So another gifting season has come and gone. You were probably given things like boxes of candy, some electronic doo-dad, gift cards, or maybe a book or two (if you’re lucky).
While it’s true, it is the thought that counts, I have to wonder just how much actual thought and reflection is going into these gifts? Are we taking this singular opportunity to truly make our best expression of what we feel is the best one thing that we could gift a loved one, or are we checking boxes so we can move on down the Amazon list? Think about that.
Enter: The Knife.
Knives are one of the most primal tools that we can possess as humans. I’d be willing to bet that cutting tools were third in line behind the rock and sharp stick to early man, and for good reason. A sharp edge can solve all kinds of problems. It seems obvious to us, but the next time a task calls for something sharp, try using something else. Use a few moments of struggle to build appreciation for a thing that I’m willing to bet gets taken for granted more often than you realize.
Gifting someone a knife is one of the most personal gifts that I can think of. Every person on this planet has had a need to cut some thing at some time. What we can glean from this is that the gift of a knife will be one of the most usefule gifts you could give. The number of knife designs out there are endless, and it’s uses are just as innumerable. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go and spend hundreds of dollars on some custom or boutique piece of steel, but put at least some thought into who that gift is for and who they are or what they’re into.
Not sure what to buy or where to start? A 10 minute web search will yield you more info than you need to make these decisions. I haven’t looked for a knife yet that someone hadn’t done some form of review on, whether it be on YouTube or in a blog post, or wind up in some “top 10 knives for _____ list”. Something else that can help with this is to (gasp!)…pay attention to the giftee. If you seen them whipping out a slicing device that they already own, see if you can read whether or not they like it and what they might not like about it. You might even prod some info out of them through (gasp again!)…conversation. “Hey, that looks like a nice knife. What do you think about it?” will often lead to plenty conversation that will get the ball rolling for you. Knives are so individual that they should be gifted to match that individuals needs for that knife. You don’t cook? I’m probably not going to be gifting you an expensive Japanese chef’s knife. But if you spend a fair amount of time camping, I may look into a robust fixed blade knife that’s capable of handling some of the more demanding chores of camping. Gifting someone a knife should require more consideration than just popping into the curb store, grabbing a Pakistani Pig Poker out of the jar by the register, and handing them the bag (or should it….?).
My personal view of someone who makes carrying a knife part of their daily routine is that they are a person of at least some utility. I mean, if you’re not ready to open a package, are you really prepared for most anything above that? Flat tires? What if you want to shave? Dead batteries? What if you want to shave somebody else? Medical emergencies? Cake? With no knife of your own, you’ll be looking for someone else with one. It’s hard for me to believe that you’re ready to take care of any of that if you don’t at least keep some hardware in your pocket.
Gifting someone a knife says “I care about you, and I want you to have a tool that will help you to be able to handle at least some portion of what life throws at you.” It’s a gift with a depth of meaning that can’t be found in a gift card to Longhorn Steakhouse. There’s nothing wrong with that gift card, BUT… it’s kind of weak. Like I said earlier; sure, it’s the thought that counts, but there are also levels to that “thought”. The range is something like “I remembered.” to “I really do actually care.”
Care about your people.
Take care of yourself.
Side thought – You could make a case for a multi-tool here. The downside to that is, that most multi-tools are bulky, so the person is less likely to keep it either on them or close by. Especially if they’re not already carrying a knife to begin with. If they’re not willing to keep it on them, it’s super likely to end up in the back of a glove box or bottom of a sock drawer, and I’ve never needed to slice a pie in those places. The situation where either of those is actually a story, sounds like a cool party.