The perfect Christmas gift is something made in Wyoming


Buy Wyoming! This is one of my favorite columns of the year when we try to recommend Wyoming-made products for Christmas gifts.

Support your fellow Wyomingites this Christmas season by purchasing Wyoming-made products. This is my annual list of great ideas for items from all over the state.

I love books, obviously, and my favorite this year is the Wyoming Migration coffee table book. It retails for $50 and I am looking forward to seeing it under my tree.

Books by other authors such as Craig Johnson, Ron Franscell, CJ Box, John Davis, Phil Roberts, Rodger McDaniel, Gene Bryan, Karen Schutte, Steven Horn, and others make wonderful gifts. Be sure to shop in local book stores and other local retailers this year. Support your local merchants!

Pete Illoway of Cheyenne suggests folks check out the Made in Wyoming Directory on the state’s web page, which lists some 120 items made here.

Long-time Wheatland rancher Ray Hunkins suggests Foothills Cellar jams and jellies by Henry Poling, a paraplegic rancher, who obviously has great taste.

Queen Bee Gardens of Lovell sells amazing honey candy items, according to Darin Smith of Cheyenne.

Former long-time Wyomingite David Kathka loves Serendipity Confections of Laramie.  “Wonderful chocolate caramels and fudges,” he says.

Mike Jensen of Cheyenne raves about Maven products of Lander. This outfit was founded by Cade Maestes, Mike Lilygren, and Brendon Weaver. They sell the best binoculars I have ever seen and just came out with a line of spotting scopes and rifle scopes. Amazing optics.

Jerry Kendall of Hudson says here in Fremont County that Jess Forton makes pine furniture, Cleve Bell does metal sculptures to order and Dubois artist Marty Dorst paints custom Christmas bulbs. I believe Jerry produces some amazing walking sticks, too.

Central Wyoming College President Brad Tyndall recommends Farmer Fred’s Famous Sauerkraut sold in Lander and Jackson.

Cody Beers of Riverton recommends Wonderful Wyoming Honey, as does Tony McRae of Lander.

Dean McKee of Lander touts Wyoming Whiskey, distilled in Kirby, as the perfect gift.

Unique Wyoming themed jewelry and artwork are hand-crafted by Jill and Denny Hendrix in Upton and sold through their website wyomingsilvers.net and currently at the Frontier Mall in Cheyenne. In addition to affordable glass jewelry and lariat baskets crafted from recycled lariats, Jill has added a Yellowstone collection of fine art, says her brother, former Wyoming publisher Mark Raymond.

Amy Surdam raves about Alexis Drake handbags, belts and jewelry made here in Wyoming.

Jean Haugen recommends beadwork by Shoshone and Arapaho tribal members. She especially likes works by Tom Lucas.

The State Museum in Cheyenne is loaded with Wyoming products, according to Tucker Fagan.

John Davis wrote me the following: “I’ve got some Worland area local Wyoming products for you.  We have an active honey company, Bryant Honey, which has been producing honey and distributing it for three generations.  Amish Origins is another Worland company, one that makes a salve for ‘Deep Penetration Pain Relief.’ And some of the local ranchers are specializing in custom grass-fed, hormone-free beef. That includes Carter Country Meats (R. C. and Annie Carter of Ten Sleep) and Kendrick Redland of Manderson.”

Nancy Guthrie of Jackson recommends David Fales’ Wyoming Gourmet Beef of Cody. Tom Satterfield of Cheyenne likes buffalo products from Terry Bison Ranch.

Tom Cox of Lander suggests honey and Indian fry bread.

Pat Henderson in Sheridan sent me the following: “Legerski Sausage gift box. Fabulous tasty and such a unique product.”

Koltiska Distillery —  Sampler gift box of locally made crafted alcoholic beverages.  King’s Ropes — ropes, ropes, ropes. 

“And hats, winter stockman caps, western gifts and much more. P.S. the museum is free when you come in. Brinton Museum — season passes for the 2019 season of extraordinary 19th, 20th and 21st Century Western and American Indian art. Their Sunday brunch is pretty tasty too! Tom Balding Bits and Spurs — state of the art bit and spur designs backed by industry leading technologies innovation for horse-back riders.

“Special shout-outs to Bill Sniffin on his beautiful work including our picks of My Wyoming — 101 Special Places and Wyoming at 125: Our place in West — a great gift for all who love our Wyoming.”

Thanks, Pat.

The best gift you can give, though, is to reach out and help the needy. Support your local food bank programs and reach out to people who have suffered big losses this year.  A kind word or an invitation to a lonely person means a lot this time of year.

Check out additional columns at www.billsniffin.com. He has published six books.  His coffee table book series has sold 34,000 copies. You can find them at www.wyomingwonders.com.

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