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.
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.
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.
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!
You’re so welcome Erin. Thanks so much for the kind comment.
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!
You’re very welcome Denise. Glad to bring back fond memories!
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!
You’re very welcome. Its amazing how the simple things can mean to most. Thanks for visiting Amanda!
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.
I hear you. There is just too much overload on toys and gadgets each one trying to out do the other. The simpler things can be the most meaningful. Thanks Margaret!
We couldn’t wait for the Sears and the Montgomery Wards Wish Catalogs to arrive. We spent hours perusing them to see what we might want for Christmas. Thank you for the memory!
You’re very welcome Linda. Ü
I love this! We were so excited when the Sears and Penny’s books came in the mail and spent hours with it. An Amazon wish list just isn’t the same. 🙂
Nope the digital stuff is just not the same. Thanks Robbie for visiting!
It’s amazing how fast times have changed, I remember my cousin and I circling what we wanted in the catalogs at my grandma’s house :o)
Those memories can be sweetest. Thanks for stopping by Tania!
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.
You’re so welcome. Glad you enjoyed it!
Such an awesome post. I miss the Sears catalog! As a little girl (I’m in my 30s now) I would love flipping through the baby sections and picking out clothes, toys and furniture for my future children. 🙂
You’re the age of my youngest! Ü Thanks for stopping by Erin.
This post brought back so many great memories of those big catalogs. Thanks 🙂
You’re so welcome Lisa. Thank you for reading it. Ü
Well we were on the same PAGE as I did a memories post and the Sears Wish book was a big memory of mine as well as many of the readers that commented : )
Fun post here !:)
Thanks so much Deb. That was indeed a coincidence, in more ways than one! I read your article and am about to comment over there. Ü
I too remember those good old days when we would recieve catalogues in the mail. Oh how times have changed. And I agree that it is good that we don’t waste so many trees but ther is nothing like holding one of those in your hands.
My kids still go through the Toys R Us catalog and cut out things they want to tape onto their Christmas lists.
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!