I have officially started my Christmas shopping. Shopping online is great, but what I really long for is the days of the Sears Roebuck Christmas Wish Book. I eagerly awaited the arrival of that 4 pound catalog each year. I'd spend hours pouring over the toy section circling the things I liked and wanted for Christmas.
I did a little research and found out that the first Sears Roebuck general merchandise catalog was distributed in 1894 and the first Christmas Wish Book was published in 1933. The company stopped publishing their general catalog in 1993, but did begin publishing the popular Christmas Wish Book again in 1997.
Some of the items for sale in the first Christmas Wish Book were a Mickey Mouse watch, Lionel electric trains and live signing canaries. The Wish Book of my youth had more than 600 pages with a little over half featuring toys and the rest featuring clothing, tools and gifts for adults.
Of course the Wish Book has morphed for the digital and social media age. You can view the Wish Book online, there is a Wish Book app and if you visit the Sears Facebook page you can post a wish through the end of November to win prizes from Sears.
So while this iconic American Christmas staple is not the same Big Book from my childhood, we haven't lost it altogether.