Tag Archives: Christmas

Ho, Ho, Ho: Meet This Year’s Montana Gift Guide

It’s no secret that I think the Christmas season is one of the most wonderful times of year. And for those of you who know me, it’s probably no surprise that I love giving presents. Like, really love it. No matter who I’m giving a gift to, I try to make sure that it’s perfect for them, that it has meaning and that they’ll (hopefully) love it. And if you’re anything like me, you want to be sure to give the people you love thoughtful, meaningful gifts.

The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Montana. Photo: TheBobFactor

The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Montana. Photo: TheBobFactor

To help you do that very thing, I’ve rounded up my favorite Montana-lovin’ gifts and some of the best places to shop local for the holidays.

With that said, here’s a look at this year’s Montana gift guide

1. Jewelry. Chances are, the women in your life love jewelry. And I’m here to tell you that Montana has incredible jewelry makers who are creating stunning works of art. Topping my must-have list are Bellwether Jewelry, Ruby and Revolver and Rag and Stone. Located in Babb, Montana, Bellwether Jewelry is the brainchild of an adorable gal named Claire who uses Montana’s landscapes as her design inspiration. I learned about her when I was gifted earrings and a necklace from one of my dear friends (thanks Courtney!) and I’ve been in love ever since.

Two of my favorite pieces from Bellwether Jewelry. Photo: Bellwether Jewerly

Two of my favorite pieces from Bellwether Jewelry. Photo: Bellwether Jewelry

Meanwhile,  Ruby and Revolver has become one of my favorites mainly due to her instagram feed. In two words: it’s amazing. Jessie—the master creator behind the brand—creates some of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen, but I’m especially fond of her rings. And if your significant other is a fan of stones, do yourself a favor and check out Erin’s work at Rag and Stone. 

2. Local spirits. While breweries have been a part of the Montana scene for awhile, in the last few years we’ve seen more distilleries open in Western Montana. Two of my personal favorites: Glacier Distilling in Coram, Montana, and Spotted Bear Spirits in Whitefish, Montana. Both distilleries are creating incredible Big Sky Country-inspired spirits and utilizing local Montana grains and products, including Flathead cherries, to do so. You can pick up Glacier Distilling spirits at several places in Montana (check out their distribution here) and Spotted Bear Spirits has adorable cute 50mL bottles that are perfect for gift giving.

The cutest little bottles I ever did see. Photo: Spotted Bear Spirits

The cutest little bottles I ever did see. Photo: Spotted Bear Spirits

3. Montana Wreaths. Truth time: I didn’t know about these until a few weeks ago and now I’m obsessed. (I’ll give you one guess as to what my Minnesota-living sister is getting for Christmas this year.) Based in Missoula, Montana Wreaths are handcrafted with grand fir and cedar trees and are absolutely beautiful. Plus, it’s like giving a piece of Montana to your family and friends across the country.

The standard wreath (AKA the wreath my sissy is getting soon). Photo: Montana Wreath

The standard wreath (AKA the wreath my sissy is getting soon). Photo: Montana Wreath

4. Montana Made Soap. Made from goat milk from goats that are raised on a farm near Dutton, Montana, Leigh is a stay-at-home mama (who also runs her family’s farm Grazing Greyn Acres) who creates her soap as organically as possible. The result: delicious smelling and nourishing goat soaps.

Goat milk, coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil: I think I need this. Photo: Grazing Greyn Acres

Goat milk, coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil = I think I need this. Photo: Grazing Greyn Acres

5. Leather bags. If you don’t know about T-Bird Leather and Goertzen Adventure Equipment, it’s time you do. While both companies make their handcrafted leather bags here in Western Montana, each brand has a distinct style and look that is uniquely its own. Based in Whitefish, Montana, and designed and created by Tress, T-Bird Leather is one of my personal favorites. Not only do I adore Tress, but the bags she produces are truly beautiful. Currently on my must-have list: her new mystery braids tote. Why? Because braids and fringe.

