(Editor’s note: Since the Webster Parish Journal did not publish on Christmas Eve, Steve Graf’s column is running in our Christmas Day publication.)
It’s Christmas Eve and all across the world kids are waiting on the man called Santa Claus to make their dreams come true. It’s with great anticipation that most children will have a hard time going to sleep tonight. Some will even try and sneak a peek just to confirm or deny their thoughts that he really does exist. Now before we get to the reason we love the old man in the bright red suit, let me give you an angler’s perspective about this special time of year.
As I have stated before, bass fishermen are a funny bunch. They are guys who believe in many different things. One is their ability to catch and figure bass out. They think they are smarter than the little green fish they pursue. It’s a group that, when push comes to shove, are the most intelligent outdoorsmen on earth. But there are a few who are very superstitious, especially when it comes to things like a banana in the boat. If you want to upset a pro angler, get in their boat with a banana…they will freak out. It’s a superstition that goes all the way back to when our country’s settlers sailed across the ocean with bananas on their ship (which is a whole other story). Just like most families do on Christmas Eve, some anglers have rituals they do before every event. There are some anglers like Kevin Van Dam (greatest bass fisherman of all time) who have their wives make them lucky cookies to carry with them on tournament day. Some anglers will only eat at specific restaurants on certain nights of the week during the tournament. Some guys even wear the same underwear two or three days in a row if they are doing well in the event.
But one other thing we bass anglers believe in….Santa Claus! That’s right, we do believe in jolly Ole Saint Nick. You know the man in the bright red suit with black boots and a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly. Here are some reasons why we think so much of Ole Saint Nick….
1. He does so many good things for everyone young and old.
2. He’s committed to doing a good job every Christmas Eve.
3. Just like bass fishermen, he has high expectations of himself.
4. He takes great care of all the little people (Elves).
5. He takes pride in his sleigh looking good, like anglers do with their bass boats.
6. He makes sure all the reindeer are taken care of like anglers do with their outboard engines.
7. He gives attention to the misfit toys and makes them feel special.
8. Just like bass fishermen, he pays attention to detail.
9. Since the beginning of time, he never fails to do his job.
10. But the greatest reason anglers love Santa Claus….HE was the man who gave all of us anglers our first rod and reel combo.
It’s the belief in Santa that makes Christmas special, especially in the eyes of children. It does your heart good to see them light up once they get a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Now there are a few (depending on age) who are scared out of their mind upon the sight of Santa Claus, but over time and as they grow up, Santa usually wins their love and support. I can remember as a kid going out early Christmas morning and looking for deer tracks in the front yard just to convince myself that he is real. I knew for a fact that he did not land on our roof since we did not have a chimney. My brother and I always left the traditional cookies and milk, but as I got older, I wondered why he would drink warm milk….but he always did!
I hope today’s article helped to jog your memory and take you back to a time when we were all so young and innocent. This truly is a special time of year as we get together with family and friends. But I want you to remember the real reason for the season, and that’s the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the reason for this great celebration that we have all come to love and cherish. So, this Christmas enjoy all the food, gifts and family gatherings, but make sure you give thanks to Lord above for sending us his only son who sacrificed his life for each of us. I would like to wish each of you a “Merry Christmas!” Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!
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