The best holiday gifts are the ones that fit the recipient
WORTHINGTON -- Its Christmas time again and with just over two weeks left until the big day many shoppers are still looking for the perfect gift for their outdoor person.
It seems to me that gift buying has gotten a little out of hand with more emphasis placed on how big or expensive the gift is as compared to just how well it fits the recipient.
Some of the best gifts that I ever received were ones that I didn't really like when I opened them. On my 16th Christmas my folks got me a set of very high-quality jumper cables to put in the trunk of my 1970 Dodge Monaco. It only had 120,000 miles on it when I bought it!! I opened this gift and said to myself with a big sigh, "The in-dash cassette player would have been so much better." I still have these 16-foot long cables made out of the same material as welding cables, and they have saved my bacon more than once. Add a pair to your outdoor person's list and there is a very good chance that -- 29 years later -- they may still have them.
Jumper cables are not anything that I would have bought for myself at age 16 but they sure did fit the recipient well. A great gift is one that you can really use but would probably never buy. Another great gift that fits this category is called a maintenance charger. This is a very small battery charger that you attach to the battery on things that get stored for long periods of time. They look a lot like a cell phone charger or an AC adapter for a boom box or similar object. You power them from a wall outlet or other 110 power source, hook then up to the desired battery and forget them until spring. They will keep the batteries on ATVs, motorcycles, and boats charged all winter long without damaging the battery from overcharging. They cost about $40 and will help the battery last many years longer than if it were just left to discharge over the winter. It also makes springtime removal of your item much easier when outboard motors trim up and down and the cycle that is jammed in the back of the shed will actually start.
The last unusual item on my suggestion list is one that I know for a fact that many hunters will need and very few will ever have. When you need this item you will need it right now, and it is almost a certainty that you will not be able to buy it at that moment. I have had three separate individuals seek me out after hours this fall to buy this item from me and they all seemed very desperate at the time. The item in question is a bottle of "Skunk Off." The title really says it all. It's a shampoo that removes the skunk smell after your dog's skunk education class. It costs less that $10 a bottle but is worth much more than that if you are unlucky enough to need it.
As you can see all three of my gift suggestions will probably not be found on any other gift suggestion list that you will see this year, but a great gift fits the user and is something that they wouldn't buy themselves. All I can say is there are very, very, few other gifts that I can honestly say I have had for 29 years, can remember exactly who gave it to me, can remember exactly when I received it, and can tell you exactly where it is at this exact moment.
I think that must qualify them as a really cool gift. Thanks, Mom and Dad, and Merry Christmas.