Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ballseye's Gun Shots 95 - A Tisket A Tasket - What To Put In The Christmas Shopping Basket (but wait until after Thanksgiving or I may hate myself)

Here I sit, trying to think about something to write about guns or shooting or ammo or hunting something along those lines and I am stumped about what to write about. Not all that much is coming to mind and that has me perplexed because there is one thing that comes to mid but I may hate myself if I do write about it now, in October. You see, I really do not like seeing the once traditional timing of the seasons upset by bad marketing and greed in that Christmas sales begin before Thanksgiving. Once upon a time, Christmas (and Chanukah) sales did not commence until the day after Thanksgiving. That particular Friday, Black Friday, marked the unofficial start of the commercial selling season for Christmas for the majority of my life (and let me just say I am into my second half century).

I am guessing it was about 20 years or so ago that some fool decided that sales were not going all that well, of whatever it was that usually got sold during the couple months just prior to December, and that a way to improve sales would be to start selling Christmas items earlier than usual. So they started selling things about 2 weeks or so before Thanksgiving. Town or city placed Christmas lights, which also went up the day after Thanksgiving or later, were starting to pop up along avenues and boulevards weeks before Black Friday. It pissed me off then and it still does today, the only difference being that merchants do not wait until 2 weeks before Thanksgiving anymore, heck they don’t even wait until Halloween (yes it creeped that far ahead already several years ago) nor do they wait until a month before Thanksgiving or Black Friday to start merchandising Christmas. The truth is they have advanced holiday merchandising all the way up to this past weekend! I was in a Home Depot yesterday and they already had Christmas lights, ornaments, other accessories and artificial Christmas trees for sale. I am pretty sure I saw some menorahs in thee mix as well. It was, in my opinion, an unmitigated disgusting example of shop owners’ incompetence fueled by nothing other than greed and it just gets worse as the years go by. If they knew what they were doing in the first place, they would not have had to have started selling Christmas items about a month and 3 weeks ahead of the traditional Christmas selling season.

By now, you may be wondering why I said I might hate myself if I write about the one topic I had in mind to write about. No that topic is not the whole thing about how I dislike early sales of Christmas of Chanukah items. I have though figured how not to hate myself when I start to write about it here in this post, right now in mid October. The way for me to avoid hating myself if for me to say this to you before I go any further:

I am not recommending that you go out and buy any Christmas or Chanukah gifts now. Nor am I even suggesting that you start to stock up on holiday decorations (unless maybe you celebrate Halloween and want to get some junk Halloween items now - heck Halloween is only a couple of weeks away. What I am going to do though, is to give you some things to think about along the lines of suggestions for holiday gifts for the shooter, gun collector, reloader, hunter and so on and I am going to strongly urge you that if you are going to buy any of these as a Christmas or Chanukah gift - you wait until after Thanksgiving!

So with the holidays in mind (remember only in mind - don’t you dare buy any of this stuff until at least Black Friday - or I will be sorely disappointed and may hate myself) here are my suggestions for some perfect gifts for the shooting sportsman/woman. And yes this list is a knock off of a previous one I did but there are a lot of new items added. Anyway, the list is worth repeating every year and a good time to post it is far too long before Christmas just before hunting season:

Hunting Jacket (and if you love the person to whom you give it, make sure it I blaze orange and not fawn colored)

Spotting Scope

Nice New Rifle in his or her favorite caliber

Reloading Kit

Gun Cleaning Kit

Membership in the NRA

Gift certificate at your local gun shop or sporting goods store that sells firearms, ammo and other shooting or hunting accessories

Fine Hunting Knife

Pair of Hunting Boots

Membership at your local rifle/pistol range

Leather Rifle Sling

Case of Ammunition

Shooting Glasses

Silicone Gun Cloths

Portable Gun Bench/Rest

All Expense Paid Hunting Trip

Set of Sand Bag Rifle Rests

Magazine Subscription to a Shooting or Hunting magazine

Optical Sight/Scope

Extra Rifle or Pistol Magazines for his or her favorite gun

Brand New Shotgun

Military Surplus Rifle

Small Gunsmith Screwdriver Set

Babes (or Hunks) with Firearms Calendar

Gift Certificate for Firearms’ Related Training (such as Gunsite or Front Sight)

Bottle of Gun Oil like Break-free CLP

Deer Scent

Bore Light

Firearms’ Book (how to book, gun history, manuals, gun values, hunting are just some examples of the types of books to consider)

Shooting Vest

Paper Targets

Tree Stand

Clay Pigeons

Clay Thrower

Holsters, web gear, magazine pouches, gun belt

Long Underwear (for hunters)

All Expense Paid Trip to the NRA National Firearms Museum, or to West Point, or another location with historical firearms exhibits

Rifle or Pistol Case

Game call

Shooting Muffs

Workbench with Gun Vise

Portable Hunting Blind

Red Dot Scope

Puppy (as in a Hunting Dog Breed, make sure this is a good choice before buying)

Hunting Dog Training Accessories

ATV (yikes, are you rich, not me)

Reloading Components

Shooting Gloves

Firearms How To Video/CD

Hot Seat

Set of Decoys

Splatter Targets (like Shoot-N-C)

Hunting Day or Fanny Pack


Choke Tubes

Gun Safe

Ammo Cans (military surplus)

Trail Camera

Collectible Firearms Item (maybe a special gun or a collectible ammo tin, or an ammo board, or an antique decoy)

Ben Gay (especially appreciated by shotgun and big bore shooters or by hunters who spend a long cold wet arthritic day in the woods)

Oh, you get the idea. If you are not sure of which caliber, size, breed, model or other designation to get use the old standby - a gift card/certificate - but specify what you mean it to purchase.

Remember this is just all food for thought and not a recommendation to go out and try to stimulate the economy before Black Friday. By getting this info now, you have a lot of time to figure that perfect gift for your shooting sportsman or sportswoman and you have ample time to shop around for a good deal too and then to save up for it. If you are feeling particularly like you need to stimulate the U.S. economy you can even look for those perfect items with made in the USA labels or stickers on them!

All the best,
Glenn B