Gift Guide 2005 

It’s the classic Christmas conundrum: having been conditioned since Thanksgiving (or childhood, depending on how far back you want to go) to expect gifts just for being good, you’ve let greed get the best of you, filling your head with a desire for gifts so sweet there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of actually finding them under the tree. That sense of loss you feel—go ahead and admit it, God is forgiving—is the yawning chasm between what you really, really want and what you’re actually likely to get. Why such an unbridgeable distance between desire and reward? Well, you know, it’s just that money’s a little tight this time of year, what with heating bills burning a hole in the bank account. Or maybe it’s that the gift-givers in your life, as you’ve so often suspected, truly don’t understand you. You could console yourself with either explanation, but the more likely truth is, you just haven’t been that good…

What you want:
A loaded 2006 Toyota Prius with Hybrid Synergy Drive, seat-mounted side air bags, front and rear side curtain air bags, anti-theft system and auto-dimming rearview mirror w/HomeLink® universal transceiver, Smart Key system, backup camera, Vehicle Stability Control, High Intensity Discharge headlamps and integrated fog lamps, JBL® AM/FM 6-disc in-dash CD changer w/9 speakers, aux. audio jack, MP3/WMA playback capability and hands-free phone capability via Bluetooth® wireless technology, voice-activated DVD navigation system, leather-trimmed seats and steering wheel. Get up to 60 miles per gallon at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $29,195, if you can find one.

What you’ll get:
ZipZaps® Micro RC Starter Kit 1.0 HUMMER® H2® SUT, ready to conquer indoor and tabletop terrain. Comes with built-in 1.2V Ni-MH rechargeable battery and uses even less gas than the Prius. $19.99 at Radio Shack.

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What you want:
“Grouse Ridge in Winter,” original 12” x 16” oil painting by Russell Chatham, available at Legends Fine Art in Livingston. $20,000.

What you’ll get:
“Big Fish, Small Pond,” 28.5” x 23.5” Monte Dolack poster, available at www.dolack.com. $35.

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What you want:
The Bibler I-Tent, an extremely lightweight and packable shelter for alpine climbing and wilderness travel, made of 100-percent waterproof and fully breathable ToddTex. Available locally through the Trailhead, Pipestone Mountaineering and REI.com. MSRP $539.00. Add a vestibule for $119.00 and a ground cloth for $33.50.

What you’ll get:
Blue 8’ x 10’ poly tarp, available at Brady’s Sportsman’s Surplus, $4.99.

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What you want:
A Bacon of the Month Club membership, entitling you to a different artisan bacon delivered to your door each month, informative notes on all bacon selections, discounts on Grateful Palate bacon products, a Bacon of the Month Club membership card, the “Bacon Strip” monthly comic, a Bacon of the Month Club pig ballpoint pen, a little rubber toy pig, and one free bacon T-shirt. $140 plus $100 to $120 shipping to Missoula. Call 888-472-5283.

What you’ll get:
A 5-ounce bag of Frito Lay Baken-Ets® Hot ’n Spicy Flavored Fried Pork Skins. $1.99 at area Holiday convenience stores.

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What you want:
The North Face ladies’ limited edition Quantum Nuptse jacket, with ultradeluxe 900 power fill down, internal zippered pocket and Velcro adjustable cuffs. $249.00 at Bob Ward & Sons.

What you’ll get:
Heat Treat® chemical hand warmers to keep your extremities toasty for up to seven hours. $1.50 per two-pack at REI.

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What you want:
World Peace. Priceless.

What you’ll get:
A ticket to see Missoula songstress Amy Martin opening for Al Franken at the Wilma Theatre, Jan. 13. $50.

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What you want:
A 60-inch VGRC professional series Viking cook range, featuring 15,000 BTU burners, 1,500 degree Gourmet-Glo infrared broiling, convection baking and heavy-duty porcelainized cast-iron burner grates. Around $10,000, depending on options, at Vann’s.

