Christmas and Swiss Army Knives

For me Christmas and Swiss Army knives are inextricably linked.

When I was around 9 I received a number of Christmas presents that either didn’t fit or were from that one aunt that “labored under the impression that I was not only perpetually 4 years old but also a girl”. With the return money from those presents to spend I got permission to buy my first knife.

I went downtown Holland to Superior Sports - a local sporting goods store. I remember being enchanted with the Swiss Army knives in the locked, lit and rotating wooden display case. I (of course) lusted for the biggest one - with seemingly the entire contents of my dad’s tool chest within its red handles.

I couldn’t afford that one, so choose a smaller knife with enough budget left over for a leather carrying case and “M. Boyink” engraved on the biggest blade (I wasn’t sure if my whole name would fit). I owned that knife until just a couple of years ago when, once again in the position of having a sum of money for Christmas I bought the bigger knife I couldn’t afford as a 9 year old. I gave the old knife to Harrison and had his name added to the engraving (his middle name being Michael).

In our traveling lifestyle I carry - and use- my Swiss Army knife almost daily. I still love the feel of it in my hand - and the fact that in this world of planned obsolescence I could interchange parts between the new knife and the 30+ year old one if I needed too.

I was given some money for Christmas again this year. In looking around at my needs it’s been tough to come up with any one “thing” to buy myself. But my trusty knife needs some love - the belt pouch is worn looking, the pen is out of ink, the scissors spring is missing, and I broke one of the driver bits. So with my Christmas money this year I’m dressing up the newer knife with a new belt pouch and tuning it up with some replacement parts.

Merry Christmas to you - I hope you found your version of a Swiss Army Knife under your tree.

So compact for what it contains.

So compact for what it contains.

This is the Cybertool 41 model.

This is the Cybertool 41 model.

30+ years age difference between these knives.

30+ years age difference between these knives.

2 Comments Christmas and Swiss Army Knives

  1. Picture of JenniJenniDecember 27, 2013

    Just don’t forget to leave it at home when visiting Washington DC.

  2. Picture of BoyinkBoyinkDecember 31, 2013

    I should add (for posterity, and maybe for the NSA), that what Jenni is referencing is me forgetting that Washington DC isn’t exactly a “knife friendly” city.

    I wore the knife into the city out of habit.

    The odd thing was how varying the security was. Some places had no issue. Others they only seemed perturbed that I forgot I had it and they had to discover it (after that it was fine).

    But the Air & Space museum would not allow it in. I forget the guards exact words, but it was something along the lines of “you can’t enter with that knife. Without the knife you could enter” - effectively telling me to go hide it somewhere outside the museum.

    So there I was, in the Nation’s Capital surreptitiously and covertly walking around the front of a national property, trying to hide a small object in the landscaping without being seen.

    I’m sure the 6 security guys watching me on the big-screen in the main office were busting a gut at my middle-age white-boy James Bond impression, looking at my phone with one hand while reaching behind me to place the knife in a planter and cover it with some leaves.

    But the knife was still there when I went back.

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