christmas wishes
Toilet paper: "Emergency! And you're prepared!
Because of some of us who cared
This gift ain't fancy, but no doubt,
Sugar: "We find you remarkably sweet,
And we're sure you occasionally eat
Some sugary food
To create such a mood.