• Chris O'Byrne

Giving Ourselves

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is coming again, and it brings our tradition of gift giving. As outdoor enthusiast who wish to promote outdoor activities, protect our environment and support people everywhere, Can we give gifts that will spark imagination? Can we give gifts that might lead to achievement? Can we give a piece of ourselves? Here are a few gift ideas that are powerful enough to do those things.

Basic art kits can be had for very little money. And the boost to imagination that they provide will also come from a small fly-tying kit. Sturdy binoculars or scientific telescopes will open the world to the mind of a young person. Maybe, pair them with a small and portable field guide to animals, stars, plants and even scat. Eagle Claw, long a fishing powerhouse provides a number of youth fishing kits which can get your little ones into the outside entertainment center. Just watch how the brain of a young person (or old) is turned on with these manual gifts.

While you are opening young minds to the fresh air of the outdoors, maybe you can give gifts that build skills, and lead to the self-satisfaction of true achievement. A pair of books come to mind. The Beautiful Addiction was written to help anyone learn to catch fish on the fly. And A Kid’s Guide to Fly Tying, was not only written by a young Tyler Befus, it has been turning on children’s imaginations for years.

In Victorian England (not a bad time and place for fly fishing,) before industrialization meant mass produced sameness, society celebrated grace by imagining gifts, then creating them by hand. You can sustain this value today with your own do it yourself gifts. Do you have a Scout in your life? Give them the materials to make their own neckerchief slide (leather, wood, bone, cloth, metal), then take the time to work on the project with them. They will get much more than any uniform device can ever represent.

As fly anglers, we can easily give personalized handmade gifts. Does your loved one have an upcoming trip? Tie a precise selection of the local flies they will need. Have they taken a trip that is worth remembering? Create a fly plate or simple shadow box that sparks their memories. You can create less practical fishing gear by tying a memorable fly to go with clear and fill-able ornaments. Or let your own imagination run wild and give decorative flies.

However you decide to give of yourself, we hope you get your loved ones outside.

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