You can keep your turkey and mistletoe. You can keep your carollers and eggnog. I only recognise it as Christmas when the Steadepods come out on the shelf.
The Steadepod camera support has been a staple item for Camera Electronics as long as I have been working with the firm. It may be far older than this - for all we know there may be pictures of Keith Richards using one to photograph dinosaurs. It is a sales item that returns every year like swallows or Canada geese - and unlike those birds, Steadepods are safe to look up at as they fly over.
The idea may have occurred to the inventor from some military harness, or perhaps from a retractable tape measure. However it came about, it is a very clever solution to the problem of steady shooting or filming for the travelling photographer. And you needn't travel very far - this is the sort of camera accessory that can be used in the tightest of places.
I said it was a support, but that's not strictly true - you don't set your camera on top of it and then plunk it onto the ground. Basically you unscrew the 1/4" camera screw, reverse it, and attach it to your camera. Then you release the plastic foot piece, stand on it, and let it extend from the reel as you straighten up. Once at a comfortable height, you lock it off with the side lever.
Now you pull UP on the camera as you're pressing down on the foot piece and the whole assembly becomes rigid. You can gain nearly as much steadiness as a tripod but there's no big apparatus nor long legs to get in everyone's way. You can even truncate the thing by attaching the foot piece to your belt and pulling up against that.
You occupy no more space in the museum or ski-gondola than your own footprints and no-one can grizzle that you're obstructing traffic. You also can swivel smoothly from side to side for video work.
Once done, you reel the line back into the housing, store the foot piece in the little slot, and fold the whole thing flat under your camera in the gadget bag. You have essentially reduced the tripod to the size of a pocket book...which means you have no excuse to say you couldn't have brought one.
Okay, the people who have shake reduction and image stabilisation in their cameras and lenses to start with can say that they can shoot slower anyway...but remember that steadiness is cumulative - if you want sharpness you can never have too much of it.
Note that you can also get a neat neoprene carry case for your belt as well.
Best thing about Christmas Steadepods is that they have not increased in price over the years.