Can you believe the fall hunting seasons are almost over with? Where does the time go? What follows are normally what outdoors people dread; the rush, the crowds, and the time taken to complete our holiday shopping. As outdoor people we cherish the "quiet and alone" times we have spent in the outdoors; whether sitting in our deer stands or in a duck blind, late season fishing on our favorite stream or lake, or just enjoying a cold morning walk through our local woods, we appreciate the opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of what many consider to be the "normal life".
Christmas shopping for me has always seemed to be a hassle. First it finding a parking spot, hopefully somewhat close to the store we (I seldom shopped alone, but was "dragged" along by my loving spouse, who insisted I needed to do my own shopping for our family) were going to shop at. Heaven forbid if that store happened to be the mall! That made parking a lot more difficult and usually a lot longer walk to the store. Then the crowds; ooh, I hate shopping crowds, fighting my way through the aisles, then having to wait, what seems to be an eternity, to get through "check out". I never figured out what enjoyment people got from shopping "en-mass" or whatever happened to "I'm not going to fight the crowds anymore and am going to get my Xmas shopping done early"?
The only bright spot from my shopping ventures occurred when I could convince my loving wife that I saw a "really nice" _________(you fill in the blank; tennis outfit, fleece jacket, running shoes, neat hat, scarf, gloves, etc, etc.) at my local Academy Sports and Outdoors store. At least if I needed to "hunt" for a parking space, fight the crowds in the aisles and wait to get checked out, I would do so in an environment where I could experience some pleasures of my own. A great way to look at the latest outdoor fashions, equipment, footwear, calls, etc., etc. Yes, it was the one (and only) highlight of my holiday shopping adventures. It also gave me the opportunity to give my family some not so "subtle" hints of what I would likely most appreciate Santa bringing me. I was absolutely amazed that several times, over the many years my wife and I have been together, that I actually got what I hinted for!! Small wins.
So, as you plan your shopping adventures, and your own "wish list", consider the following;
1. Don't delay or otherwise put off your willingness to accompany family members on their shopping ventures. How better to gain the edge when you "insist" they accompany you on yours.
2. Always agree to go where the spouse wants to go to shop, but make sure you "detour" as necessary to get close to your local Academy Sports and Outdoors store or, if not readily available, those other stores that tend to carry your favorite outdoor items. It's easier to convince the spouse of your "need" to stop in for a "quick peek" at an item you have previously seen at the store, or discovered during deer, duck, fishing, or other adventure season that you really needed and wished "Santa" would bring you.
3. If you like to "surf" (on line, and not at the seashore), drop subtle hints at what you might have found that you like. Hints like printing off the photo and detail of the item you want and leaving them on the kitchen counter really help. Finding coupons for discounts makes it doubly likely that you will get what you asked for.
The holiday shopping experience will always be a drag to me, will cause me to age unnecessarily, and will be a cause of my present fight with my blood pressure. However, it can be tempered somewhat when you realize you can have a positive influence on how you and your family approach the whole holiday shopping experience. And when Christmas morning rolls around you can be assured (somewhat) that those items you need to continue your outdoor adventures will be under the tree.
Happy holiday and good shopping.