For many years, gas prices have bottomed out during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In 2012, however, Thanksgiving gas prices hit a record high nationwide while prices in Montana rose .7 cents over the week.

Still, Montana's average pump price was a little more than 5 cents lower than it was in 2011 and the $3.43 per gallon price tag is enviable compared to prices in many states. Missoula has some of the lowest prices, bottoming out at $3.29.

"While Thanksgiving 2012 is now behind us, the stigma of record high gasoline prices is not," said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "Thanksgiving Day 2012 featured the highest ever daily average for the holiday, beating out 2011 by over 10-cents per gallon."

According to DeHaan, prices will likely continue to fluctuate in the coming weeks, but shouldn't move too drastically until after the first of the year. "Optimism over retail sales and the perception of an improving economy are putting upward pressure on gas prices and taking us on a very different path in 2012" says DeHaan, "it sets up an ominous beginning to 2013."