What not to get someone for Christmas!

I love Christmas, the memories, the smells, the fun associated with it. My dad was a great outdoor enthusiast, I have never seen a better walleye fisherman then him. He had 50 plus years of fishing for walleyes in Minnesota. His tackle box had lures from the 30’s and 40’s. His tackle box was a history of fishing in the great state of Minnesota. My dad loved Christmas, he enjoyed decorating the Christmas tree, putting lights up on the trees outside, and hanging lights on the windows, this made him the happiest.

Every year I would buy him different kinds of lures, wrap them and put them under the tree. I could hardly wait for Christmas morning to see his excitement when opening my lures. Mom’s gift to me was always clothes, usually shirts, pants, underwear and socks. Dad on the other hand, would get things he knew I would use and like in the outdoors. Knives, fishing gear, etc.
When in high school my dad bought me a 30.06, and a 410 shotgun. I was thrilled to see my dad knew I wanted to get into hunting. I was shooting BB gun’s and bows in my back yard, and he new that I could be trusted. That’s when he decided to let me have a high powered rifle and shotgun. I often read about real guys hunting big game, like grizzly bear, moose, African Lion and water buffalo in Argosy magazine. That’s where the bond of hunting took place for me. I read and dreamed about all kinds of big hunts. I lived through the writers and their stories. I always had a copy of the Sears catalog, Herters outdoor catalog, I had them all.
When I was an adult, and newly married, our first year of Christmas together. My wife bought me a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. I opened the box and was shocked to see a boxed vacuum cleaner. I had thought it was something for hunting or fishing, I’m sure she saw how puzzled I was when I opened it. It was a tradition in her family that you give someone an item that was needed for the house. I never heard of that tradition, I didn’t like it at all. Then I did some thinking, I wonder how it would be if I started a new tradition for me, I would buy her something that I could use for hunting or fishing! I liked my new idea, so next Christmas, I planned, thought what I needed for hunting that I could give to her. I looked at several catalogs, I went to local sporting goods stores in Madison and Milwaukee and browsed all kinds of things that were…er..practical and useful, for my personal use.
The big day came for the next Christmas, our second Christmas together. I opened her gift from me witch was a nice blender, I ogled it, praised it, said how useful it would be for the kitchen. I sugar coated how excited I was to get a blender. I handed her my gift, the one I worked so hard to find, the most necessary and practical gift I could ever use. As she unwrapped it, I could see the barrel, then the stock, I was so excited for her, as she was holding a brand new Mossburg 7 MM Mag. The evil look I got is still etched on my mind. The following year, I got a new washer and dryer for Christmas. The following year she got an RCBS reloading system with dies for a 7mm and a 44 Mag rifle. I kinda liked her idea and she hated mine. My family never did anything like this, and I was enjoying every bit of it. This was a tradition that I would grow to love. Sure I bought her gifts just for her, and she even liked them, but I really liked this idea she started.
Now being much older and wiser, I have just about everything a hunter and fisherman could want. I buy things that would make the house more homey. Books, for the old oak coffee table. Scented candles that remind me of apple pies and fall leaves for the dinning room table. So, if you want some advice, tell your wife about the plans to start a new tradition, wonder what kind of trouble you will get yourself into. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!