The allure of Christmas

The fabled Christmas song “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” hit home at the VanDam’s this week.

My twin boys, Jackson and Nicholas, are getting exactly that. They had oral surgery this week to get two front teeth implanted permanently.

As identical twins, both have been missing the same teeth since birth. Although they were 15 weeks premature, the doctor says it was caused by more of a hereditary thing, although we don’t know anyone in the family who has dealt with the same issue. They’ve been through braces and retainers and fake teeth, but now they get permanent ones.

We’re all grateful for that.

As Christmas approaches, I've been asked what I would like for Christmas. Firstly, world peace would be wonderful and getting our dedicated soldiers home for the holidays would be ideal.

But if there’s one thing I’d like to find under the tree Christmas morning, it would be a secret lure, one that would make me a winner every time.

That lure would have to be better than live bait. You may wonder, how is that possible?

Well, live bait is very effective if you know where the bass are. You can’t beat a live shiner when fishing for giant largemouth at Lake Okeechobee or a soft shell crawfish for fooling big Lake Erie smallmouth.

The downfall of live bait is you have to know the fish are nearby to catch them.

My secret lure would have tremendous drawing power, appeal to all the bass’ senses and be so irresistible they’d bite it every time.

It would produce an ultrasonic sound that mimics injured shad and be so seductive that it would draw bass from a mile away.

It would have a sonic vibration that would put my HydroWave to shame. As anglers know, bass basically pick up vibrations through the lateral line along their bodies, and this lure’s seductive vibes would make bass tingle from their noses to their tails.

It would look so delicious that it would put Strike King’s Sexy Shad to shame. It would have an internal light, like a neon sign flashing to draw you inside a diner on a cold night.

It would also have an irresistible smell, kind of like the hickory smoked, southern style sausage a friend sends me each Christmas.

And you talk about sharp hooks. This baby will have hooks that are better than Velcro and Super Glue combined. When a bass opens its mouth, he’s hooked before he clamps down.

Of course, I’m not being realistic. While a dream lure like that might be fun for awhile, it would take away the true thrill of fishing. As much fun as it is to hook a bass, I’m most captivated by figuring out what it takes to make them bite under the ever-changing conditions we face on the water.

Frankly, the lures I have right now will get me bites; locating schools of big bass and deciphering the subtle clues they offer is the most challenging, and therefore, incredibly rewarding, when it happens.

The true spirit of Christmas is no different. While it’s exciting to receive gifts, the most pleasure from this holiday comes from spending time with family and friends and the smiles we provide through the joy of giving.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year…and remember, it’s all about the attitude!