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Recounting the best hobby gift at Christmas ...


Let’s face it: for the average schmo, chasing down suitable Christmas gifts can pose a real challenge. It helps a bit if the intended recipient has a hobby that might offer recurring themes, etc., but even then there are pitfalls that need to be avoided.

For one, there’s always the concern that if someone is a serious collector, it might be difficult to find something that they haven’t already snagged. In the same vein, finding gifts for big-time collectors can also be harrowing because the more serious the collector, the greater chance that whatever is still on the want list might be pretty expensive.

Mix in the difficulty – in our hobby, for example – of knowing where to turn to in buying something in terms of finding a reliable and reputable seller, and you can see that the execution might be fraught with hurdles.

I’d be curious about what were the best hobby-related Christmas gifts that our readers had ever received. For me, it’s an easy call.

After I got married in 1983, my wife was as good at Christmas shopping as she was at everything else. This is not a Henny Youngman aside: she got me great Christmas presents.

And the hobby helped in that regard. Throughout the decade she got me a number of Gartlan statues that I always coveted but probably wouldn’t have bought for myself. But the very best Christmas present was in 1983 when she picked up the entire set of Perez-Steele Hall of Fame Art Postcards.

It’s hardly a shameless plug to say she purchased it from an advertisement in SCD. The cost at the time was $100 to get all of the Perez-Steele Series up to that point, along with being registered for the subsequent issues down through the years.

I could add, and have mentioned in a number of times, that her purchase of those cards represented perhaps the best investment of cards ever done in our family. Since I rarely ever buy anything with an eye towards reselling it down the road, I also rarely ever hit on any accidental winners. That ditty about the blind squirrel doesn’t really apply to me.

But my now ex-wife did just fine playing Santa Claus 25 years ago.