Merry Christmas to you! Isn't Christmas great? Of course, it depends on how you see Christmas.

I don't know that I'm a huge fan of all the gifts we think we need to get for the kids, but I guess we have made Christmas that way. But this year we have made a change in our approach, thanks to an article that my wife read in "Her Voice" - a publication put out by the Brainerd Dispatch. Thanks to Mary Aalgaard for writing. They can pick three gifts, representing what the three wise men took to the Christ child - one will be their gold gift, one their frankincense and one their myrrh. It really brought to light how spoiled they are.

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On an outdoorsy note, we have ice, and good ice. It will vary in thickness from lake to lake and spot to spot, but we are off to a great start and the fishing has been good.

My story of the week is from a couple up here on their honeymoon and staying at the Whitefish Lodge. They wanted to spear, so I chipped a spear hole for them and plopped my Eskimo Quickfish 3 over the hole and let them have at it. I think it was a great way to spend four hours of their honeymoon (as long as they were here in Minnesota).

They speared a 4-pound northern and missed a pout! Now that's a marriage that will last.

WALLEYEDAN Eigen may be reached at (218) 839-5598, walleyedan@brainerd. com or