Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist.

Slack Tide: Juneau Holiday Gift Guide 2021

Neoprene PJs and caviar dreams.

By Geoff Kirsch

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — a little too much, even. It’s barely mid-December and I’m already out of gravel.

Still, with the holidays fast approaching, let us all of remember the true reason for the season: meeting fourth-quarter sales projections.

Ah, the time-honored holiday tradition of buying things nobody really needs. It’s as American as Apple Pop-Tarts ®. But here in Alaska’s Capital City, shopping can be tricky, even without Covid. I mean we invented supply chain disruptions!

And so I present this handy Juneau holiday gift guide, filled with great ideas for sourdoughs, cheechakos and everyone in between (cheechakourdoughs?).

Neoprene Pajamas

What passes for scuba gear in the Lower 48, constitutes practical sleepwear up here—especially when tent camping.

Juneau Army Knife

Swiss Army Knives are for Europeans. Corkscrews and toothpicks may come in handy at your chalet in Gstaad, but we Juneauites demand more from our multi-tools. Components include: chain saw; pull-tab scratcher; fish-bonker; beard waxxer; eagle poop-scraper; kale massager; bolo tie (Rep. Don Young signature model only)—all specifically designed to open without making you put down your Costco churro.

Amazon: AKcho

Special iteration of the Echo smart device, geared for the modern Alaskan lifestyle. Voice-controlled personal assistant AlAKsa can play media, manage your calendar, run smart appliances and perform a variety of other tasks… but only when the fish aren’t running or it’s not a powder day—good luck getting it to work then. And you probably shouldn’t expect it to show up on Fridays, either.

Stealth Umbrella

Stay dry without looking like you’ve got some kind of rubber fetish. And because the Stealth Umbrella is completely invisible, no one will know you’re violating that weird unspoken Juneau compact never to use umbrellas.

Tarp Cozy

Don’t let your tarps get wet.

Mustang® Survival Lingerie

Who says staving off hypothermia can’t be sexy? A must have for all those intimate evenings aboard your personal-use hand-troller. NEW, for men, XTRATUF® G-string.

Bear Claw Salad Tongs

Made from actual bear claws. Pair with authentic Oosik BBQ Skewer Set.

A Bunch of Random Junk I Won at a Silent Auction and am Now Re-Gifting

If you don’t want them, I’ll give them to my kids’ teachers. Speaking of which…

A Bottle of Some Sort of Homemade Berry Vodka I got for Christmas Last Year

It’s just taking up space in the freezer.

Great Alaskan Hanukkah or “Alaskanukkah” Basket

Create a Hanukkah to top all Hanukkahs, even all the way in Alaska, where the North Pole is a real place and people eat reindeer for breakfast. This basket has everything you need to make your Alaskanunkkah bright: black-tail deer antler menorah; devil’s club dreidels; pre-packaged latke mix (good luck finding that anywhere else in town!) and, for Christmas Day, itself, Chinese food, because here, even the Chinese restaurants close.

Juneau Scented Candle

This ain’t no dandified Yankee Candle. Available in a variety of patented Juneau scents: Smoked Salmon, Crab Bait, Wet Dog, Burn Pile (Original and Chemically-Treated), Defrosting Pit Toilet and Retail Cannabis Dispensary (don’t light that one until after the kids are asleep).

Juneau Snow Shovel

Pretty much just a flamethrower. In summer, doubles as Juneau Yard Trimmer.

Dads of Juneau” Beefcake Calendar

Try not to drool as a choice selection of local middle-aged men struts their hot, steamy Southeast Alaskan dadbods, primed from a long, dark autumn filled with Netflix and nachos. Partial nudity, only. We tastefully cover everybody’s… er… let’s call it “Panhandle.”

And be sure to visit the Juneau App Store, featuring:

— DoulaFinder: Maps route to nearest doula. Oh, there’s one. There’s another one. And another… Man, there’s a lot of doulas in this town.

Ditch: Like the mega-popular live video platform Twitch, except instead of streaming video gaming and eSports, provides real-time feed of motorists on the Egan Highway during any type of snowfall.

— GPS GPS: Locates your lost GPS, which you swear you stashed somewhere in your boat, garage, shed, crawl space or storage unit. Although it’s entirely possible you loaned it to any one of 20 people who, in turn, swear they stashed it somewhere in their boat, garage, shed, crawl space or storage unit.

— Shazalmon: Open the app, hold up your device to your catch and Shazalmon will identify the species of Pacific salmon so you can finally stop pretending to know the difference immediately upon first glance. Latest version also lets you discern the following cods: True, Black, Ling. You’re on your own for rock fish.

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