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Christmas gift ideas from a newly married man

Johnny Molloy • Dec 19, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Faithful readers of the Johnson City Press will know that I am a newly married man. It was from this perspective of marital bliss that I went down to Mahoneys to shop for Christmas gifts, with an eye peeled for something special for my beautiful bride Keri Anne, as well as other family members — including my mother-in-law. I never realized the pressure of getting the proper Christmas present for your wife and mother-in-law. I’ve never had either before. It is certainly an opportunity to please my wife, and get off to a good start with my mother-in-law.The first thing that jumped out was a hatchet. You’ve never seen a more beautiful axe. Forged in Sweden, using American hickory handles, these Gransfors-Bruk hatchets are displayed in a glass case. Now, these works of art cost more than David Crockett would’ve paid for an axe, but the quality is incredible, with a 20-year guarantee. These extraordinary axes are passed down as family heirlooms. Models range from tomahawks to competitive throwing axes, even the ol’ battle axe. Prices range from $108 to $170. Have you ever heard of a Yeti? Not the hairy monster that lurks in the woods of the Northwest, but the ultra-durable cooler? Their motto is “Wildly stronger, keeps ice longer”. Yeti coolers are certified grizzly proof, meaning even if a grizzly bear gets ahold of one, they can’t get them open. And if a grizzly can’t get in it, you know our native black bears don’t stand a chance. The coolers not only lock tightly, but their incredibly thick walls keep ice from melting. The Yeti Tundra 50 model is made from the same material as whitewater kayaks, weighs 25 pounds and sells for $359. Sometimes when camping, or perhaps if you’ve been thrown out of the house by your wife or mother-in-law, you will need a chair to sit in, to contemplate how to get back in their good graces. The Helinox camp chair lives up to it’s motto and is “the world’s first truly portable chair.” It weighs only 16 ounces, yet has a carrying capacity of 320 pounds! I bought one myself when they came out earlier this year and I’ve used it many a night backpacking in the local mountains. It is so comfortable it feels like I am cheating, that I must be more uncomfortable while backpacking deep in the forest. The Helinox chair folds down to smaller than a loaf of bread, making it very portable, and will easily fit in a backpack. I know one adventurer who used his Helinox camp chair while kayaking the length of the Grand Canyon. The Helinox camp chair is complemented by the Helinox camp table, also light, durable and folds up to a small size. The camp chairs run around $80.Other possibilities I saw at Mahoneys were survival bracelets, super durable Lifeproof brand iPhone cases, colorful hammocks for the backcountry and your backyard, as well as a wide array of winter clothing. After considering the possibilities, I think I’ll get the Yeti cooler for my wife (read: camping and tailgating at UT football games) and the battle axe for my mother-in-law (read what you will). Of course, that may leave me in the doghouse, sitting in my Helinox camp chair.

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