When you reach my age, older than: dirt, ketchup, electricity or Chair 8 at Purgatory, there isn’t much left that you need.
I really don’t need anything. My fishing closet, rod rack and boat storage area are almost full. Basically, I can get by with what I have, yeah right. So, why even have a Christmas list?
GRANDCHILDREN, that’s why.
After they have shown what true mayhem and chaos is during the unwrapping of gifts, I can excuse myself, go to the man room for a cigar, and let their parents handle the end results of the ultimate sugar and gift high. Christmas is going to be fun this year.
Grandchildren restore the joy and happiness of this season. How can Black Friday fill anyone with the spirit of Christmas? Just the name, and its intent, is enough to put a smile on Ebenezer Scrooge’s face. With that happy thought, and the knowledge that life is finite, I came up with my Christmas list. I have asked to spend more time with the world’s two cutest grandchildren – mine not yours.
I want more time to teach them how to fish. It can be fly or bait fishing, it doesn’t matter. I want to teach them how to bait hooks with worms or minnows. It will be so much fun to have shown them how to rub fish slime on their clothes and then watch their mom have to launder their new fishing clothes. When the fishing slows down, or gets boring, every kid needs to know how to skip rocks. I’m good at this one. I used to be able to skip a rock to the fish I wanted my client to cast to. This is a great skill for future fly-fishing guides to have.
This is not a one-way street. I want them to be able to teach Grumps that watching cartoons is far better than CNN or Fox, and that running through the house is an acceptable form of exercise. Or we can see if a goldfish will take a dry fly – that would be a good learning experience. Especially if we’re having a contest to see who can cast the fly into the bowl from 15 feet away while indoors.
Most of all I want grandchildren everywhere to reinforce with their grandparents a sign I saw the other day. It said, “When you stop believing in Santa you get underwear.” I think that is one of the best politically correct statements I have ever seen. I know my belief in Santa has been rekindled.
So as I end 2014, I want to close with my traditional year-end salutation. “I wish everyone: Feliz Navidad, Happy Hanukkah, a good Eid al-Adha and, of course, Merry Christmas. If none of these fits your beliefs, then whatever touches your heart with hope be with you all of 2015.”
Reach Don Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.