Friday, April 18, 2014 · 10:58 p.m.

What I want for Christmas

Snow would be a nice Christmas gift. Otherwise, I am very easy to buy for. (Photo: Richard Simms)

You know you're old when a loved one says, "What do you want for Christmas?" and you can't come up with an answer.

You stop, ponder, think, wonder and even ask Google. But lo and behold, you can't come up with a darn thing you WANT.

For those of us seemingly married to the outdoors, Christmas gift questions usually conjure up visions of rods, reels, shotguns, rifles, shells, lures, new camo, bows, arrows or anything else from Sportsman's Warehouse or Academy Sports. But the honest to goodness truth is I feel as if I have it all.

Please do not interpret that to mean I am rich. I am far from it. In my almost six decades of living, however, I have managed to accumulate at least one of just about everything I really need to enjoy my outdoor pursuits. I might have to occasionally replace a rod or reel that breaks or buy more shotgun shells or get a new pair of wool socks. But those are maintenance items—in business terms, they are part of my operating budget, not capital expenditures.

The only tangible things my capital budget could use would take an incredibly large infusion of cash ... and an investment firm with less sense and more cash than it is reasonable to "want" for Christmas.

For instance, I would love to have a few hundred acres of land, preferably with a healthy creek or stream running through them. Or perhaps a huge house on the lake (provided it came with a yard crew and maintenance staff). Or even a luxury houseboat to cruise from here to the Bahamas and back.

See what I mean about a huge infusion of cash? Lottery tickets are about the only thing that MIGHT yield those items (there's your idea if you plan to buy me anything for Christmas). But the odds of the big payoff are so slim that it still falls below my "want" threshold.

Besides, what is most important to me these days is actually free.

I have a family who loves me and wants to buy me stuff for Christmas, even if I don't know what I want.

And I have good friends to share my days and the "one of everythings" I already have.

So I guess what I really want for Christmas is more time with family and friends. Whether we are gathered in a living room or in a duck blind, time spent with those who care about me is the best gift of all. If I get that, I will have a very merry Christmas.

I hope you get exactly what you want for Christmas, as well.

Richard Simms is a contributing writer, focusing on outdoor sports. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not or its employees.

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