Christmas is a time of getting together with friends and family. While I’ll be doing plenty of that this year’s going to see me and my wife, Leslie, shifting our focus to our month-old daughter Millie James. She may not be old enough to really know what’s going on, but we’re sure happy to see her experience her first Christmas.
As a young married couple, we’ve typically had about 18 different Christmas parties to attend. It can get wild and crazy and hard to find time to spend with all of these people, so this year, our daughter will be the center of our attention.
As far as our extended family goes, we have some nice traditions that we’re looking forward to. On the morning of Christmas Eve, about 15-20 of us go to breakfast a Cracker Barrel. It’s kind of funny, because most of us guys would rather be out hunting. But we enjoy spending time with the family, and by the end of the meal, you’re glad you went.
Later that evening, we’ll catch up with some of our distant relatives who come over to my grandparents for a late afternoon meal. This is a time of coming and going, so we’ll see family members that we don’t get to see very often.
Christmas Day, there’s more eating — and I mean a lot more eating. We live next to my wife’s parents, and they like to do a big breakfast. We’ll spend about an hour there, and then we’ll go to my grandparents who also do a big breakfast.
We try to split up the time, but both of these homes put out a big morning meal. And it’s not just eggs and bacon; they go all-out with French toast and the whole deal. By noon, we’re so full we’re kinda ruined for the rest of the day.
After that, we’ll go to my father’s house, which is right next door to my grandparents and have his Christmas. Then, it’s off to several more parties where we visit with friends.
Now, with all his talk of Christmas parties, some of you may still have some gifts to buy. Shopping for a fisherman can be tough, but I can offer a few ideas. First, you can never go wrong with a good rod and reel. Even if your favorite angler has a set, you can never have too many.
My suggestion would be a 7-foot, 2-inch medium-heavy rod like the Spiralite Maverick Series. Retailing at $109.99, this rod offers a lot of versatility for a price that won’t wreck your budget.
Pair this with an Ardent C-Force reel and you’ll have an outfit that can handle a variety of techniques from small crankbaits, to spinnerbaits, to jigs. The 7-2 is the size I use more than anything, and that medium-fast model gives me a lot of options.
If you’re stuffing stockings, most anglers will appreciate a mix of hard baits and soft plastics like a handful of Bill Lewis Rat-L-Traps and Net Baits Paca Slams.
Come to think of it, I’d be pretty happy to find those in my stocking.