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I check the mailbox. Nothing. OK … bills. It used to be filled with holiday catalogs. There was Vermont Country Store, with old-time candies, colognes like “Evening in Paris,” flannel pajamas, ornaments and decorations from yesteryear, like those bubble lights and waxed angel candles. They still sell board games for families like Life and Candy Land, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and Bavarian wooden weather houses, where the man would come out if rain was coming and the woman if a sunny day was predicted. Then there’s LL Bean with warm scarfs and cozy slippers! I loved the Trappist Monks who remind you about their delicious jams, coffee, and fudge, along with a CD of Gregorian chants or holiday choruses. There’s Harry & David, with the delectable pears, fruitcakes, Moose Munch, chocolate popcorn and chutneys.
I used to be bombarded with these catalogs every year, like Lands End who sent coupons, which always equaled a purchase from me. I’m easy, but I like to see the merchandise. There’s nothing in the mailbox this year. I asked my sister if she’s gotten any catalogs this year? Zero. What happened?
I did get a postcard from Fossil announcing Black Friday specials. It’s tucked behind the phone and I will pop in, thanks to advertising. They tell you to shop local. It boosts the economy — forget online, Amazon, the easy sitting at home at your computer shopping. Get out and mingle, have an early breakfast at the local Cracker Barrel and see what the local shops have created to inspire you. Getting in the holiday spirit requires getting up from a chair!
Does anyone remember the excitement of the arrival of the Sears Christmas Catalog? They called it “The Wish Book.” It was a big deal at our house, and as thick as a phone book. I was allowed to pick one thing. One year I picked Puppy (I thought it was a good name), a little stuffed dog with floppy ears. That’s it, I was asked? How about this fancy doll with a whole wardrobe or this cute bicycle with a basket? How about a Barbie Penthouse? No, I had to have Puppy. He came wrapped in a bow, a little tan dog with big ears, and my favorite gift ever. It’s still a great memory — and a reminder of the anticipation of the holidays.
In later years, there would be Mr. Snow Cone, Mouse Trap, and Jocko the big stuffed monkey. I never got the Barbie Dream House or Easy Bake Oven, all featured in glorious print in the Sears Catalog. I peeked in the attic alcove once (ok, many times) at the wrapped gifts, where I carefully unwrapped to see what was coming. Then I carefully resealed with the original tape and either went to bed with a smile or a frown – Yea! there was Puppy! Once, I unwrapped a glorious troll house, a suitcase-looking plastic cave for troll dolls! I loved it … except on Christmas morning the tag was to my sister! Ugh!
I feel like Charlie Brown – peeking into the mailbox but no valentines. What’s going on? Has Greta Thunberg spooked retail? Too much paper at the dump? I want my catalogs! I hope we get the post about the Ricochet Annual Christmas Card Exchange soon … I’m sick of just finding bills.
Do you order catalogs and like getting them? Are you inclined to order when you receive one? What directs your shopping habits or holiday inspiration to purchase from a particular vendor? What was your favorite toy as a child?Published in