I’m not Santa Claus, or am I?

John Liechty

As Christmas Day approaches, my mind runs wild with anticipation and excitement. I mean, what’s not to love about this wonderful holiday?

There’s spending time with loved ones, waking to gifts wrapped under an indoor tree that’s decorated with blown glass orbs, candy canes and a star on top. Then there are twinkling lights meticulously lining the angles of rooftops, lawn ornaments, stockings filled with treats and gingerbread houses. Plus, who can forget the timeless tunes playing repetitively on every radio station? But, the one thing that brings out the true kid in me is the thought of Santa Claus coming to town.

As I think of this miraculous character spreading joy to all the girls and boys, I can’t help but be envious of his occupation. This guy spends 365 days a year focusing on making people happy and making dreams come true. It doesn’t get much better than that. Then, I reflect on my own occupation and realize we have a lot in common. Now, by no means am I as great or as magical as jolly St. Nicholas. And unfortunately, I don’t have a colony of elves working for me. But, to some people, spending a day on a beautiful lake catching a fish, and oftentimes a fish of a lifetime, is better than any present placed under the tree. The smiles after the catches are very reminiscent of the ones of a child finding that one special gift on Christmas morning. It’s that one gift they awkwardly asked for while perched on a stranger’s lap as mom and dad snapped photos.

There are a few other similarities between myself and St. Nick that have just dawned on me. Santa flies a sleigh with his nine reindeer, while I fly mine (on the water) with 115 horses of power. He is a hefty fellow and after the holiday feasts, I plan on being larger than I am now. Also, with the cold weather, I have been growing my beard out and there are more patches of white than ever before. Look out, Santa, I’m catching up with you.

Now, it’s hard to compare myself to such an iconic man; I just wanted to express that many days each year, I can somewhat relate. It is not always in December; this great Xperience can happen any day of the year. So, if the big fella from the North Pole doesn’t bring you exactly what you dreamed of, remember a day on the lake might be the gift you were in search of. Merry Christmas to all, and to all ... a good day of fishing.

John Liechty is the owner of Xperience Fishing Guide Service in Angels Camp. Contact John at 743-9932.

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