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To: Besieged parents
Nature Boy's Cloth Diaper Service
It's perhaps the biggest conundrum facing all expecting parents: disposable diapers or cloth? Missoula's Nature Boy helps you make the more environmentally friendly choice by offering cloth diaper "rentals."
Here's how it works: Every Wednesday, Nature Boy picks up your wee one's dirty diapers and drops off a stack of clean ones. You choose how many diapers you want to have in rotation, and the number of diapers you turn in each week will be returned to you the following week. Diapers are laundered by Missoula Textile Services. (Heads up: They use bleach to meet public health and hygiene standards, so be mindful of a potential skin sensitivity.)
Consider it a way to free your friends with newborns of that dirty duty, while also making their newly hectic lives just a little more sane.
$8–$12 per week. Available at Nature Boy, 892 S. Higgins Avenue, or call 406-728-1408.
To: The Mulder or Scully of your life
Area 51 Love Doll
She's purple, with green eyes, three breasts and, according to the package, features "three out of this world love holes." We've heard the Area 51 Love Doll is a popular item at Fantasy for Adults Only on Main Street. Maybe she's in demand because of the included "alien lube." Or, it could be the fact that with no hair, no ears, and supple suction cup fingers, she's the "kinkiest love slave in the galaxy." Regardless of the reason, we think this popular extraterrestrial gal is a superb selection—and just geeky enough—to help satisfy any Trekkie's otherworldly bedroom fantasies.
$28.95. Available at Fantasy for Adults Only, 210 E. Main Street, Missoula.
To: Year-round folfer
Missoula is home to many an obsessed folfer who isn't deterred by a little snow and ice. Make sure your buddy doesn't fall on his or her keister while chucking a disc around Blue Mountain Disc Golf Course this winter by buying them some traction in the form of YakTrax or Kahtoola MICROspikes. They're like tire chains for your sneakers or boots, giving users sure footing on the trickiest of terrain. The pull-on mini crampons also happen to be great for the devoted sidewalk shovelers, all-season runners and dog walkers on your list. A few different companies make them, including YakTrax (www.yaktrax.com) and Kahtoola (www.kahtoola.com). Some styles aren't exactly cheap, but neither are the alternatives: butt cushions and helmets.
$18–$60. Available at the Trail Head, 221 E. Front Street; Bob Ward's, 3015 Paxson Street; and REI, 3275 N. Reserve Street.
To: Hunter with poor sense of direction
SPOT Personal Tracker
You love that your partner brings home meat during hunting season, but it's a little disconcerting when they're gone for days at a time, often without cell phone service and no way to call for help if something goes wrong. So buy the hunter in your life—and yourself—a little peace of mind this holiday season in the form of a SPOT Personal Tracker. It's a GPS device with four very cool features, but none of the super-expensive—and often excessive—mapping technologies. Push the "911" button in the event of a critical emergency to notify emergency services of your GPS location. Push the "Help" button in the event of a non-life threatening emergency. And push the "OK" button to tell select family and friends that all's good in the woods. Plus, you can use the "Track Progress" feature to send your location to Google Maps, where others can watch your progress. Pretty snazzy, and relatively easy on the budget. Happy hunting.
$99, plus $99/year for a service plan. Available at Bob Ward & Sons, 3015 Paxson Street; REI, 3275 N. Reserve Street; and Wholesale Sports, 2523 N. Reserve Street.
To: Depressed liberals
Nothing says big change like a Chia Obama. Okay, maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but here's the thing: Unlike the economy—which, unfortunately, has no step-by-step directions—a Chia pet will prosper and grow if you just follow the easy instructions for seeding and watering. On a side note, you can be reassured that the controversy about the Chia Obama being racist doesn't hold much water considering there's a Chia Washington and a Chia Lincoln. Those presidential Chias, however, are for nostalgic people living in the past. For the progressive and green-thumbed voters, this handmade clay planter and drip tray says, "Yes We Can." I mean, literally. Right there on the side of the clay planter.
$21.99. Available at Rockin Rudy's, 237 Blaine Street.
To: Anyone on the outside
Inmate-made horsehair belt
This stylish accessory is made of horsehair and "hitched" into geometric designs by a convicted criminal currently serving time at Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge. "Hitching" with horsehair involves making stitches, like knots, in a concentric arrangement on a wooden or wire dowel. It's a time consuming process—which, of course, makes it appropriate under the circumstances.
Inmates make other items, too, including art, beadwork, leather goods and furniture, and 75 percent of the proceeds go directly back to those who made it.
Between $200 and $400. Available at the prison Hobby Store on Main Street in Deer Lodge, across from the Old Prison, or by calling Montana Correctional Enterprises at 406-846-1320 ext 2323.
To: Klutzy wine-drinker
Wine glasses are the high heels of the drinking world. The delicate stem and quaint vessel is really engineered for those with a keen pinky balance–sexy, but maybe not practical when you're just trying to get a buzz on without ruining someone's carpet. With that idea in mind, the Winestein is the perfect gift for your klutzy friend who's got a wine tooth but can't seem to drink anything without guzzling it. The wine glass inside of a beer mug allows less-than-graceful people to enjoy their favorite red, white or pink drink in style but with the ability to hold tight to the hefty handle of a beer glass. Put another way, this gift gives them a figurative handle on their drinking situation—at least until the fourth round.
$19.99. Available at Liquid Planet, 223 N. Higgins in Missoula.