Gift ideas for men - it's easier than you think

By Mary Marek
Posted 12/9/99

‘Tis the season to be busy, so I’m dipping into my stock of saved e-mail messages for this week’s column. A couple of different people sent me this list of gift ideas for men. I made a couple …

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Gift ideas for men - it's easier than you think


‘Tis the season to be busy, so I’m dipping into my stock of saved e-mail messages for this week’s column. A couple of different people sent me this list of gift ideas for men. I made a couple of additions and a few changes to make it more appropriate for Kalona.

Christmas is just around the corner so here are some gift ideas for those special men in your life. Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems.

Gift Idea #1

When in doubt - buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Gift Idea #2

If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word “ratchet” or “socket” in it. Men love saying those two words. “Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?” “OK. Bye-the-way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?” Again, no one knows why.

Gift Idea #3

If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car. A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of deicer or something to hang from his rear view mirror are all great gifts. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Gift Idea #4

Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. And never buy men bathrobes.

Gift Idea #5

You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.

Gift Idea #6

Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after-shave or deodorant. I’m told men do not stink - they are “earthy”.

Gift Idea #7

Buy men label makers. That’s almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. “Socks” “Shorts” “Cups” “Saucers” “Door” “Lock” “Sink” You get the idea. No one knows why.

Gift Idea #8

Never buy a man anything that says, “some assembly required” on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over.

Gift Idea #9

Good places to shop for men include Yotty’s, Gambles, Kalona Auto, Farmers Supply, Kalona Builders and The Parts Stop. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know what it is. “From NAPA Auto, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn’t this a starter for a ‘68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks.”

Gift Idea #10

Men enjoy danger. That’s why they never cook, but they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. “Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?”

Gift Idea #11

Tickets to a Hawkeyes game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to the Kalona Quilt Show. Everyone knows why.

Gift Idea #12

Men love chainsaws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chainsaw. If you don’t know why - please refer to Gift Idea #8 and what happens when he gets a label maker.

Gift Idea #13

It’s hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a step-ladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Gift Idea #14

Rope. Men love rope. It takes them back to their cowboy origins, or at least the Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8” manila rope. No one knows why.

Gift Idea #15

Buy your man a really big roll of duct tape. Men can do anything with duct tape. I’ve seen a man gift-wrap a birthday present with duct tape.

Gift Idea #16

Never buy a man a road atlas. Men never get lost.

‘Tis also the season of holiday parties and get-togethers. My niece Callie works for Hills Bank & Trust. Some of the people in her department recently got together for a meal in the home of Alvin and Ruby Miller (cousins of Mrs. Chester H. (Mary) Miller, neighbors of ours) who live on 560th Street.

Callie said they enjoyed a meal of coleslaw, a carrot dish, tapioca, homemade bread, butter, jam, apple butter, beets, pork, fried chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie, apple pie and coffee. She really enjoyed the evening and said the Millers were very friendly and have a beautiful home.

This week’s recipes

With the holidays just around the corner, we’ll all be entertaining, even if it’s only our own families. Here’s a couple of special recipes for those special parties.

Irish Cream Liqueur

2 cups (1 pint) unwhipped whipping cream

1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)

1-1 1/4 cups Irish whiskey, brandy, rum, bourbon, scotch or rye whiskey

2 tbls. chocolate-flavored syrup

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

Yellow food coloring, optional

Ice cubes, optional

In a blender container, combine all ingredients except ice; cover and blend until smooth. Chill at least 2 hours.

Stir before serving. Serve over ice if desired. Store leftovers tightly covered in refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 18 servings.

Salmon and Lime Spread

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 c. lime juice

1 tsp. dried dillweed

1/4 tsp. onion salt

1 (16-oz.) can red salmon, drained, flaked, skin and bones removed

1/4 c. oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped

1/2 c. finely chopped, seeded cucumber

Assorted crackers and/or cucumber slices

Fresh dill, optional

With mixer, beat cream cheese, lime juice, dillweed and onion salt in medium-size bowl until well mixed. With spoon, stir in salmon and dried tomatoes. Cover and chill 1-24 hours.

Just before serving, stir in chopped cucumber. Garnish with fresh dill if desired. Serve with crackers. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator. Makes 2 1/2 cups spread.