What you’ll get:
Coleman 2-burner propane stove with PerfectFlow control system and WindBlock shields, capable of heating a quart of water in 4.5 minutes. $48.99 at the Eastgate Ace Hardware.

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What you want:
Hand-blown, double-percolating 2-foot Galaxy Glass water pipe. $265 at Down Under.

What you’ll get:
Up to six months in jail and a $500 fine for possession of paraphernalia if you use it for anything less legal than tobacco.

What you want:
A Lone Peak Pass, offering season-long access to more than 200 trails and 5,300 acres of terrain at both Big Sky and Moonlight Basin. $1,199.

What you’ll get:
A lift to the local sledding hill.

•••

What you want:
Kona “Jake the Snake” Cyclocross bike, with a lightweight but sturdy frame ideal for commuting, as well as for distance riding on roads and trails. $1,199 at Missoula Bicycle Works.

What you’ll get:
A hand building your own bike out of recycled materials at Missoula Free Cycles. $20 suggested donation.

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What you want:
Cedar Creek Salon and Day Spa’s four-handed deep-tissue massage, featuring two therapists working at opposite ends of the body. $140.

What you’ll get:
Quad Massager Therapeutic Body Massage Back Massager. 49¢ at Wal-Mart.

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What you want:
Bottle of Stillman’s Dram, Dalmore’s 30 Year Single Malt Scotch. $143 at Grizzly Liquors.

What you’ll get:
24 oz. can of Steel Reserve. $1.35 at Ole’s stores.

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What you want:
Kimber 8400 Montana lightweight 300 Winchester Short Magnum, weighing in at just 6 lbs., 3 oz. $1,050 at Sportsman’s Surplus.

What you’ll get:
Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun with lever-cocking action, weighing in at 2.2 lbs. $38.99 at Bob Ward & Sons Sporting Goods.

What you want:
A gift certificate for dinner for two at Missoula’s Red Bird Restaurant, where you can partake of elegant fare like Vanilla Bean Brined Pork Loin, Bison Weiner Schnitzel or Thyme Flecked Golden Gnocchi. With appetizers and wine, $150 should cover the bill.

What you’ll get:
The new McDonald’s Arch Card, tradable for a “Big N’ Tasty” and other happy meals at any of Western Montana’s many locations. Available in any amount, from delivery boy ($5) to ex-lover (99¢).

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What you want:
A puppy. The dark, cold Christmas season is the perfect time to bring a fuzzy, warm bundle of love into your life, and a puppy fits the bill. It doesn’t matter what color, style or size you get—they all lick and squirm the same. Just make sure you have newspaper and carpet stain remover on hand. $60.00 adoption fee at the Humane Society of Missoula for spayed or neutered dogs.

What you’ll get:
Fuzzy, faux-fur slippers shaped like puppies. At www.buyanimalfeet.com, you can pick from Dalmatian, sheepdog, bulldog, poodle or “gray puppy,” and they’ll only run you $19.95.

•••

What you want:
Samsung 63” high-definition plasma TV with detachable full-height speakers, split-screen 16:9 plasma display, and effective 1,366 x 768-pixel resolution. $19,999 at SoundCity.com.

What you’ll get:
Emerson 13” TV/VCR combo unit. $96.64 at Wal-Mart.

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What you want:
A Cary Audio Works 300B amp utilizing 300B vacuum tubes, a CA 303/300 compact disc player, a VPI Industries Scoutmaster turntable with 1 1/4-inch acrylic turn plate and vibration isolating double plinth, all pumping through twin 200-watt Focal Electra 1027Be speakers with beryllium tweeters. Combined retail: $14,800 at dB Sound.

What you’ll get:
Emerson SpongeBob Squarepants portable CD player with AM/FM stereo radio and cassette player. $49.99 at Target.

