With Christmas fast approaching, I am having more and more people ask what my suggestions for “stocking stuffers” are. Most people are already aware of the standard small gifts to get for that special guitar player in your life such as picks, and strings, but there are some other gift ideas that they might not have considered. Firstly, I would suggest wall hangers. Wall hangers are a great way to store your guitar out of the way, but still have it in sight so that you are more likely to practice. I prefer them over floor stands because your instrument is less likely to be knocked down from an elevated location. Wall hangers are fairly inexpensive (less than $20) and are very practical gifts for guitar players. My only suggestion for where to install your wall hanger is that it be located on an inside wall, as outside walls are more prone to temperature changes. Of course, the safest place for a guitar is always inside it’s case, which brings me to my second suggestion: a soundhole humidifier. Having a humidifier for your guitar can prevent serious damage. The biggest cause of cracks in your instrument is a lack of humidity. When moisture is allowed to leave wood it tends to shrink and crack. By keeping your guitar in it’s case with a humidifier you greatly reduce it’s potential for cracking. There are a number of different kinds of guitar humidifiers available on the market, but any humidifier is better than no humidifier. The humidifier can even be left in the guitar during the summer. It would be placed in the soundhole dry in that case, and the sponge will help to remove the moisture in the air and help your guitar’s belly from swelling and raising your action. The damage that is caused by improperly storing and caring for your instrument is not covered under your instrument’s warranty, so it is important that you maintain it properly through the season changes. Lastly, (I am a repair technician, so I have to self promote at least a little, right?) I would suggest a gift certificate to your local repair shop. As mentioned before, wood moves and shifts along with changes in temperature and humidity. It is usually recommended that a guitar have an adjustment called a “set-up” twice a year. I usually suggest that the appropriate times for this procedure be when you turn the heat on or off in your home, as those are the times of the year that the wood of your instrument is most prone to being effected. A gift certificate could be used for this or any number of other repairs or accessories offered at your local repair shop. This holiday season why not get your special guitar player something useful and practical? I am certain that they wont be disappointed.