|I don't remember what I gave my father in 2007,|
but I do remember taking him to see Alsea Falls
on his visit to Oregon.
- Give gifts for the long-haul
- Choose gifts that reflect experiences/values/knowledge
|I don't remember what I got my girlfriend in 2009,|
but I hesitantly recall her out-fishing me during our
visit back home for the holidays.
Each year I show gratitude for my family raising me to be an outdoorsman by giving them gifts from my outings. You may find a great deal on an item from a Black-Friday sale, but how interesting is the story of you camping outside of a Wal-Mart in comparison to camping out in the woods and wild-harvesting mushrooms, berries, deer or salmon? Is there more labor of love in the hours pined away at work as there are getting dirt under your nails in the garden to grow vegetables? I live a long-distance from my family and send them as many canned vegetables and fruit, vacuum-sealed smoked salmon and dried mushrooms and herbs as possible. The gifts may be temporary, but my family takes pride in the stories behind them, sharing those things with their friends and witnessing the values and knowledge they passed on to me coming full-circle. Instructional how-to reference books and videos are also timeless items that may not have the same mass appeal as gimmicks and electronics, but even someone with a short-attention span can refer back to them if their interest is not piqued right away. Never underestimate the power of a professional guided trip either. The pressure of producing the experience is eliminated when you fork over the pay for someone else to deal with the hassles of rowing and baiting hooks, or laying the groundwork for a productive hunt or outing of any kind. The end result is not nearly as meaningful as the duration of the experience, and paying someone else that makes a living of creating positive experiences for their clients is well worth the extra money, even if you and the person(s) you're purchasing the trip for all have the skill-set and knowledge of what you're doing.
- Don't just give presents, be present
|I don't remember what I got for Christmas in 2008, but I do remember|
my mother mocking this sign warning tourists about pushing
the limits of their endurance on a trail through the Grand Canyon that year.
This article was published by The Good Men Project on December 17th, 2014: