Catalogs: One of My Favorite Holiday Traditions

It doesn’t bother me too much that DVDs and streaming video have taken away the need to catch a favorite holiday movie on the night it airs on TV. Nor do I mind that I can listen to a favorite carol any time I like thanks to the magic of iTunes and mp3 players. But the one thing I definitely would miss if it were to be displaced entirely by modern technology would be the holiday ritual of sifting through a nice big stack of catalogs.

Holidays, catalogs and creating the annual wish list all go hand-in-hand for me and have for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I recall the excitement of getting one of the big three wishbook catalogs in the mail – JCPenny, Sears & Montgomery Wards. My brother & I would spend hours poring over the pages, especially the back section that was filled with every toy our little minds could imagine at that time. Out would come the pens so we could circle our favorites and it didn’t take long for nearly every page to be dog-eared with hopes our parents would take notice. Eventually my mom would put a big wish list chart on the fridge with a column for each of us where we could transfer our hoped-for items. Needless to say, I had no problem filling up my space … and then some!

The Internet has definitely taken the place of ordering by mail, in my family at least. But the print catalogs remain …

Stack of Holiday Catalogs

The short stack of big wishbooks has been replaced by a seemingly never-ending stack of smaller booklets. And the  deliveries start coming far earlier these days than I remember them arriving as a kid. But the thrill is the same … give me a hot cup of coffee, a cozy blanket and a stack of catalogs and let me park myself in the armchair next to the Christmas tree and I’m good for hours.

The kids poring over catalogs.

While my own perusing is now generally in search of that perfect gift for someone on my list, my girls have taken up the pastime and true to form, pretty much point out something (or everything) on every page that they “really, really want!” A new favorite for Skylar this year is the American Girls catalog … or in her words, “the American Dolls.” And Danica just loves it all … as long as she can be just like her big sis.

I like to do my actual shopping online, but oftentimes it’s only after picking out a list of items from the print pages. There’s just something about having that book in my hands and the leisurely opportunity to think and explore and dream that I hope won’t soon be replaced by technological advances.

Handful of favorite catalogs

How about you? Are you a catalog junkie too? Have a favorite you’d like to share?? (There’s always room for one more!!!)

Be sure to stop by the December Challenge Forum and share your response to today’s story starter! Capture a bit of your everyday, real life in the process, plus every day you participate is another chance at winning our $50 gift certificate just in time for the New Year!


  1. Your stack looks like my stack! My daughter carries a catalog with her throughout the house, too – that’s her favorite part of this time of year.

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