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What you want:
A FrancisFrancis! X1 espresso machine. Designed by an Italian architect, this retro-looking little espresso machine will make you feel like an authentic Missoula barista while adding style to your kitchen or office. Retail $799.95 at Liquid Planet.

What you’ll get:
A Proctor Silex Easy Morning coffee maker. $16.99 at KitchenCollection.com.

What you want:
A week-long Western Caribbean cruise on the Explorer Of The Seas, including airfare and transportation. Cure your cabin fever with a tour of the tropics calling on ports in Florida, the Bahamas, Mexico and Grand Cayman. Enjoy the ocean sunset view from your grand suite on deck 10. $5,286.06 at RoyalCaribbean.com.

What you’ll get:
A weekend getaway in a cabin at Lolo Hot Springs. $75 per night, pre-tax, double occupancy.

•••

What you want:
Black Diamond Verdict alpine-touring skis with 98 mm underfoot for great flotation on Champaign powder, yet stiff enough to deal with hard snow. Slap on some Ascension Skins to get up the mountain, then lock your Garmont Adrenalin boots into Fritschi Free Ride bindings with a DIN setting up to 12. Add a set of Black Diamond carbon fiber Flicklock poles with bombproof adjustments and you’re ready to tackle Montana’s gnarliest mountains. Combined retail: $1,962.95 at Pipestone Mountaineering.

What you’ll get:
A Torpedo Blizzard Snow Mobile inflatable sled. $19.99 at Kmart.

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What you want:
A Power Macintosh G5 with a 2.5GHz Quad-core PowerPC processor, 16 gigabytes of RAM, twin 500-gig ATA hard drives, 16x SuperDrive DL with DVD and CD burning capabilities, a Quadro FX 4500 graphics card, Apple Airport Extreme with Bluetooth built-in and an Apple Cinema high-definition 30-inch plasma display. $20,921 at Apple.com.

What you’ll get:
A Brother GX6750 typewriter. $89.99 at OfficeMax.

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What you want:
PalmOne Treo 650 Smartphone loaded with Wireless Sync so you can send and receive e-mail, enhanced camera with video capture, Bluetooth capabilities, high-resolution color screen, built-in QWERTY keyboard, stereo headset, MP3 player, speakerphone, address book and calendar, message pad and task manager. Get up to 270 minutes of talk time on one charge. $399.99 with one-year Verizon Wireless contract.

What you’ll get:
2006 At-A-Glance appointment planner. $15.99 at Staples.

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What you want:
The Clarion N.I.C.E. Car GPS System, a top-of-the-line mobile entertainment unit that guarantees you’ll never get lost and also stores and plays MP3 and WMA files. Complete with a 7-inch video screen with touch-panel controls, preloaded maps of the U.S. and Canada, two million points of interest, voice prompts and a built-in antenna. $1,299.99 from Amazon.com

What you’ll get:
The StanSport three-in-one compass, including an emergency whistle and thermometer. $3 at Missoula’s Army Navy Economy Store.

•••

What you want:
A seven-day guided bow-hunting trip in Northwestern Montana. Joe Cantrell Outfitting specializes in bow hunts based out of their lodge along the Clark Fork River near St. Regis, covering approximately 400 square miles in Lolo National Forest. Home-cooked meals are provided, made from scratch at the lodge. Cost for one-on-one seven-day bow hunting trip: $3,690. Rifle hunt: $3,965.

What you’ll get:
Buck the Animated Trophy. The life-size 10-point buck features a mouth that moves, ears that wiggle and a head that sways, as well as a 12-song soundtrack. “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Suspicious Minds” never sounded so good. $99.93 at Wal-Mart.

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What you want:
A Canon EOS 5D digital camera to capture those special holiday moments. This full-frame, 12.8 megapixel SLR features a 2.5-inch LCD screen and magnesium-alloy body. $3,400 at The Dark Room.

What you’ll get:
An Etch-a-Sketch. Various models, from $10 to $14.99 at Wal-Mart, Target and other local retailers.

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