Three years ago, I rigged my in-laws’ Christmas gift exchange. For some reason, I thought it would be easy to shop for a gift for my father-in-law and the plan was to get him bullets for his gun. My dreams were shattered when I realized that bullets are a hot commodity in North Dakota and needed to be preordered. He got a knife instead.
This year, I did not rig the drawing and I still drew my father-in-law’s name. I love giving practical gifts BUT most practical items (socks & underwear) he would just buy for himself if he needed them. I told my husband that I was thinking about getting his dad SAXX underwear. Jared politely suggested that I refrain from shopping for underwear for grown men. Back to the drawing board…
J Mart with the Win
I chatted with many grandpas at the gym over what to get my father-in-law. After many discussions, someone suggested candy! This was the perfect gift because most people love candy AND my father-in-law likes weird candy that you can’t get at gas stations.
On a day that was 10-below-zero, we headed to Pisek, North Dakota to J-Mart to shop for some treats. When we pulled up, we noticed that they do NOT accept debit or credit cards, so we rummaged around for some dollar bills and headed inside.
When you walk in the store, you take a step back in time. This general store had boxes upon boxes of candy lined up for customers in addition to their basic household items. After talking to the Jelineks, they said that the assortment in front of us was half of what it was a month earlier. Each year, they increase their order and each year, they still sell out of many items.
They take detailed notes as to how many cases they ordered, the price, when the item arrived, and when it sold out. In addition to candy, they proudly sell pickled herring, headcheese, nuts, and much more.
When we arrived home, mom someone asked if we could open the bags of candy and we decided that was a great idea! Based on Jude’s smile, his favorite was the chocolate-covered coconut. Can we count that as a serving of fruit?
J-Mart was a great experience and we look forward to making a trip to Pisek, North Dakota a yearly Christmas tradition. Next year, we will make sure to visit earlier in the season so we are able to get the full selection before the items sell out!
PS- This is our secret. Don’t tell my father-in-law about this post!