As a child, Halloween is what symbolized the beginning of the holiday season around our house. Once the day full of costumes and candy was done, my brother and I could think of nothing but Christmas.
Granted, it was still months away and back in the 70's, I don't remember trees and reindeer decorating store aisles quite as early as they do now. However, on the day after Halloween, the toy catalogs started coming. Big, thick and full of possibilities, they were a clear indication that Santa was on his way.
We would get so excited to look through those giant books full of the latest toys and games, marker in hand, ready to circle anything and everything we were sure that we needed to make our Christmas morning spectacular...and it always was spectacular. Santa was a very generous guy (or gal~ thanks mom) and our family room always looked like Toyland. It was a magical time, that's for sure.
Today, when I find myself thinking about those lovely childhood holidays, I'm often smiling at the memories of those catalogs, more than the actual toys received. It was the anticipation of the day and the dreaming that was so very captivating. Flipping through page after bright, shiny page of the hottest toys, drinking hot chocolate around the dining room table, listening to my mom's old Mitch Miller albums on a cold November afternoon while my mom and dad watched football and my older sisters hung out with friends. At 46, am I too young to say, "Ah, those were the days?"
Well old or not, Halloween is over, the leaves have begun to turn and the temperature has definitely dropped. The Thanksgiving menu has been set and preparations for overnight guests are underway. I think I may have even heard a Christmas carol yesterday. It really is the beginning of the holiday season around here....and you know what? You know what I miss??
Catalogs! Plain old paper catalogs.
Yes, yes, I know, they are terrible for the environment. I also know that everyone shops online. You know what I say to that? BORING!
Yes, boring. I miss paper. I miss pretty books filled with toys and housewares all displayed in fabulous colors. I miss finding the giant holiday buying bibles in my mailbox. I long for the gift giving inspiration and peeking at items I didn't even know that I wanted or so desperately needed.
I get it, it's all about Pinterest now and yes, I am a huge fan of Pinterest, but to very honest, unless I'm looking for a recipe, I rarely go back to my boards to just browse around. I have good intentions, but it just doesn't happen.
When I got a catalog, I used to sit on the couch with my hot mug in hand in front of a Christmas movie and thumb through the shopping guide slowly, circling items, folding down pages to mark what caught my eye. Then that book would sit in my magazine rack or on my coffee table for weeks, if not months, where I would regularly pick it up again and revisit my dog-eared pages. I would see if I still had a craving for my circled treasures. I would hold the pictures up in certain rooms to see how something would look in context, drool over dreamy bedrooms and highlight crafty items I wanted to emulate. I could look and look. It's just not the same online.
My computer screen goes into sleep mode after a short period of inactivity. Apparently, gazing and swooning are too passive for my Mac.
It doesn't do too well with hot chocolate spills either and if I wait too long to revisit a webpage, I'm often greeted with "page not found"...that's not very festive. I could always find the pages when they were in the catalog. Page not found...
I know, it's all about progress and I guess I am just an old dog who misses the old days.
Well, at least the grocery circular still comes in the mail and I've got my marker ready.
Do you miss the old catalogs?
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