Holiday Wish Book Catalogs – Not So Secret Obsessions

As a kid, I loved holiday catalogs. The heavy catalogs containing hundreds of pages of glossy color images of things for sale, of wishes. My grandparents had several old Sears and JC Penny catalogs on the stairs to the upstairs bedrooms at their house. They were from the 1960s, a time capsule to an era 15 or so years earlier. I would look through all the pages, laugh at the fashions, and pine over the gadgets and bikes. The closest thing I have to that sort of feeling today is looking through the Sunday newspaper ads.

My childhood was weird. I wasn’t happy or stable or felt like I fit in anywhere and didn’t understand why at the time. I lived in my head a lot. I read a lot of books and daydreamed often. Flipping through the pages of old catalogs was an escape and also exactly what it was titled: Wish Book.


The 1970 Sears

 Wish Book for the Christmas Season is 456 pages of absolute perfection.


The JC Penny Christmas Catalog is similarly beautiful at 608 pages.


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