Mystery braids tote. Photo: T-Bird Leather

Mystery braids tote. Photo: T-Bird Leather

Handmade in Missoula, Goertzen Adventure Equipment’s leather bags are more gender-neutral and have a bit of a vintage vibe. Trust me on this one: their bags get better with age. Plus, they make fly-fishing equipment for the fishermen (and fisherwomen) in your life. 

A well-loved leather bag from Goertzen. Photo: Taylar Robbins

A well-loved leather bag from Goertzen. Photo: Taylar Robbins

6. Shoes and moccasins for the babes (as in babies) in your life. Hands down, these may be the cutest baby gift in all of Montana. Made my mountain mama Melanie, Starry Knight Designs crafts the most perfectly adorable items for babies, kids and toddlers I’ve ever seen.
Sidenote: anyone got a baby I can dress up in these? 

Bison booties, gray desert boots and fringe booties. Photo: Starry Knight Design

Bison booties, gray desert boots and fringe booties. Photo: Starry Knight Design

7. UPTOP. Owned by Montana boys and brothers Luke and Colt Anderson, UPTOP embodies the love of Montana that people who live here—and those who visit—have for this state. While their “Montana Til I Die” tagline may be the most famous to date, the boys have a wide variety of UPTOP gear that includes T-shirts, hats, hoodies and kids’ gear.

Montana over everything + Montana Til I Die. Photo: UPTOP

Montana over everything + Montana Til I Die. Photo: UPTOP

8. Shop local stores. As part of a family-owned business, I understand the importance of shopping local. When we’re all able to spend our money in locally owned businesses, it makes a difference. Here are a few of my favorite Montana shops: Electric Buffalo Gallery in Bigfork, Monte Dolack Fine Art in Missoula, Think Local in Kalispell, Montana Shirt Company in Whitefish (and online), Sora & Company in Missoula and Great Falls, Cloth & Crown in Missoula, Crown of the Continent Discovery Center in West Glacier and Great Gray Gifts in Charlo (just opened in May 2016 and is one of my favorite stores – they also carry abundant made in Montana products). You can also check out additional stores, boutiques and shops here.

A selection of the made in Montana items at Great Gray gifts. Photos: Great Gray Gifts

A selection of the made in Montana items at Great Gray gifts. Photos: Great Gray Gifts

And with that, happy shopping, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

xo,
TT

PS: For more gift ideas, check out my top 10 made in Montana gift list here.

 

14 Must-See Holiday Events and Happenings in Western Montana

The holiday season is officially underway in Western Montana’s Glacier Country. And as someone who loves Christmas (you can read more about my obsession with all things Christmas as well as my top picks for made in Montana gifts here), I feel like it’s my elfly duty to let you know about all of the holiday happenings taking place in Big Sky Country.

Whitefish, Montana decks its halls for the holidays.

Whitefish, Montana decks the halls for the holidays. Photo courtesy Brian Schott.

Here’s a look at 14 of Montana’s must-see events taking place this December.

1. Carriage Rides in Downtown Missoula.
Head to E. Pine Street in Missoula from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays (now through December 20) for free carriage rides, courtesy of The Resort at Paws Up.

These two beauties give carriage rides in downtown Missoula. Photo courtesy Taylar Robbins.

These two beauties give carriage rides in downtown Missoula. Photo courtesy Taylar Robbins.

2. Whitefish Christmas Stroll.
The cute mountain resort town of Whitefish decks its halls for the holiday season, with their Christmas Stroll really kicking off the festivities. Held from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday, December 11, the Whitefish Christmas Stroll features concerts, a tree lighting ceremony, Santa (who arrives in a wagon because Montana) and wagon rides from Bar W Guest Ranch.

