Ode to the Sears Catalog : Losses of the Digital Age

Despite my love for the digital age there are occasions when I realize some things have been lost. One of those is the Sears Catalog at Christmas time.blank630x20

I love the digital age. There’s not a day goes by that I’m not grateful to be alive during the 21st century. We literally have the world at our fingertips, with any information we need just a click away. But there are rare occasions when I realize some things have been lost in our computerized world. One of those is the Sears catalog.blank630x20

Despite my love for the digital age there are occasions when I realize some things have been lost. One of those is the Sears Catalog at Christmas time.blank630x20

Despite my love for the digital age there are occasions when I realize some things have been lost. One of those is the Sears Catalog at Christmas time.

In the 80’s and 90’s, like many households, we received our catalog in the mail at least once a year. It was overflowing with goodies for adults and children alike. But as a kid, one of the great joys of the holiday season was grabbing a pen, finding a quiet spot and sitting down with that thick tome of wonder as we slowly turned each page, methodically circling the things we wanted Santa to bring. Though we never got everything we circled, (because we circled everything) there was excitement, anticipation and hope. The activity itself was the pleasure.

Despite my love for the digital age there are occasions when I realize some things have been lost. One of those is the Sears Catalog at Christmas time.That tradition carried on with my own children and one year I snapped a photo of all of them lying on the floor with the catalog in the middle, as our oldest, Charles, turned the pages.

Time went by, progress was made. We were so busy with our noses in our gadgets we hardly noticed, but the catalogs stopped coming. A small bit of magic was gone.

I readily admit I can now quickly find online everything Sears and any other store sells, including digital catalogs where I can virtually turn pages. And let’s not forget the many trees that are spared from not printing those huge volumes. And yes, it’s basically corporate America trying to sell us their latest and greatest stuff. But that tangible catalog was more than those things. It was tradition entwined with promise and delight. And despite all those valid points, I still feel a tiny ache inside at this little slice of my past that’s gone and all the kids won’t get to experience it.

Luckily Christmas, in and of itself, has a special enchantment and there’s a never ending variety of ways to create those same feelings that children seem to specialize in. I just felt like I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge this small simple pleasure of my past and offer thanks. So here’s to the Sears catalog. Though your purpose was financial, you nonetheless brought joy, hope and a smile to millions of kids over the decades and that’s quite an accomplishment. Gone but not forgotten. At least in the heart of this 57 year old kid.

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blank630x20Despite my love for the digital age there are occasions when I realize some things have been lost. One of those is the Sears Catalog at Christmas time.

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25 Comments

    1. Nancy Author

      Good for them! I guess there are a few smaller ones out there you can still find for kids to joy. Thanks so much for stopping by Shecki and commenting. Have a wonderful Christmas!

      Reply
  1. Awww… your post brought back some sweet memories. My brother, sister, and I each had our own marker color to circle the things we wanted in the Sears catalog. We rarely got those gifts, but is was fun just to search the catalog and dream about them.

    Reply
  2. Great post and I too remember looking at the Sears catalog. My younger children still look at toy catalogs today and circle what they want. I think the biggest change is kids have so much more today than years ago. It is hard to even find stuff that will entertain them anymore. Sometimes the best gifts don’t come in catalogs. The older I get and the more children we had (we have 6) it became quite clear that quality time with family and being outdoors is probably the best gift we can give our children.

    Reply
  3. Oh my soul! I miss that SO much! I was just thinking about the Sears Catalog the other day. My sister and I would share the book. She would “have” one side, and I would “have” the other. We could only get gifts from our side. It’s sad that my children will never know this. Thanks for posting this and bringing back sweet memories!

    Reply
  4. I miss the Sears catalog! Every year at Christmas when I was growing up my parents would let me and my little brother make out our wish lists for what we wanted for Christmas and they always did their best to get us most of the things we asked for. Such good memories! Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
  5. Erin

    Growing up in the 70s I, too, loved the Sears catalog. In addition to circling my favorite toys, I liked cutting out the people modeling the clothing and making little paperdoll families. Thank you for the nostalgia!

    Reply

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