It must be that time again… First it is Thanksgiving, and then comes Christmas. You can hear the buzzing of gift ideas being made by companies that sell hockey products. What can you get for someone who loves hockey? Something that can fit in your pocket, does not need wrapping and can surprise any hockey lover? It also needs to be a good price, right?
Any ideas? Well I might have one or two! You heard it here first, my readers. These ideas will not break your pocket-book, but will give the hockey lover in your life a chance of loving you even more!
Remember the original six teams? Well the Canadian Postal Service does! They just introduced a set of six stamps to honor the six Canadian defensemen that played oh so well so long ago. The six are: Bobby Orr, Pierre Pilote, Harry Howell, Doug Harvey, Red Kelly and Tim Horton (no, he is not our president and yes, he has passed on). Stamps, I realized, are big business! Hockey stamps come from all over the world, even from Mongolia! You can get them on eBay or through a private collector. Buyer beware and do some research before you lie your money on any table.
Do you know what else Canada Post put on their stamps? Well it is a celebration of the history of the… have you guessed it yet? Zamboni! They are selling Zamboni stamps, holders for the stamps and other Zamboni items. If stamps are not a gift idea for you or anyone on your list, then maybe a signed, numbered, limited edition, framed picture of your favorite player would suffice? All Canadian Postal Service gifts can be found at: canadapost.ca
This brings up the times when I was younger and my dad went to the local Esso Gas Station. He used to fill up the car and I filled up on the little hockey stamps. I even had the big over-sized hockey book that I put my stamps into. I remember licking them on the back and making sure they fit into the lines in the book. I never waited to get home, I always licked the stamps in the car. Does any one else remember Esso’s hockey books and stamps?
Do you remember the “Topps Company?” They were the ones to sell you a stick of gum and a few hockey cards with it. That’s right, the most famous way of getting into a street fight was to show off your new cards! This brings back a few great moments for me. What about you, my readers? The bright package would contain the most awful, hardest and fastest-taste-losing gum in the world. It felt great to uncover the treasure cards and see if they were new to you or not. I always put my double cards in my back pocket so I could trade fast with anyone. Many years later, I had a friend who gave me a shopping bag full of those cards. He didn’t want them and I love hockey, but he tried to change this mind when he realized what he did! He gave me early 70’s cards. I still have them! He still wants them back! “Oh well,” I say.
It was easier to buy hockey gifts when I was younger. All you really needed to do was to drive to Esso or buy a few packages of gum for a great gift. Times have changed! Christmas is still a few short months away, but I am starting to think gifts. Maybe you are too? I just hope this column gave you a jump-start on ideas. All I wish for you is – happy hunting!