3. Christmas in Bigfork. 
Located on the bay of Flathead Lake, the cute village of Bigfork goes all out for Christmas. Two days to note: Saturday, December 12 and Saturday, December 19. On those days, Santa comes to Bigfork, along with carolers in downtown, free live music and live theater with “A Totally Awesome Christmas Carol” at the Bigfork Center for Performing Arts.

Twinkling lights in downtown Bigfork.

Twinkling lights in downtown Bigfork.

4. Santa at Missoula’s Southgate Mall + Holiday Performances.
Southgate Mall, the region’s largest shopping center, gets into the holiday spirit with photos with Old St. Nick, as well as a gingerbread house contest display and holiday performances. For a complete rundown of happenings at the mall, visit www.shopsouthgate.com.

5. Treasure State Chorale Christmas Concert at the Historic St. Ignatius Mission. 
One of the most beautiful churches in the state, the St. Ignatius Mission will host a Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 12 as the the Treasure State Chorale performs the Christmas Story.

The St. Ignatius Mission.

The St. Ignatius Mission.

6. Lantern Tours at the Historial Museum at Fort Missoula.
The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula will offer guided lantern tours Friday, December 11 – Sunday, December 13. The tours will provide a look into past winters (complete with plenty of Christmas moments) and will end with cocoa and cookies. Call 406.728.3476 (extension 1) to purchase tickets.

7. Guided Christmas Tours at Kalispell’s Conrad Mansion.
The home of one of Kalispell’s founders, Charles Conrad, is completely decked out in Christmas decorations during December and the mansion offers tours every Friday and Saturday (at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.) through December 26.

Christmas at the Conrad.

Christmas at the Conrad.

8. Christmas Light Trolley Tours in Kalispell.
Hop aboard a cozy trolley and set out to view the holiday lights in Kalispell with Montana Trolley Co. Tours are offered from December 12 – December 28. Click here for specific dates, times and additional info.

9. Christmas in Hamilton. 
Celebrate the season in downtown Hamilton on Tuesday, December 15, with a visit from Santa and Parade of Lights.

10. Handel’s Messiah with Glacier Symphony + Chorale.
A popular holiday tradition, the Glacier Symphony and Chorale will perform Handel’s Messiah in Bigfork (December 11), Whitefish (December 12) and Kalispell (December 13).

11. Yuletide Affair 12 at Alpine Theatre Project.
A tradition in the Flathead Valley, this year’s Yuletide Affair will feature Broadway talent, including David Ackroyd and Luke Walrath. Performances are at 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 20 and Monday, December 21. You can snag tickets here.

12. The Nutcracker in Missoula. 
A holiday tradition, Montana’s Garden City Ballet will perform The Nutcracker. Performances take place Friday, December 18 – Sunday, December 20.

13. Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
A Christmas Eve tradition, every year Santa comes to the slopes of Whitefish Mountain Resort where he leads a torchlight parade on snow-covered Big Mountain. An added bonus: Santa gives out gifts in Ed and Mully’s after the parade.

14. New Year’s Eve in Polson. 
Plan to spend New Year’s Eve with dinner and dancing at Western Montana’s newest hotel, Red Lion Ridgewater Inn & Suites Polson.

You can also check out a full listing of holiday events at www.glaciermt.com/events.php.

Wishing you all a joy-filled holiday season!

xo,
TT

The Top 10 Made in Montana Gifts for Holiday Shopping

If you’ve been reading my blog, you probably know how I feel about Christmas and the holiday season. And if you’re a new reader, welcome! I’m glad you’re here. Either way, the fact of the matter is this: I LOVE THIS TIME OF THE YEAR. And whether you wish people “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Hanukkah,” I wish the same sentiment back to you.

My view last Christmas. They is really no place like home for the holidays.

My view last Christmas. There is really no place like home for the holidays.

