Thursday, December 12, 2019

Wish Book

Who remembers the JC Penney and Sears Christmas catalogs?  The Wish Book.  Oh what a special day it was when the brand new catalog arrived.  They were hundreds of pages thick.  Five to six hundred pages of clothing, gadgets, toys, games, beauty items, household items, and so on.  I was so excited and can still remember how those new, smooth pages smelled.  I would spend hours flipping through the pages.  I'd flip past all the clothes and household goods to find THE TOYS!  They were filled with every toy on the market.  Glorious pictures of smiling kids having fun with all the toys.  The Barbie stuff.  The latest dolls, the clothes, the furniture, the accessories.  Living in a small town with limited store options, this was the way to shop.  My Mom probably kept the local JC Penney catalog store in business!!  She started ordering the hard to find Christmas items in September or October to be sure they'd arrive in time.  We didn't have a real JC Penney or Sears store, just the catalog order store. Practically everything I got from Santa was ordered from a catalog.  We didn't even have a Walmart until the early to mid 80s.  My Mom kept the catalogs in the foyer closet and we'd dig them out when we needed to do some shopping.  Or sometimes just to look.  How I wish I had one now.

Of course, as I'm writing this I looked online and found THIS!  An entire blog dedicated to the old catalogs complete with page scans of entire catalogs.   OH MY.  I may or may not have spent a few hours flipping through them.

I even found a few things from my past.  The knock off Easy Bake Oven I had.  The exact doll house I had.  No one I knew had them and I had never seen the same kind in a store.  Now I know where they came from!

Of course I had to look them up and found these pictures:  

The windows never stayed in place.  Even with glue they would eventually pop out!  The people I had were too tall for the ceilings, so I'd usually make the kids the parents and the adults were giants.  

Once the mixes were gone, my favorite thing to bake was biscuits!  I'd make a homemade biscuit in the little silver pan, top it with butter, and eat it out of the pan with a fork.

Oh the memories...   definitely some of my favorite things.

Eventually the catalogs got thinner and thinner, and now with online shopping, thick catalogs are pretty much a thing of the past.

What did you buy from catalogs before shopping online was a thing?


  1. Even though we did have Sears and JC Penney in the DC area, we still poured over the Wish Book! We turned down the pages of the things we wanted, but my mother would go to the store to get them. My grandma ordered everything from the Miles Kimball catalog - we got to pick one thing for Christmas!

  2. I remember going to the stores like Sears and JC Penny's and the catalogs were there free in the store for your taking. Then they started charging for them, LOL, and now like you said they are basically things of the past. We spent hours looking at them and then we spent hours playing with them. Cutting out things to make for pretend homes, etc. So much fun the "younger" generation will never experience!


  3. My sister and I lived by those books from when they first arrived until after Christmas.