So I went down to the drugstore for antihistamines, and decided to check out the Xmas cards while I was there. Now, it's a Korean-managed store in a larger chain, and has Korean touches (ahh, Elekiban, ahh tongue scrapers, ahh the really good ginseng) amid the usual drugstorish stuff, just so you get the idea that this is halfway between soulless chain and independant pharmacy. As we know, Koreans are mostly Christian, but it's never an in your face Christianity. Anyway, here are these boxes and boxes of Hallmark cards. To my surprise, the 'religious' ones- creche, wise men, like that- all mention Jesus or quote the Bible or at least ask God to give you your happy holidays. That's *not* usual up here, BTW; even religious cards rarely go beyond 'A happy and holy holiday.' In fact, if I were Christian, I might be annoyed by the covert secularization of my feast. All-purpose cards usually make some associative visual reference to the Christian holiday (pine trees, stars, maybe angels) while wishing one's Jewish, Buddhist, atheist, pagan and whatever friends the best wishes of the holiday season: but shepherds and wise men aren't all-purpose like that.
There was one particular card, a larger than average size, that was present in quantity- maybe a good ten boxes of same. An American flag with a much smaller holly wreath pinned to it, and the message 'Peace to the world.' I could only stand there blinking. Who'd reasonably expect Canadians- or at least, Torontonians- to send Xmas cards with an American flag on them?
I look at the prices. On the box it says USA $8.50, CAN $12.50 (someone's exchange rate is badly out of date) But then there's a sticker- $6.50 a box. Lord, lord. Remaindered American Christmas cards, just in time for the holiday season. I shall keep an eye on them to see how they sell.