Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Christmas list-lessness

After almost 25 years, it’s become almost impossible come up
with the “perfect” Christmas gift for Steve. You know, the one that
you can’t wait for someone to open? The one that make Christmas

You would think that finding something for a guy who spends that
much time outdoors would be easy, with the overabundance of gadgets
that come out every year. “New,” “improved,” and “the only thing
you’ll ever need,” aren’t necessarily “all that.”

We’ve resorted in our house to the lowly Christmas List. Usually
left for the 10-year-old on his way to visit Santa, without that,
I’m afraid I wouldn’t have a clue. I’ve tried going “off list” in
years past and it usually ends in disaster – at the very least a
quiet and apologetic return to the merchant for a gift certificate
I should have gotten in the first place.

But gift certificates are so impersonal. After those 25 years, I
should be able to come up with something. I know Steve pretty well.
I should be able to put at least one gift under the tree that he
won’t be expecting and, yet, will like. So far? The results have
been mixed.

I know enough about bowhunting to be dangerous. Maybe it’s
enough for Steve that I don’t balk at pronghorn trips to Wyoming.
But the year of the broadhead was disastrous; the packaging said it
was what every bowhunter needed for the upcoming season. Every
bowhunter but Steve, apparently.


Or the books. He’s a voracious reader – with the right book in
his hands. I don’t think I’ve latched on to the right reading list,
yet, however. Usually, if it’s about fly-fishing, I can get away
with it; or maybe a general information hunting book. I don’t think
I’ve come up with one on my own yet that lights up his face. Still
depending on The List.

The problem with the list, however, is that you’ve lost the
element of surprise. And while it’s definitely something they’ll
want with no returns involved (unless you’ve read the list wrong),
it’s really cheating. You still haven’t “found” the perfect

This year, it’s even worse. He found his perfect Christmas gift
online – in October. It’s already here, not wrapped and he’ll
probably be using it this month, all before Christmas. So this
year’s list is pretty slim.

He’s asked for socks.



The pressure only mounts as his gifts for me don’t always come
from the list… but I’m rarely disappointed. I don’t know where he
comes up with his ideas. Most years, they are perfect.

Last year was a classic example. The big box appeared under the
tree the week before. By its size and shape I knew it was a new
pair of waders; I couldn’t wait to open it and try them on and then
wait (impatiently) to step into the stream.

They weren’t waders and I wasn’t disappointed to open it and
find a replica mount of my 20-plus inch Lake Champlain smallmouth.
How does he do this?

Maybe I’ll have to go all in this year… not be afraid to spend
the big bucks for that perfect gift.

I’ll get him two pairs of those socks.


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