A big part of the holiday season is giving presents and you guys, I have to tell you, I love finding the perfect gift for the people on my list. I’ll literally spend hours (it’s okay, as I love to shop) searching for the one thing that my mom actually wants (she’s really hard to shop for) or scooping up the perfect gift for my nephews and little sister. The other thing I love: shopping local. My family owns a general store (bought by my great-grandpa and grandpa many years ago) and I so appreciate the people who choose to shop locally as it makes such an impact not only in my family’s business, but in the community. Anytime I can purchase a made in Montana item for the people on my list, it makes the gift that much more special.

And since shopping is one of my strengths, I’ve compiled a top 10 list of made in Montana holiday gift ideas.

1. T Bird Leather. There are a few reasons to love T Bird Leather. 1) Tress, the genius artist behind T Bird Leather is nice and adorable. 2) Her totes, wallets and clutches are beautiful. 3) My nickname is T-Bird. I also have to tell you that I have one of the totes from T Bird Leather and I’m obsessed with it. It has traveled all over Montana with me and gets prettier with age. Currently, you can pick up her items at The Toggery (with locations in Whitefish and Kalispell) and upcoming events.

A T Bird Leather Tote (with a custom Glacier Country Montana brand).

A T Bird Leather Tote (with a custom Glacier Country Montana brand). This branded tote is available here.

2. Huckleberry anything. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that people can’t get enough of huckleberry-flavored items. (Check out these blogs from Quirky Travel Guy and Camels + Chocolate for more proof). While there are a few places to pick up huckleberry goodness in Montana (hello Polebridge Mercantile and your homemade huckleberry macaroons), The Huckleberry Patch in Hungry Horse has a wide variety of items. Plus, you can order items online.

Huckleberry heaven.

Huckleberry heaven.

3. Sapphires, Montana’s most precious gemstone. Sapphires, a precious blue gemstone, can be mined in Montana, specifically in the cute town of Philipsburg. Both Gem Mountain and The Sapphire Gallery offer their customers a chance to wash gravel and find their own precious gemstones. Gem Mountain also ships gravel so the sapphire lovers in your life can mine anytime…like Christmas morning! You can also shop for made in Montana sapphire jewelry from The Sapphire Gallery here.

My recent sapphire haul.

My recent sapphire haul.

4. Glacier County Honey for your honey. Billing itself as “the best raw honey you’ve never tasted” and made by bees in the shadow of Glacier National Park, Glacier County Honey has a variety of bee-created products. While you can purchase raw honey, Courtney (Mrs. Beekeeper) also has a variety of gift baskets comprised of jars of honey, beeswax ornaments and local Montana tea. Glacier County Honey is found in a variety of stores in Montana (including in Browning, Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Augusta and Kalispell) and online.

Hey honey.

Hey honey.

5. Hand-painted artwork. Home to the work of Montana artist Randy McIntyre, Elk Camp Arts has a variety of hand-painted items that make great holiday gifts. Randy has a variety of items in his shop, including canvas paintings, greeting cards and hand-painted beer mugs and wine glasses.

Western painted shot glasses.

Western painted shot glasses. Photo courtesy of Randy McIntyre.

6. Homemade preserves. A Montana staple for more than 60 years, Eva Gates Homemade Preserves has a shop in Bigfork as well as an online store where you can order made in Montana preserves, fudge and Christmas gift boxes.

Eva Gates shop in downtown Bigfork.

Eva Gates shop in downtown Bigfork.

7. Montana love for your love. You’ve probably noticed that I have a couple of items I wear on repeat: a Montana love T-shirt and a Montana love hot pink hat, both made by the folks at Montana Shirt Co. The two reasons I wear them: 1) I love Montana. 2) Um, they are so cute. I’ve also gifted similar items like this to my out-of-state friends and family who also love Montana and they’ve been a big hit.

Needless to say, these two items are on repeat in my closet.

Needless to say, these two items are on repeat in my closet.

