The holiday season is here and even though there are some hunting and fishing opportunities available, I’m taking the week off. I plan to hang out with my immediate family but that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to write about.

I started to think about what the holidays meant to me when I was just a pup. Back in the day I was naïve and thought that the entire world was all about me. The only thing that I was concerned about was how many things on my gift wish list made it all the way under the tree.

I can remember the Christmas that I received not one, but two guns. Honest, two guns. They were six-shooter, cap-blasting pistols that came with a holster. Within minutes of strapping them on I proclaimed myself the fastest draw in the house. I even slept with them at my side just in case any kind of emergency should pop up during the night. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have those fake silver plated, ivory gripped pistols hanging on the wall of the Dave Cave as a souvenir from my youth.

About the time that my parents replaced Santa Claus, I received another great gift and it was a Daisy BB gun. I remember not being keen about owning a gun named Daisy but having a gun that actually shot a projectile was a huge upgrade from the ones that only made sound.

The other great thing about getting a Daisy BB gun was that I also got the mandatory complimentary gift: ammunition. I thought that the little round yellow and black cardboard container that held 500 BBs was so cool looking. Initially I thought 500 BBs was a lifetime worth, but I soon realized that it was only a couple of days. (I also thought that the person who had to count out 500 BBs had the worst job in the world but I was never concerned enough to check their work).

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The next time that I received a gun for Christmas was just after I successfully completed my hunter safety class (obviously not a coincidence). I received a 12-gauge, bolt-action Mossberg shotgun. Pairing a bolt action with a shotgun is very unusual and it never really caught on with the buying hunting public. It does explain why it had a “popular price,” but it was mine and it was my first actual hunting gun. If asked, I could still take you to the exact spot where I bagged my first squirrel. You’d think there would be some sort of Dave Beck childhood historical marker in place to commemorate the spot and the event but there is not.

There are more things that I could list for you but the truth is that the ones I listed are the ones that I remember the most and at the time, thought were the most important things in the world.

Now that I’m an old hound who thinks and knows differently, it will never again be about the what. Now it is always about the who, and the who is the most important thing in the world to me: my family.

Happy holidays to all and stay safe.