Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Wishbook

The Sears Holiday Wishbook arrived some time ago via US mail, inspiring a flood of childhood memories of hours spent on the floor of our living room, elbow-to-elbow with my big brother pouring over page after page of the wonderous catalog of toys.

As kids, we weren't allowed to fold or dog ear the pages of the wishbook, thus destroying the virtuous integrity of the sacred tome.

Instead, we had to memorize or write down what we wanted. Which wasn't an easy task, as the 400+ page wishbook of my childhood was a hefty collection of double-sided toy bearing madness.

Studying the wishbook was a Christmas tradition as sacred and familiar as tossing tinsel on the coniferous douglas fir and watching in childhood wonder as my Mom put up the whimsical miniature winter display complete with rolled out fake snow, 1/64th scale sleds filled with tiny gifts, bug-eyed plastic bendy elves, and reindeer with faded paint on their antlers and hooves.

Alas, today's Sears Holiday Wishbook was a mere 123 pages. Barely a shell of the ode to childhood consumerism of my past.

But it was still a toy catalog, therefore it's diminutive girth didn't seem to phase my girls in the least.

Not yet aware of the significance of the sacred wishbook tradition, I gladly guided my daughters down the time-honored ritual of wishbook page flippage.

I plopped down on the floor and encouraged my daughters to grab a pillow and sidle up next to me in front of the wishbook. The only Rockwellian icon missing from this picture was a roaring fireplace. We just turned up the thermostat.

It was then and there that the three of us commenced to study each and every page of that book, commenting, oohing, ahhhing, drooling, and dreaming of Christmas mornings, past, present and future.

Another memory made, another tradition continued. It's the little things...

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