I know this is too late to be of use for anyone in the U.S. this year, but maybe next year you can remember that the Inland Waterways Association sells canal-themed Christmas cards. The cards are either photographs or paintings and the sentiment inside reads: “With Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.”
And no, I forgot to order the cards so don’t expect one from me. Yes, I feel pretty stupid about it.
Of course several other organizations have canal Christmas cards. If you’re a fan of the Cromford Canal (like Brian Blessed), you could buy a card from the Friends of Cromford Canal. The 14.5-mile canal is an extension of the Erewash Canal in Derbyshire and is unnavigable, but volunteers are working to restore it. Or perhaps you’d prefer a card from the Basingstoke Canal Society. This 32-mile canal is in Hampshire but no longer quite makes it to Basingstoke. It’s still navigable but suffers from low water. Jane Austen would have known of the Basingstoke Canal, completed in 1794. It’s less than ten miles north of her home at Chawton.
In other words, you can often find cards, calendars and mugs being sold by whatever trust or society supports the canal in which you’re interested. Another gift ideal for any narrowboater would be anything involving roses and castles or perhaps a narrowboat jigsaw puzzle.
Of course if you’re trying to get someone else interested in narrowboating, might I suggest Narrowboating for Beginners? I hear it’s good.