To quote the legendary Britney Spears "whoops, I did it again" not in a flirtatious way, but in a self-deprecating-and-anxious-as-hell sort of way. I've only had 30 Christmases so far, but it feels like I'm last-minute shopping for the millionth time. Oh well. The emergency trips to stores all across town have become another holiday tradition for me, and I've grown some fondness for it. From a seasoned veteran, here's what it's like last-minute shopping in Missoula.


It's not unusual for it to snow in Missoula around this time of year, yet it feels like it snows particularly hard whenever I'm last-minute shopping. It's like Jack Frost is punishing me for procrastinating, what a jerk.

Parking Lots

I don't want to be negative, so I'll just say that trying to find a parking space the week of Christmas in this town is not the most fun I've ever had.


Over 70,000 people live in Missoula and somehow they're all in front of me in line at our Target.


Missoulians are polite and good-hearted people, though we can be sassy at times— like when a cashier is judging the item you're buying, for instance. Once (in Missoula but I won't say which store) I told a cashier I thought my sister would like the merchandise I picked out, and she responded "well, it's nice to just get a gift." I was a little mad at the time but looking back at it makes me laugh, it's a fun story to tell.


I know I spent over 200 words complaining, but overall last-minute shopping in Missoula is a fun time for me. Seeing the festive decorations, hearing Christmas music and perusing the stores alongside cheerful Missoulians warms my heart every year. But if we're both reaching for the last Playstation 5, I will fight you for it.

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