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Let Hunting Season Begin!

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Posted 08-02-2010 at 12:13 PM by Jeff Westover

I get the itch every year around this time. It is a season fraught with tradition and precision -- everything has to be done "just so".

I'm not sure which is greater: going for the kill or just preparing for the hunt?

No -- not the deer hunt. (I did that once, city boy that I am, and can testify of the legendary tales told by the campfire and likewise the less-than-legendary acts committed while on the prowl). Frankly,I don't have the stomach for killing animals and have never again done it.

The hunt of which I speak is the yearly search for the Christmas ornament I will send to my yet-unkown ornament exchange partner.

After doing this for a few years I've decided there is real art in the hunt for an ornament. It is not like you can go pick out Martha Stewart's best and send it off feeling good about yourself.

No way. The ornament exchange is an intimate deal. You have to get to know your trading partner and learn their preferences, themes or style. Then, once you know that you have to go find something that works.

It isn't always easy. A few years back I had a partner that liked all things having to do with Harley Davidsons. Talk about a niche.

I complicate matters by insisting on my own twist on this tradition: I've always done by ornament hunting on the road. For years, as I've traveled for work, it has proven to be an escape for me in being so far from home and family to be spending my down town searching out Christmas wherever I go.

But, since I'm not traveling for work any more this year I've got about one more opportunity to engage in the hunt. Later in August my wife and I will take a vacation to Canada and New England on a cruise and we will spend no small amount of time trying to meet the ornament need.

The pressure just makes the hunt all the more thrilling. I meet a lot of great Christmas folks out there in my hunt for ornaments and always try to introduce myself as being from MMC. Some recognize us now and then and that always adds a special thrill to the experience.
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