This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
December 5th, 2005

Thinking Positive

Christmas season is here - we're all thinking about what we can give to a special someone, along with the usual family and friends stuff. Sometimes it actually becomes a bit depressing trying to fit everything in and keep somewhat of a budget (unless you are one of the fortunate who don't have to worry about budgets.)

The person who almost always doesn't get on your list is YOU.

I say almost always because I've been known to buy something for myself (usually since my birthday is just before Christmas I can palm it off as buying myself a birthday present).

But in fact, you will enjoy Christmas even more if you buy something for yourself, and plan ahead to make it something which will give you added enjoyment and satisfaction long after the Christmas season has long faded. What is that, you might ask?

Have you ever built a fly rod? Do you need a new rod? If you haven't and no, don't need another this is absolutely perfect for you. Order a rod building kit. Even better, go to our Sponsor Page and find Hook & Hackle. Click through to their website and find the super deals they have right now on rod building kits. Pick out one you don't need, in a weight you probably don't already have and order it. In fact, if you have a regular fishing buddy, order two. (Yes, they are cheap!) That way the two of you can keep in touch over the cold, frozen-water months and do something together which will improve both of your lives. You can help each other and solve the little problems together. An adventure! Something to look forward too. The satisfaction of having something you made which really works.

This is a win-win situation.

But wait - there's more.

I'm asked "what can I get for my wife?" a lot. Well, don't do the 'usual' whatever that is. Get out of the rut. Also get off your butt and put some real effort into this one. Arrange a "date night." Buy a couple of tickets to a local event, (concert, show, even movie) get dressed up, take your lady out for dinner and a show. If the budget allows, book a nice hotel too. Need a babysitter? Try swapping kids for a night. Your friend, family member or neighbor might be looking for something different and very nice too. The tickets go in a nice card on the tree marked "Date Night." One year JC bought tickets for the boat, Victoria Princess from Seattle to Victoria BC. and we had high tea at the Empress Hotel. The whole town was decorated for Christmas and it was a wonderful present.

Here's one for the young fellows in your family. You should probably know what their major interests are, buy them a good book. I'm serious. The numbers on the school testing, at least here in Washington state are absolutely appalling. Middle and high school boys can't read, their math skills are terrible, and they fall way behind the girls. Buy them a book and make a point of reading it WITH them. They will know you are concerned and it will encourage them to stop 'playing dumb' which seems to be the biggest deal of all in school right now, like "It's cool to be stupid." They have no idea of course what this will cost them down the road. If you are lucky enough to have a son who is interested in fly fishing the choices are wonderful (including the rod-building kit.)

When my daughters were at home, I made a point each Christmas to make sure they each had presents in three categories; something for the body (clothes) something for the hands (craft projects) and something for the mind...usually books! I've been known to buy children's cookbooks so the girls could also create real food. There are some for middle and high-school kids as well.

Think positive, make this Christmas one you all will remember with the fondest memories. ~ DLB

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