Christmas Cards for the Outdoor Family

By Larry Dablemont, Contributing Columnist
Posted 12/15/21

I found some really nice Christmas cards this past week at the local dollar store, although now, due to the way things are improving in our country it is now called the dollar-and-a-half-store.  …

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Christmas Cards for the Outdoor Family

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I found some really nice Christmas cards this past week at the local dollar store, although now, due to the way things are improving in our country it is now called the dollar-and-a-half-store.  They don’t have a sporting goods counter.  If they did, I’d never have to shop anywhere else.  

I wanted some cards with ducks or deer on them, but those I found have wild birds on them, and a ‘Merry Christmas’ message inside instead of the ‘happy holidays’ message which is meant to not offend anyone. I wish I could send all you grizzled old veteran  outdoorsmen and other readers one of these cards, but I can’t afford the postage because so much of my December budget goes into shotgun shells and dog food. The cost of those shells has sky-rocketed but fortunately they haven’t hurt me much economically because I can’t find any. I hunted ducks last week with a half box of 12-gauge Sears Roebuck shells I found in my sock drawer, which  I had bought in the 70’s and had lost until I ran out of clean socks.

Actually, the cards are only about ten cents apiece, which is a real bargain.  I am using them to send a notice to people who are getting one of my books or a magazine subscription as a Christmas gift from someone else.  There’ll be one of those Christmas cards inside their gift with a handwritten note telling them how lucky they are to have a relative or friend sending them a magazine subscription or one of my books as a Christmas gift, and reminding them they ought to send something real nice back if they have time.  

Mrs. Wiggins, the executive secretary here at the Lightnin’ Ridge Publishing company’s main office, (and only office) really blasted me for getting those Christmas cards at a discount dollar store, saying that it will make people think we are cheap.   But I pointed out to her that no one getting those cards will know they are cheap, since the readers of my newspaper column are the kind of people who never would go to an economy type of store anyway.  People who read my books and magazines go to up-town places like Macy’s and J.C. Penney and Sears-Roebuck, where they would never see those economy Christmas cards.  After all they aren’t sold just anywhere.

And anyhow, no card with cardinals and redheaded woodpeckers is cheap looking! But even though I can’t send you one of these cards unless you buy one of my books, I want you to know that I hope you are about to have a very good, restful, peaceful and happy Christmas, with a wild goose casserole or a venison roast or maybe a half dozen quail cooked in that new crock-pot you got for your wife.  And I hope you can remember what Christmas originally was about. 

In the interest of keeping Christmas holy and peaceful and not wearing myself completely out, I will do my shopping at the Dollar General Store and another place like it called Fred’s Dollar-and-a-half Store, on the day before Christmas when so many items are placed on sale and the crowds seem to thin down a little and there are less chances of me acting like an atheist while caught in some gosh-awful traffic jam.  Most of the things I have done that I am most ashamed of have taken place in crowded stores or traffic jams.  I think God is proudest of me when I am relaxed and calm, out in the woods somewhere where there’s no one but me.  And I really do not think, when God created mankind, that he completely understood what we could become while Christmas shopping or dealing with Christmas traffic.  Certainly he never envisioned the morning after Thanksgiving at the local shopping mall, when men and women turn into wild-eyed creatures not at all resembling someone from a church choir.

Mrs. Wiggins, who will not get a Christmas present from me anyway because of the large Christmas bonus she always gets, has often suggested that by waiting until the day before Christmas, I might find the supply of goods limited.  I have pointed out to her that no store, wanting to make a  small fortune from shoppers, in keeping with the Christmas spirit, will let themselves run out of things.  What they do is, they sort of panic the day before Christmas because they have so much left over and they start slashing prices.  And that is how I got Gloria Jean that ten-dollar pair of earrings a few years back for only two dollars and fifty cents, and a sweater that said, “Merry Christmas” across the front of it for only five dollars! 

But getting back to those really nice Christmas cards, you can get one sent to you if you call me and arrange to have me send one of my books to someone you don’t want to spend a lot of money on.  Perhaps I would change the wording on them from “Have a Merry Christmas” to something like,  “This is the season in which all men have been given hope… by the birth of a baby named Jesus, sent by God to show us all a better way!”

When I was a small kid and the world was a slower, simpler place, that was what Christmas meant to most everyone in the Ozarks.

Call me at 417 777 5227. Even if you don’t want a book. We can talk about global warming or what has happened to all the turkeys. You can email me at lightninridge47@gmail.com. I still have a website too… www.larrydablemont.com. And another thing, I am in bad need of new writers for my outdoor and Ozark magazines in 2022.

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