Give the Gift
RIDE TO WORK by Steve Lita, Editor
Helping someone relive a fond old memory is priceless
Once again, I have been afflicted with writer’s block. So, I turned to my staff for inspiration and Art Director Tricia said, “Why don’t you write about gift giving for the holidays? We have that huge Holiday Widgets section starting on page 70.” At first, I thought, “Nah, I got nothin’. I’m not gonna shill.” Then some other things happened to influence this column.
Recently, my wife and I attended a birthday celebration for her niece. One of the gifts she received had us all scratching our heads, but it was the one she was most excited about receiving. It was an acupressure mat and pillow. If you’ve never seen one of these, go search online. It’s a mat and pillow you lay on that features hundreds of sharp plastic discs that contact your skin and stimulate blood flow. The discs are not sharp enough to cut you, but they are rough to the touch. Maybe not my cup of tea, but then the gift wasn’t for me. She really couldn’t wait to try it out. So that got me thinking, the happiness and excitement exhibited upon opening that gift will happen all over the world pretty soon, so I wanted to come up with some motorcycle-specific ideas to help you spread the joy. Here I would like to give you some inspiration if you’re having trouble figuring out what to give to your motorcycling friends and relatives this holiday season.
Watching TV with my wife, we saw an old commercial for Tootsie Pops. Remember the old cartoon commercial with the wise owl and the kid trying to determine how many licks it takes to get to the chocolate center of a Tootsie Pop? Somehow, they never made it past three licks. Well, anyway, this nostalgic commercial made me think of a cool gift for a motorcycle friend. I’m going to find an old magazine advertisement or dealership brochure with a picture of his bike, and frame it for him as a gift. Helping someone relive a fond old memory is priceless.
That commercial was followed by one for pizza. I remember giving my sister gift cards to her favorite pizza place one year, and what a hit that was. You might not think that was a big deal, but when you have three kids to feed and not enough time to cook, those gift certificates come in mighty handy, I’m sure. So, a gift certificate from the local dealer, bike shop, or online parts wholesaler might do the trick.
There are two schools of thought on gift giving: Give the person what they desire. Something that would make him or her happy, because he or she was hoping for it. In essence, you are granting a wish, or making a dream come true. But on the other hand, giving something unexpected can make the holiday special too. A complete surprise or giving something the person didn’t even know they’d like can really catch them off guard and put a smile on their faces. Actually, there is a third school of thought: Give the gift of laughter. A gag gift always works.
You could give something old, like a motorcycling antique. An old collectable like a branded biker keychain or tool. I just saw a vintage wrench embossed with the Indian logo on eBay for 30 bucks. That would look cool mounted to a wooden plaque hanging in someone’s man-cave. Or you can give something new, like a framed picture of their bike, or take 12 pictures of their bike and have a monthly calendar made for them.
Or give a motorcycling experience. Tickets to one of next year’s AFT Flat Track races would be fun. And did you know you can already buy event tickets to stuff that’s happening at Sturgis 2020? Heck, a zip-line ride is only $17.50. Now your riding buddy has to go to Sturgis with you next year to use that zip-line ride reservation.
There’s an art to listening. Even if your motorcycling friend didn’t intend to give hints, you can often figure out things they would enjoy receiving by what they say. A friend who compliments you on how clean your bike always looks might enjoy receiving a bike wash kit. Just be sure to tell him it’s not an insult, like, “Your bike’s a mess, bro. Here, go clean it.”
At that birthday celebration for my wife’s niece, we all lamented how there were only a few weeks until Christmas, so we’d better get busy with our shopping. Then, someone brought up the fact that Amazon can guarantee quick delivery, for a fee of course. So, I guess money can buy happiness. (A tip for those who are hint impaired: Leave this magazine open to this page on the coffee table.)