8. Montana-lovin’ jewelry. Truth time: I love jewelry. And I blame (or in this case, THANK) my mama for my love of jewels. There are a few shops and artists that I adore for picking up made in Montana jewelry. They are Miakoda Creations (located in the Stumptown Marketplace in Whitefish and online here), Poisonberry (located in a few local shops and here) and Ruby and Revolver. Another local favorite: the Montana Shop at The University of Montana.

On the left: my bracelet from Miakoda. On the right: my friend's bracelet from Poisonberry.

On the left: my bracelet from Miakoda. On the right: my friend’s bracelet from Poisonberry.

Silver necklaces from The Montana Shop at UM.

Silver necklaces from The Montana Shop at UM. Photo courtesy of The Montana Shop.

9. Belt buckles. It doesn’t really matter where you live or what you do for a living, chances are at some time or another, you’re going to need to wear a belt. And in my mind, if you’re going to wear a belt, you ought to have an awesome belt buckle to go with it. My favorite belt buckles to date are from Wild Horse Steelworks. Because who doesn’t love a belt buckle in the shape of Montana?

A made in Montana buckle, complete with Montana barbwire.

A made in Montana buckle, complete with Montana barbwire.

10. Beautiful pottery. I’m not going to lie to you, when I was younger I thought there was no way in the world I’d ever own a piece of pottery. Well the joke is on me because the older I get, the more I appreciate and love having beautiful dishes. One of the best places to get a variety of pieces is Whitefish Pottery. Located in downtown Whitefish, they have a variety of mugs, baking dishes and serving bowls. You can pick up pieces at the store or peruse their offerings online here.

A look at some of the items from Whitefish Pottery. Photos courtesy Tom, Whitefish Pottery.

A look at some of the items from Whitefish Pottery. Photos courtesy Tom, Whitefish Pottery.

You can also check out items on our shopping cart at www.glaciermt.com/shop. And in the meantime, Happy Christmas, Merry Holidays, Seasons Greetings and Joy to the World.

xo,
TT

Meet Montana’s Christmas Village: Bigfork

There are some places that do Christmas so well. You know the places I’m talking about: they’re home to cheery people, lively downtowns and twinkling lights. Places that help you actually feel the spirit of Christmas in just one visit.

One such place is the quaint (and cute and adorable and storybook) community of Bigfork, Montana. Nestled on a peaceful bay on the northeast end of Flathead Lake, Bigfork is a charming town all year long, but I think there’s something extra special about it during the holidays. Each winter, the Bigfork Elves decorate the village with lights and garland and set the stage for one of the most wonderful times of the year.

Bigfork loves Christmas. And I think Christmas loves it back.

Bigfork loves Christmas. And I think Christmas loves it back.

This past week, I headed to Bigfork for a couple of days with a few of my lady loves for some work and play. After our work was done, being the avid supporters of the local economy that we are (aka really good at shopping), we hit the locally owned boutiques in Bigfork and snagged a few holiday goodies. Here’s a look at how we spent our time in Montana’s Christmas village…

Greeting the morning from Marina Cay Resort.

Greeting the morning from Marina Cay Resort.

On our must-do list: breakfast at Pocketstone Cafe.

On our must-do list: breakfast at Pocketstone Cafe.

One of the locally owned shops featured artwork and jewelry from Montana artists.

Perusing artwork and jewelry from Montana artists at one of the local shops.

Truth time: these girls can shop!

Truth time: these girls can shop!

S.M. Bradford has THE cutest hats and boots in the Flathead Valley.

S.M. Bradford has THE cutest hats and boots in the Flathead Valley.

The owner of Montana Bear Food makes these adorable coffee cozies.

Montana Bear Food sells these adorable coffee cozies, made by Eme Handmade. 

Some of the goods from Montana Shirt Co on display at Montana Bear Food.

Some of the goods from Montana Shirt Co on display at Montana Bear Food.

Just because every trip to Bigfork needs a selfie with a piece of art.

‘Just because every trip to Bigfork needs a selfie with a piece of art.

