Nothing says Happy Holidays like the gift of a good ol’ American gun. For decades, Americans of all ages have squealed at the sight of a shotgun at Christmas.
And nothing cheers up a dull droopy holiday party like target practice in your own home. For generations, holiday target practice – whether in the parlor, living room or family den- has been an American tradition since the late 1930s.
Happy Days Are Here Again
Like any holiday hostess, Helen Van Dam wanted to make sure her guests had a swell time at her annual holiday celebration. The Depression was over and by 1937, life was back to being a bowl of cherries.
The eggnog was made, the yuletide pudding all prepared and the recipe for her aunt’s fruit cake bursting with sugar and spices and fruit galore had been followed to a tee. But Helen had been so busy preparing for the party, wracking her brains for just the right party entertainment that she was way behind in her Xmas shopping.
T’was the week before Xmas and all through the house everyone was full of good will and holiday spirits- except one lone sad, housewife who had troubles. Helen was a girl who hadn’t had the foresight to face her Xmas present problem early and squarely.
So here it was just about time for Old Nick to make with the reindeer and the big brown sack and she still hadn’t made up her mind about presents, or how to amuse her party guests.
Even the mistletoe began to droop!
Exhausted, she plopped down in her big overstuffed club chair, flipping through this weeks issue of Life Magazine. Luckily, her eagle eye spotted an advertisement that would solve both her problems
It was the gift that would kill 2 birds with one stone…literally.
Pistol Packin’ Mama
“Once every two or three years along comes one Christmas gift that’s “just the thing” for anyone on your list. This year, Targeteer fit the picture,” begins this 1937 advertisement.
“No matter how many problem names you have to worry about, here’s a gift that suits your purse and purpose perfectly. For the youngsters or their grandma- for the office boy or boss. Targeteer will be the prize package under the tree.”
“Because the pistol is built for harmless fun- (You can shoot it, without casualties, in the living room); and because it has the feel that makes you want to draw a head and squeeze the trigger. “
“Put Targeteer on your list for any member of the family and just to make sure that Christmas doesn’t come and go without added cheer, get one for yourself today.”
Yes it was a sure-fire gift for everyone in the family
And just as importantly, it was just the party fun she was looking for. No dull game of cards or charades for Helen’s guests… they’d be a trigger-happy bunch.
Hostess Aims to Please
“Here’s an idea for the distracted hostess, at a loss to amuse her guests…The Targeteer air pistol.” So announced the copy in this ad.
“For “smart giving- adult guest entertaining- short-range target practice in your living room get the amazing new Daisy Targeteer.”
“Step up and try your eye- test your skill with the Targeteer, the new exciting table target pistol set . Only $2.”
“You’ll get a kick out of popping a bull’s-eye with this handsome blue steel pistol with its 10 in barrel. And you’ll really wake up and live when you make the “birdies” spin…a shot you can execute neatly at 12 feet.”
“Targeteer comes with 2 sets of targets…a handful of good old bulls eyes with a new color scheme and a brand new “spinner type. The package itself is a backstop. Put it anywhere- indoors or out.”
“You don’t have to worry about wreckage. This air pistol is so safe you can shoot it at your hand without injury. 400 Rounds of tiny B-B ammunition included provided hours of fun.”
Helen really hit the bull’s-eye with this one… this Xmas she’d really be a pistol packin’ Mama.