Last-minute gift ideas 

For those of you still searching for the perfect presents

Krochet Kids handmade knitwear

You started the season with ambitious intentions of making a hand-knitted accessory for Mom to cherish, but the clock is winding down and that project is going nowhere. Quick fix: Grab one of the soft, warm scarves or hats from Krochet Kids, a nonprofit that gives proceeds back to its workers in Uganda and Peru. It's a handmade, sweatshop-free gift that you can feel good about—and if you cut the tags off and pass it off as your own handiwork, well, Santa doesn't have to know.

How much: $30-$50

Where to find them: One Eleven, 111 N. Higgins Ave.

  • photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Rokz Cocktail Infusions

Flavor-infused spirits have long had a place on bar shelves. Now they can have a place in your fridge. Cocktail product manufacturer Rokz produces a diverse line of 16-ounce at-home infusion bottles, from cranberry to citrus blue, and Grizzly Liquor carries them. Just add two cups of your spirit of choice, chill for a few days and let the included ingredients do their work. The fiery pepper could prove a particularly popular stocking-stuffer for the Bloody Mary fan in the family.

How much: $7.50

Where to find it: Grizzly Liquor, 110 W. Spruce St.

  • photo by Alex Sakariassen

Go Griz, Go Peace shirts

At first glance, these long-sleeve T-shirts look like any other Griz gear you see at any Saturday football game. But then, you notice the grizzly paw is a peace sign—and suddenly your mind is blown. Peaceniks can be into sports and football fans can believe in peace! What a world. The good people at the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center recently started screen-printing the shirts as a tribute to Griz fever and a chance to get their name out into the stands (the shirt includes the store's name and logo on the back). The Hip Strip shop sells fair trade crafts from around the world, but the sentiment behind this one is as local as it gets.

How much: $24

Where to find it: Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, 519 S. Higgins Ave.

  • photo by Cathrine L. Walters

The 2015 Humane Society of Western Montana calendar

It's fitting that "Cooper" graces the cover of next year's Humane Society of Western Montana calendar, says Executive Director Lora O'Connor. The dog's remarkable story provides a prime example of the organization's work, and of the local support that helps make that work possible.

When the blind hound cross arrived at the humane society in 2013, he was confused, running in circles and barking at the sky. He received surgery to protect his eyes from infections and learned from volunteers the manners necessary to live in a home. He also learned to play fetch by scent. Two months after Cooper arrived at the shelter, he was adopted by an adoring caretaker who, in addition to taking the canine on regular outdoor adventures, brings him to work every day.

Over the past five years, sales of the humane society's annual calendar have raised $100,000 for the nonprofit—money used to care for animals like Cooper. "(The calendar) really has saved a lot of lives," O'Connor says.

How much: $15

Where to find it: The Humane Society of Western Montana; Animal Blessings Pet Hospital; The Doggy Hotel; Ancare; Animal Clinic; Four Paws Veterinary Clinic and Go Fetch!


Sea Turtle Like Me, by The Whizpops!

According to every little kid ever, sea turtles are awesome. In fact, on the list of the world's most awesomest animals, sea turtles are right up there with sharks, unicorns, ponies and the T-Rex. Missoula's beloved band for the whole family, The Whizpops!, immortalized the sea turtle with a track on their latest album, Sea Blue Sea, and with a wonderfully animated music video. Now, the song's lyrics, the video's illustrations and additional sea turtle knowledge are all packaged in a kid-friendly book. At least one parent has confirmed it's the type of book that's not mind-numbing to re-read to the kids every night at bedtime.

How much: $12.99

Where to find it: Local independent bookstores and Rockin Rudy's, 237 Blaine St.

click to enlarge whizpopsbook_sea-turtle-like-me.jpg

Buff Headwear

Not sure whether that special someone wants a new hat, a new scarf or a new hair tie for the holidays? Relax. Buff rolls all those and more into a single piece of cloth. Branded the "original multifunctional headwear," the only real limit with this gift is the recipient's imagination. That makes it multi-seasonal as wella headband for summer, a balaclava for winter, etc. Choose from a range of fabrics including wool and polar fleece. In a town where folks like to get the most out of their gear, it's hard to think of a more versatile gift.

How much: $29 to $34

Where to find it: The Trail Head, 221 E. Front St.

  • photo by Alex Sakariassen
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