There's no shame in the last minute gift buying game in Montana. However, you'll be narrowing your spectrum of creative Christmas presents. Practicality can take over and that's not a bad thing.

I'll get right to the point - You waited too long, the weather ate up more time, you despise shopping, you were lazy, and now you still have people you need to check off your list. Christmas gatherings are tough because when you're in person, there's really no excuse to show up empty handed.

Practical and easy-to-grab gifts are NOT taboo in my book. Seriously. Don't feel bad about showing up with a gift card or a pre-made long as the recipient likes the business they're from. We've all been given crappy, pointless gifts over the years from people we know and like. What were they thinking? Did you spend a lot of money on this thing I'll never use? There's no need for that.

TOWN PUMP GIFT CARDS: Not very sexy but every Montanan can put these to good use. Hell, even if you don't drive you can use a Town Pump gift card for stuff in the mini-mart. They have locations across the entire state of Montana so they'll have plenty of opportunity to spend the gift card.

Town Pump location map - Google
Town Pump location map - Google

CHARCUTERIE INGREDIENTS: High quality, foo-foo meats and cheeses are well liked by everyone I know. Not once have I ever been bummed to get a gift basket with that stuff in it. Fancy bacon to exotic olives, Montana has TONS of easy to find products at almost every grocery store these days. Grab a few items yourself or pick one of the pre-packaged baskets. You'll be a hero...not a lazy person.

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SCRATCH-OFF LOTTERY TICKETS: This is a stocking-stuffer classic...for a reason. You can buy 5 or 50 and they're available at any quickie mart. Don't forget the stipulation of when they win something big, you split the prize!

DECENT BOTTLE OF LIQUOR OR WINE: For any friend who partakes, a nice bottle of something is usually a winner. Heck, if you play your cards right, you'll be sharing in that nice bottle at the holiday gathering. Liquor stores in Montanan are closed on Sunday (Christmas Day this year) but very decent wines are available at most grocery stores.

GARDEN STORE/NURSERY GIFT CARD: For anyone who loves to garden or at least put together some nice flower baskets in the spring, a gift certificate to your local nursery or garden store is gold. Not only have you given them something they'll use, but they'll be thinking of your generosity again this spring when they spend it.

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