Christmas lights at night are magic.

Christmas lights at night are magic.

And just in case you fancy a holiday getaway to Montana’s cutest Christmas village, I’ve rounded up my top picks on where to stay, what to do and where to fill your tummy.

Where to stay: Mountain Lake Lodge (beautiful rooms with views of the lake, king rooms start at $149/night) and Bridge Street Cottages (starting at $95/night).

Where to shopMontana Bear Foods, S.M. Bradford Company, Nancy Cawdrey Studios and Eva Gates Preserves.

Where to eat and drink: The Raven (in Woods Bay), Bigfork Inn, Showthyme, Grille 459 and Moroldo’s Fine Italian Restaurant. Wash it down with a locally made libations at Flathead Lake Brewing Company or Whistling Andy’s Distillery.

What to do: Attend “A Christmas Story — the musical” at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts. Performances are slated for December 12, 13, 14, 19 and 20.

Happy Christmas,
TT

Montana Gifts for Everyone on your Christmas List

It’s literally the most wonderful time of the year: Christmas! 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a lover of all things Christmas. This time of the year has always been a big deal. When I was growing up, we spent every Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family which meant that we would go over the river and through the woods and gather 50+ family members together to celebrate the season. Typically, this included a nativity scene and Christmas caroling, often with a donkey, camels and uncles dressed as wise men in tow. (You guys, I can’t make this stuff up). And I loved every minute of it.

Christmas Eve practically requires a rousing rendition of "The 12 Days of Christmas."

A Christmas Eve staple:”The 12 Days of Christmas.”

As I’ve gotten older, one of my other favorite things about Christmas has become buying presents for people. And that, my friends, is something I take seriously. You see, I don’t like giving presents just for the sake of giving them. Instead, I want people to LOVE their gifts.

Because of this, I’m often on the lookout for presents that are a perfect match to their recipient. I also like to shop local, which means I regularly peruse local stores for gift ideas. And since shopping is one of my strongest talents (shout out to my mama), I’ve rounded up some of the best places in Glacier Country to pick up Montana-centric gifts for everyone on your list.

Glacier Distilling Company. Located in Coram, this distillery makes their spirits from local, Montana-sourced grains, which makes me love them even more. Their appropriately named spirits include Glacier Dew, North Fork, Bad Rock Rye, Wheatfish Whiskey and Fireweed Whiskey. Plus, their gear store includes things like belt buckle flasks, copper mugs, T-shirts and trucker hats. Side note: their tasting room is one of my favorite places to stop en route to Glacier National Park.

Bad Rock, Glacier Dew and North Fork.

Bad Rock, Glacier Dew and North Fork.

Glacier County Honey Co. Made by what I’m pretty sure are the nicest bees in Montana in the shadow of Glacier National Park, Glacier County Honey has a variety of honey and beeswax products available. My personal favorites: their one pound containers of honey in corked glass jars (you can get a 4-pack for $60 here), their honey bucket and Montana-shaped ornaments.

One pound of delicious honey.

Just the cutest jar of honey ever.

Elk Camp Arts, Gallery and Showroom. Sitting on main street in downtown Eureka, this local art gallery has a fantastic selection of made-in-Montana products, including hand-painted mugs and wine glasses, Amish furniture and bronze sculptures.

A hand-painted mug by Randy McIntyre is one of the favorite Christmas presents I've ever gotten.

A hand-painted mug by Randy McIntyre is one of my favorite Christmas presents ever.

Cloth & Crown. My favorite shop in Missoula, Cloth & Crown has one of the best selections of clothes, jewelry and accessories for women. They carry a wide variety of clothing and jewelry lines that are made in the USA, as well as specialty lines that come from right here in Montana.

Bison leather clutches (made in Missoula), plus jewelry designed by Jenna Smith, the owner of Cloth & Crown.

