A guy's guide to Christmas gift giving

By: Don Chaddock, Managing Editor
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Many guys have found themselves standing outside a convenience store on Christmas Eve, desperate for one last gift purchase.

Guys, this guide will help you avoid the perils of not-so-perfect purchases.

One can never go wrong with candy, particularly if it comes from a specialty shop such as Snook’s in Folsom.


“This is our busiest time,” said Jim Snook, owner, as he cut squares of confectionary delight on a recent afternoon.

The store on Sutter Street and Wool is a popular destination for stocking stuffers and something special for someone special.

A chocolate Santa Claus, or other figures, are readily available. You can also choose an assortment of candy for less than $10, boxed and ready to go.

Quirky gifts

Directly across the street is the Folsom Mercantile Exchange or a few antique shops. The Mercantile Exchange houses around 40 vendors in the large space, each one with their own area and unique focus of collection. Looking for movies for kids? They have them. Dolls? Yep. How about household items and small kitchen tools? Yes.

I picked up a Tigger piggy bank and a DVD for the kids, for around $6. Stop in and say hi.

For the ultimate in quirky gifts, stop by Kwirkworld at Palladio. That’s their specialty. Looking for bacon-colored bandages? They have them, along with a host of other odd-ball stuff such as a Wonder Woman ceramic mug for less than $20. Check out some of their selection at

Wine lovers

For the wine lovers on your list, check out WineStyles on Sutter Street. They offer some great choices with local wineries.

For those looking to grab beer and more, check out Total Wines & More from noon to 6 p.m. on Dec. 22. Located in Broadstone Plaza at 2765 E. Bidwell St., they will be offering a “Last Minute Gift” wine tasting.

Gifts for anyone

Whether kids or guys or gals, there is one shop sure to pique the interest of just about anyone on your list.

Started by Herb Puffer, Jr., on Oct. 1, 1971, Pacific Western Traders continues to do business at 305 Wool St. Puffer passed away Dec. 6.

Mary Youngblood, Grammy winning Native American flautist, can often be found behind the counter, eager to help customers pick out the perfect gift.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years, selling Native American art,” she said. “This is just natural for me.”

She said weapons are a popular choice among men and Native American bags.

“We have satchels which are like ‘man purses,’” she said. “We also have horse hair belts and guys love these, as well as belt buckles. We have bows and some arrows, which are more for show.”

She said mortar and pestles make great gifts for the ladies, if guys are looking for ideas. They also offer games.

“We have Native American games, mainly from the Maidu and Miwok tribes, as well as instruments like flutes, drums and clappers,” she said.

She said inexpensive arrow heads, called points, make good stocking stuffers. For the more serious collector, she said they also carry entire collections of points.