Santa Christmas List

By Clay Riness  

I know there are hordes of people out there that are worried sick about what to get me for Christmas. Go ahead, admit it. You’re probably one of them, right?

Well, let’s see. I appreciate a great cigar, but I gave up tobacco years ago, so scratch that. On the other hand, I like scotch. Preferably 12- to 18-year-old single malts. No blends, please. If you really want to make my Christmas, I’ve always wanted to savor a bottle of Macallan 25-year. It’ll only set you back $1599 or so, but you might consider throwing in with a friend or two.

If that’s out of your price range, I understand. I’m also a fan of packs and pouches. Anything that comes from Frost River or Duluth Trading will do nicely. I’d really love to have a Frost River Isle Royale ruck. It’s an affordable $390. That failing, I most certainly will gracefully accept anything that carries the label “Maxpedition.” It may not be waxed canvas and leather, but the company offers top-shelf products.

Another thing I love is knives … axes, too. My collection began years ago when I bought a box of old slipjoints. You know, like the three-blade Schrade Old Timer “stockman” that your grandpa carried in his front pocket for 50 years. My passion goes beyond pocket knives, however. I like bushcraft knives, hunting knives, full tang knives, neck knives, bowie knives, tactical knives, chef knives, butcher knives, machetes. Whatever. This presents a broad range of opportunity for those who are fretting over my Christmas gift. Knife prices range from a few bucks to hundreds of dollars, so this can be a very budget-friendly option. Further, if you happen to own your grandpa’s Old Timer and want to rehome it to a loving collector, I’m fine with that. On the other end, I’ve always wanted a Swedish, hand-forged Gansfors Bruks wildlife hatchet. I own a Gransfors small forest ax and it is a highly functional thing of beauty. So, if you want to help me double my Swedish ax collection, the hatchet will only set you back $150. 

I also love to cook. In that department, you have a lot of options. (I’m rich in cast iron, so you can hold off on that.) Frankly, I could use a new food processor. Mine is nearly worn out. I promise, you would reap the rewards of pesto, baba ganoush and a plethora of other delights were you to make good on a replacement.

And then, in all the years I’ve been growing in the culinary skills department, I’ve never owned a stand mixer. I see on television that if you are persistent, you can get a full-blown professional KitchenAid for less than $6 on Just be the highest bidder!

OK, my list is all stuff. I concede it’s shallow, wishing … no, begging for material goods. The fact is, there is something I’d like for Christmas that’s not material. There’s one problem … it’s unlikely to be available. Look around this world. Watch the news if you can stand it. The very thing I’d love this year is the one thing we can’t seem to attain … peace on earth, goodwill toward men. If you can get me that for Christmas, that’d be great.