Bison leather clutches (made in Missoula), plus jewelry designed by Jenna Smith, the owner of Cloth & Crown.

The Sweet Palace. Truth time: I love candy. One of the must-stop places for locally made chocolate is The Sweet Palace in Philipsburg. Not only is it a fun shop to walk into, but they have one of the largest selections of sweets I’ve ever seen, including fudge, taffy, chocolates and hard candy. PS: You can also order their candy online here.

Hello, Sweet Palace.

Hello, Sweet Palace.

Glacier Country’s Montana Beanies. If you’re anything like me, you (or your girlfriend, wife, sister, dad, etc.) probably have crazy hair days. My cure for my messy hair is throwing on a beanie or hat. These cute beanies are unisex and come in dark blue, light blue, pink and red. Plus, they’re on sale for $15.95 through Christmas.

The pink is my favorite.

The pink beanie is my favorite.

Montana Magazine. You guys, I love Montana Magazine. (So much so that I actually have my very own subscription). The magazine comes out six times per year and tells stories from around Montana, including Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and some of the state’s best off-the-beaten path destinations. My favorite part: the colorful features that highlight a cast of Montana characters like James Behring, a Missoula resident who business is making custom knives.

Happy Christmas,
TT

Christmas in Montana: The Perfect Gift

I’m not usually one to start talking or thinking about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. At the earliest, I’ll give it a thought after Halloween but in my book we need to at least bust a few other holidays out before our thoughts are turned to one of the most wonderful times of the year.

But here’s the thing, my party people.

Snow is falling in Montana. The goose is getting fat. In other words, Christmas is coming. The fact of the matter is that we only have about 50 (or so) days until one of the world’s most loved holidays puts its big arms around us and says, “What’s up, I’m here. Where are the presents, family traditions, carols and eggnog?” To which I’ll appropriately respond, “Right here, Christmas. Right here.”

Which leaves me wondering a certain question. How many of you have ever spent a Christmas away from home? I have spent a total of zero away from my parent’s home on the Rocky Mountain Front. Mainly because I’m kind of a huge baby and a bit of a mama’s girl.

The destination for my last 29 Christmas holidays.

But I’ve been thinking about this, if I could take my whole family with me (even the loud, crazy ones), I’d be mighty tempted to spend Christmas at a far away (or close by) destination.

One of my favorite Christmas crews.

Imagine how cozy it would be to spend your holiday bundled up at a mountain cabin with festive tunes filling the room, a rowdy game of spoons and the crackling of wood burning in the fireplace. (I’m imagining it right now and I’m a little bit in love. I hope you’re picturing it too).

There are a few places in Western Montana that this very type of scene can happen. Here’s a few of my favorite picks for spending your Christmas in Montana.

  • The Resort at Paws Up: Located in Greenough (about a 30 minute drive from Missoula), Paws Up is an outstanding place any time of the year. I’ve had the pleasure of staying in one of their wilderness homes and literally no detail is overlooked by their staff. And if I was a betting gal, I’d say that spending a Christmas here would be one for the memory books, complete with sleigh rides, visits from Santa and ice skating on a frozen pond.
  • Double Arrow Lodge: Located just minutes from Seeley Lake, Double Arrow is a place where you go and feel completely at home. The original lodge (built in 1929) is where much of the guest interactions take place, while they have a variety of cozy cabins located throughout the property. Plus, you can cross-country ski or snowshoe along on-site trails.
  • Whitefish Mountain Resort: Located minutes from downtown Whitefish, Whitefish Mountain Resort offers a variety of lodging accommodations, including private cabins. They also have a Home for the Holidays special.
  • The Ranch at Rock Creek: Located near Philipsburg, The Ranch at Rock Creek has a Christmas stay that includes luxury accommodations in the lodge or in one of their private cabins, plus a winter walk, Christmas feast, visit from Santa and various on-site activities.

Happy holidays, a little early, from your very own Montana elf.

xo,
TT