The holiday season is upon us. Itís a time of celebration, visiting friends and family, and sharing, which means gift giving and, subsequently, shopping. This isnít about me shopping; rather itís about shopping for someone like me, a passionate angler. Iím now at the age and place in life where I can buy what I need to fulfill my fishing addiction. While I may not have it all, I have a lot, dozens of rods, reels, lines, countless boxes of flies, so much gear that Iíd rather inventory a tackle store than try and figure out what I have.
So whatís the problem? When it comes to buying gifts for me, my loved ones are faced with the dilemma of what to buy for the fisher who has everything (feel free to substitute golfer, cyclist, runner, or other hobby) and the means to purchase what they want. We all have these people in our lives. I have one also, my spouse. Her fabric inventory rivals some of the larger quilt stores in the state.
Simply, what do we give to those who have it all and yet we want to give them a special gift related to their passion? Itís the ďspecialĒ part that gets us into trouble. Purchases meeting the ďspecialĒ criteria often end up being fodder for white elephant gift exchanges. Over the years there have been plenty of them. From my perspective, items such as Christmas tree lights shaped as fish, fish shaped pillows, oven mitts decorated with fly fishers, fishing tree ornaments, fishing bears, plaques with witty fishing sayings, coffee table books about fishing, and . . . No need to continue, you get the idea. Iím sure you have a few of your own to add to the list.
Rest assured every year I receive plenty of these fine and oft expensive items. I always thank the giver. The gift givers mean well and Iím appreciative of their thoughtful consideration. But they could have easily given me a gift that I would have used beyond the five minutes of admiration on Christmas day. I suspect this also applies to others like me, be they golfers, quilters, skiers or any others with a passion in addition to their spouse.
The solution is simple, buy them what they already have and use the most. Thereís a reason I buy what I do. Itís what I need and use to support my fishing habit. For example, I purchase several fly lines a year. They wear out. If you buy me a new line, I may not use it right away, but it will get used and I will remember you kindly when I use it. If thatís too expensive, I can always use more hooks, feathers, or leaders.
Doesnít sound special? Well it is. When the gift giver knows me well enough to purchase what Iíd buy for myself, which is what I really want, I know they truly care. Simply, when youíre at a loss as to what to buy for the person who has it all, consider buying them more of what they use the most.