Ask a guy like me what he wants for Christmas and he will tell you that anything he wants (a razor, tool set, phone charger) he can buy himself – or he’ll say that anything he wants you can’t afford (hunting rifle, sports car, golf club set). He will mention that special “position” he know you hate, Or he’ll say he doesn’t want or need anything at all.
Men talk like this not just because we are basically jerks and take pride in being unhelpful – but also, in fact, because these answers reflect the truth; we can buy it ourselves; you can’t afford it; we prefer sex to the exclusion of almost everything else and/or we just don’t have a clue.
Despite the cards stacked against you, there are a huge quantity of gifts, 1. in Marion and Polk Counties (where we’ll focus because Salem Weekly loves “local”), and 2. under $20 (because money is tight for nearly everyone) that will bring a glow of success after that artfully wrapped package you spent 20 min crafting is carelessly torn open.
We aren’t going to cover the first three decades of male life since material desires at these ages (toys, video games, music, sports gear) are so universal that you can figure them out without much help.
But if you’re buying for an adult man? Read on.
Man With A Pet
Perhaps we dote unreasonably on a smelly, addled dog or haughty cat. Instead of “correcting” us, help us indulge the little monster. Copper Creek Mercantile (4415 River Road N, Keizer) sells an abundance of treats for dogs and stacks of toys for cats. So do Sebastian’s Healthy Pet (5247 Commercial Street SE) and Salem Pet Supply (3747 Market Street NE).
The Grill Master
Made in Oregon (in the Salem Center, 480 Center Street NE) offers a selection of spices for marinating and rubbing. Lullu’s Tutto Cucina Kitchen Store (357 Court Street NE) sells an extremely handy and award-winning gadget, the “Garlic Twist,” which enables one to mince quantities of garlic without cutting clumsy fingers or smelling up every surface of the kitchen after chopping by hand.
The Urban/Rural Hiker
Especially in this cold weather, we need protection from the elements. You’ll find top-quality wool socks at Footwear Express (290 Commercial Street NE) and the Shoe Mill (at Lancaster Mall). Exit Real World (505 Chemeketa Street NE) sells non-designer (read: comfortable) stocking caps and beanies to keep our heads warm. Salem Summit Company (246 State Street) offers exceptional socks, water bottles and backpacking towels, all for under $20.
You’ll find workout and exercise journals at LifeSource Natural Foods (2649 Commercial Street SE) if he’s the kind of guy who obsesses about his progress.The Scheduler
It’s possible that he’d rather look at the uninteresting industrial calendar he’s “always used” from the lumber company. If he’s open to it, though, The Book Bin’s wide selection of 2013 calendars complements many interests: Porsches, WWII aircraft, motorcycles and his favorite breed of dog. LifeSource Natural Foods provides calendars of scenic natural places, wild birds for the birdwatcher, cool tree houses for the engineer and spiritual quotes for the seeker.
The Gardening Man
If he’s broken the ceramic food scrap collector on the kitchen counter (it’s easy to do) he’ll appreciate the handy plastic pail offered at Fresh Start Market (3020 Center Street NE). They come with carbon filters to reduce odor and fruit flies and the handle means they are easy to tote out to the compost pile.
You’ll find plenty of fixin’s for fishermen at Creekside Fly Fishing Shop (350 Liberty Street SE). Leather gloves quality-crafted right here in Salem are found at Oregon Glove Company (1490 12th Street SE) as well as a wide variety of USA-made work gloves of many kinds.
The Thinking Man
He will enjoy the clever “Puzzle Pen” sold at the Book Bin (450 Court Street NE), which will enable him to fill out sudoku and crossword puzzles in erasable ink. The Book Bin also sells a well-crafted LED book light to illuminate both old-fashioned hard-copy books and older computers so he can work at night in the same room with you without switching on the table lamp. Intellectuals, introverts and artistic types will get good use out of a leather-bound journal available at Art Department, Inc. (254 Commercial Street NE) that can chronicle sketches, poems and thoughts on quality unlined paper and which wrap up tightly afterward.
The Ducks or Beavers Fan
It’s corny, and we know you don’t get it, but we really do enjoy labeled sports tags. You may know that this is a great year for Oregon college football. We wear the clothes home alone in front of the TV, and we wear them even when we can’t see the game. Rather than trying to understand our weird behavior, go to Keizer Station to the Beaver Fan Store (6497 Keizer Station Blvd), the Made in Oregon store, or Salem Party Mart (2625 Commercial St SE) – or, heck, any Fred Meyer – and select a wearable item with a logo on it. Make sure it’s large and comfortable; whatever “flattering” criteria you use for yourself is beside the point with us.
You know he will appreciate Lullu’s Tutto Cucina handsome leather-wrapped cocktail shaker, the Amity Brigittine monk-made fudges at Made in Oregon or the wines from any number of our excellent local wineries and wine stores (Grand Vines, Roth’s, etc.) EZ Orchards cooks up their own top-quality marionberry preserves, sold at the farm store (5504 Hazelgreen Road NE) and also at Made in Oregon for use in baking, puddings and on morning toast.
Unique craft beers are available at Franklin’s Bottle Shop (241 Liberty Street NE), out at Rogue Farms Micro Hopyard (3590 Wigrich Road, Independence) and most supermarkets. Wandering Aengus sells its terrific ciders at 4070 Fairview Industrial Dr SE. If we have access to a kitchen and enjoy beer, we’ll find diversion and satisfaction in a simple beer-making project from The Brewporium (2560 19th St SE) with options for anything from ale to stout.
Shryock’s Menswear (310 Court Street NE) can outfit him with unique ball caps adorned with U.S. flags in a variety of colors. The caps are already comfortably “worn-in” and express a love of country without being garish.
The Music Man
In addition to instruments, guitar strings, and new sheet music, you can buy harmonicas and penny whistles at Willamette Valley Music (484 State St SE) at ABC Music (263 Chemeketa St NE) and at Uptown Music (3827 River Rd, Keizer). These workable instruments provide ongoing amusement and challenge.
The Bird Watcher
You’ll find hummingbird feeders, suet cages and seed feeders at Wild Birds Unlimited and Copper Creek Mercantile. Bring along the birdseed and sugar for the hummingbirds, too.
With a little forethought, Salem and its environs can provide an inexpensive, fun and useful gift for every adult man on your list.
He’ll even look forward to “next time.”