Bonus Holiday Gift Guide: Buying Gifts For The Men Folk

Monday, December 15, 2014

I liked to give gifts when I was a kid, but I had no money. My weekly allowance would net me about $2.00 IF I did ALL my chores. But I was a slacker, so I was really only netting a $1.00/week. Which bought bupkis. So I was a resourceful little git. Gifts for my mom were easy. I could always count on my elementary school to have some sort of Christmas ornament craft involving popsicle sticks and silver glitter. Every year, she would carefully store those school-made ornaments and drag them out and decorate our tree. She ate those ornaments up. She loved them. Check that box off, Mom was done. 

Now for Dad.....Dad stumped me. Men in general stumped me. I knew nothing of their ways and habits and likes....nor did I care. Commercials in the eighties educated me on what made good gifts. Perfume for women, cologne for men, or Swatches for everyone. So I went straight for the re-gift cupboard where my Mom put perfectly good things, still in their original packaging. There were never any swatches in the re-gift cupboard. But this curated collection of un-wanted was a godsend for indigent kids with buck a week, Now and Later habits. So, every year, on Christmas morning my poor father unwrapped the same, un-opened wooden box of English Leather cologne that I found in the re-gift closet. His initial, enthusiastic "Aww, thanks!" when I was 7, grew less and less, until finally, after an embarrassing number of years of Christmas deja vu later, nothing more could be said. He silently set good ole English Leather on the lamp table in our living room and got up to re-fill his coffee. I put English Leather back in the re-gift closet that year.

Not long after that Christmas, I became aware of men and boys and threw myself into a life-long pursuit of understanding their likes, hopes, dreams and desires. The male species fascinated me, intrigued me, excited me. I've been accepted into their social circles, been treated as one of their own, participated in various mating rituals...and can say with certainty that the male species is simultaneously complex and simple. Through rigorous study, I know that there are few gifts that guys receive that will give you the excited reaction you want from them. Guys simply do not gush over gifts like women folk do, well....they would, if you bought them a chrome Maserati, but you know, I'm sure there's a waiting list or something for that. Guys are just weird about gifts.

So, without further ado, here is a non-exhaustive and realistic list of gift-giving ideas for guys.

Gifts that never excite men: cologne. I learned this the hard way.They'd prefer not to wear cologne, but they feel obligated now that you got it for them. They'd really appreciate it if, for Christmas, next year, you developed a love for the smell of soap and water and deodorant.

Gifts that don't excite men, but they will use and use and use: underwear. Make it black. Clean underwear is a gift that keeps on giving. Make it designer and black and they will feel extra special and loved.

Gifts that don't excite men, but they need because they hate shopping: clothes. Scroll through my pictures above. Keep the words, cool, rugged, tough, slick and classic in mind when selecting clothing. If, after they open your gift, and they have a blank, and unimpressed expression on their face, just say, "for some reason, I thought of you and I thought of a I got this pair of jeans-this sweater- this jacket-this backpack (whatever)- for you," they'll put it on and like it, but only if it really looks design-y like a Porsche.

Gifts that men don't realize they like until it shows up at their doorstep repeatedly: Pretty much any awesome "Of-the-Month" program. Bourbon of the month, Beer of the month, Wine of the month, Rootbeer of the month. Hot sauce of the month. Cheese of the month. Whatever they're into, if they get a sampling of it once a month for a stretch of time, pretty much, best gift ever. 

Gifts that men like pretty alright: books with beautiful pictures of things that they like. Furniture, meat, architecture, cars, tasteful pictures that Helmet Newton took of nude women....The book itself should look like a work of art.

Gifts that men love: doing things. Men like to do and see, as long as they don't have to plan it. Concerts, food, history, drinks, road tripping. Plan a weekend road trip to Bourbon country or your favorite music festival. Shared memories and experiences are some of the best gifts (for either sex).

Gifts that always excites any guy, any time, any where (Use this knowledge wisely and don't abuse it...because it's the ace in the hole): Kitchen knives. The nicer, the better. They will literally, rip it out of it's packaging and find something to chop, whether or not they're hungry or the thing needs chopping. Also on the subject of gifts that make guy's pupils dilate, flying drones with go-pro's on them. But let's just pretend I didn't say that. Shun and Wustof make great knives.

Your Bosom Friend In Pittsburgh, 


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