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To: a discreet gun nut
Big Sky Racks gun rack
For some reason, rifle racks don't come standard in pickups. Fortunately, Big Sky Racks has your back. The Bozeman-based company sells gun racks that are ceiling-mounted, for quick access and out-of-sight weapon storage that saves space in your cab. They're popular with law enforcement agencies, but they're also designed for hunters and anyone else who finds comfort in having their Remington within arm's reach. Remember, hunters: no shooting from the road.
$55.95 to $109.95. Find it at Bob Ward and Sons and several other several other retailers around the state. More information at www.bigskyracks.com.
To: a friend in need of an artistic outlet
a class at the Clay Studio of Missoula
What's better than giving someone really cool pottery? Teaching them how to make really cool pottery—which is why we suggest gifting a class at the Clay Studio of Missoula. There are all kinds of options, from single-day workshops to 10-week classes for different skill levels, all taught by talented local artists. There's probably something in this for you, too: Whomever you give this to will surely thank you with a vase or something.
$85 to $205. Find the Clay Studio at 1106 Hawthorne Street, Unit A, in Missoula, and at www.theclaystudioofmissoula.org.
To: a poor housekeeper
Is your house a little stinky? Try burning some poop. Seriously. Dried moose poop. A local company, Moose-Cense, hunts for moose poop, sun-dries it, packages it and sells it as incense. And it smells really good—earthy and willowy! We think it's amazing that someone actually thought, "Let's dry this shit and burn it and see what it smells like, and then make a business of it." That's some serious intestinal fortitude. And this is the kind of gag gift that will actually be used.
$7. Find it at Rockin Rudy's and at www.moosecense.com.
To: grandma, god bless her
This traditional nativity scene reminds us of the true reason for the season—but, you know, with moose. Montana artist Phyllis Driscoll molded figurines—a king, shepherd and drummer—that are meant to complement the original moosetivity scene, which is currently out of stock. If you're looking to start a new set, why not also consider the beartivity option by Montana artist Jeff Fleming, featuring a Jesus bear, Mary bear, two angel bears and a Joseph bear?
$43 moosetivity "Set II"; $70 beartivity. Find them at www.bigskycarvers.com.
To: the little Griz fan
full Griz uniform
Kids love to dress up as their heroes, and in Missoula it's hard to find bigger role models than the student-athletes who play Saturdays at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. This three-piece set includes an authentic-looking Griz helmet, Griz "jersey" (it looks nothing like the actual jersey) and game pants. Taser marks and high-priced local attorney are sold separately.
$45. Find it at www.fansedge.com.
To: a young animal lover
a Peregrine falcon
Forget plastic crap made in China, mind-numbing video games and freaky animatronic creatures that will only haunt your little one's dreams for years to come. This Christmas, give a gift of nature. The Bitterroot's Raptors of the Rockies program offers the chance to "adopt" one of its birds. With a donation, you receive official adoption papers, a matted color photo of your animal and a life history since the bird's been in ROR's care. More importantly, your money goes to support the good work ROR does in rehabilitating some of the region's most treasured animals.
From $400 suggested donation for a Peregrine falcon to $75 for a pygmy owl. Find them at www.raptorsoftherockies.com.
To: your favorite fanboy
Black Powder: Bloody Frontier Adventure
Nothing says "happy holidays" like a violent, swash-bucklin' story about a young captain trying to rescue his lover from Mississippi River pirates. Fine, it may not be A Night Before Christmas, but Black Powder still packs a serious punch. Plus, it was created by a local! Dwayne Harris, a classically trained artist who lives in Kalispell, has been working on comics for about three years. Black Powder is the first series that he's both illustrated and written.
$2.95. Find it at Muse Comics, 2100 Stephens Avenue, #107, Missoula.
To: the do-it-yourselfer
DIY cheese-making kit and class
Some of us are craftier than others. For that friend who gets excited when fall canning season comes, the Good Food Store's cheese-making class will be a mindblower. Jennie Gregory teaches it once a month for two hours, giving students the tools to navigate the flavorful world that encompasses gorgonzola, mozzarella and mascarpone, among others. "You might not have found your perfect cheese yet," Gregory says. The class comes with a cheese-making kit so the DIY-er in your life can make the stuff at home and hopefully give some of it to you.
Find cooking-class gift certificates at the Good Food Store customer service desk, Missoula or call 541-3663. Class with kit is $40.
To: the avid local reader who already has every book
autographed, first-edition copies of local classics
Ever hear longtime locals talk about how much Missoula has changed over the years? Yeah, us too. And it's hard to compete with all those "Back in my day..." stories unless you've logged more than 20 years in the valley. Help a loved one earn some instant street cred by gifting them autographed, first-edition copies of Missoula County Images, Vol. I and II. Alternately, for a more hardboiled reader, consider the gorgeous first-edition, signed copy of local legend Jim Crumley's The Last Good Kiss. The original cover design is worth the price alone.
$125 Missoula County Images, Volume I; $65 Volume II; $75 The Last Good Kiss. Find them at the Book Exchange, 2335 Brooks Street.