The (outdoor) gifts that keep on giving

As Christmas grows ever nearer, many outdoorsmen and women begin to anticipate what they might find under the tree on the morning of the Twenty-Fifth. I think I'm safe in saying that they won't be having visions of sugar plums. People who spend a considerable amount of their recreational time outdoors can be, at once, both easy and difficult to please when it comes to presents.

Certainly, there are the usual "safe" gifts socks, gloves, hats, shirts, etc. but you might want to reconsider theme-oriented gifts that you believe they need in recreating until you thoroughly but casually question them as to what they truly need and want. Be careful though, since they may come back with things like a new ATV, SUV, lakeside cottage, hunting cabin, or an African safari. I had one friend who was disappointed because his wife didn't get all his "hints" about a two-week fishing trip to Alaska. The fact he got a new snowblower instead didn't seem to diminish his disappointment. Poor lad. But his wife could've just as easily given him a new snow shovel, so give her some credit, too.

Expectations tend to run rather high with some sportsmen and women. The simple fact that they may already be quite well equipped for their favorite outdoor sport can be misleading to those who are choosing a gift for them. The old "Heck- he/she-already-has-everything" approach doesn't factor in the never-ending wish list the sportsman/woman carries between their ears. Newer, bigger, more powerful - these commercialized improvements of products are constantly gnawing at us to replace that which really doesn't need to be replaced, at least not yet. Like electronics, precious little in today's consumer world isn't steadily getting "better." Or so the advertising claims.

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