Christmastime in Minnesota is like Christmastime anywhere else in the country, with rampant commercialism and wall-to-wall advertising hoping to convince you to buy yet something else that you don’t really need, like an electric jar opener!
This afternoon, as I was driving around town, doing some last minute errands and shopping before heading back to Beijing on Monday, I heard a radio ad that made me laugh out loud. The build-up was a man talking about all the dreaded gift certificates that are given for Christmas that are never used and end up in a drawer (sinister music) stuffed in an envelope (more sinister music) of unused gift certificates. We are assured then by The Voice that this gift certificate will not end up in the envelope (sinister music), but will be one that is actually treasured and used by the receiver. Well, all that sinister music did make me curious, I must admit, assuming all the while that it was Walmart or some boutique fashion shop, or the omnipresent spa! Wrong on all accounts. It was for a gun shop!!! Like I said, I laughed out loud and thought of what a uniquely American cultural thing that was…that we can give gift certificates from a gun shop as Christmas gifts. What a country!