25 Days of Christmas Memories – Day 5

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December 5

Does anyone remember Christmas catalogs? I don’t mean the thicker-than-usual-but-still-paltry Toys-R-Us flyers that begin showing up around Thanksgiving; I mean the phone-book-size catalogs that came from Sears or JC Penney and had everything from clothes to toys to household items to fancy gadgets.

My brother and I always waited anxiously for these catalogs, and when they finally came, we’d spend days fighting over who would get to look at it first, and I swear if we’d had an egg timer in the house, we’d probably have set it to make sure we each got out fair share of time looking at it.

Back in those days, we didn’t have internet or Amazon and all those other online shopping sites, so we looked forward to those catalogs that held treasures we’d likely never have thought of on our own. We kids would sit for hours poring over all the cool stuff and adding to the list we’d read to Santa when we got the chance to see him.

The lure of those catalogs didn’t wear off as we got older, either; the only thing that changed was what we were looking for. As I got older, my attention drifted away from the stuffed animals and Barbies, and started gravitating more towards clothes, electric keyboards, and science-y things like telescopes and rock tumblers.

I’m sure there are still catalogs around today, but I doubt they’re anything near as awesome as the ones we had when I was a kid. I also doubt they’d feel as special either, when we can just hop online and find anything we want any day of the year. I’d love to find one and bring it home for my kids to look at, just to give them a taste of what it was like to make a Christmas list in “the old days.”

What was your ultimate must-have item from a Christmas catalog?

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