25 Days of Thanks- Day 18

Thankful- J.C. Penney Catalog

Back before the internet, Amazon, and even email, toy information around the holidays came from one of four places:

1-  Friends
2- Commercials in between Ducktails
3- Begging your parents to take you to Toys R Us
4- The J.C. Penney Catalog

The J.C. Penney catalog was an amazing feat.  If you’ve never seen it, think of it as Amazon on paper.  Everything from tools, to office supplies, to jeans, to tires were in this thing.

But all that mattered to a young child were the 30-40 pages somewhere in the middle.

Flipping to these pages brought you face to face with the hottest things for the year.  The Star Wars playset in full color and setup with action figures having massive battles.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles driving their van through a mock-up of city streets with Leonardo hanging out the top ready for action.  Lego builds that would span two pages.  And yes, we’d point out the Barbie section to my sister so she could get her fix.

I know my parents worked very hard each year to provide us with a great Christmas and I thank them each year for what they do.

It must have been tough, as I’m sure it is for many parents and will be for me one day, to see the amazement and excitement as I flipped through pages but knowing that they couldn’t buy all the things I “wanted”.

I’m glad they showed restraint.  It was a valuable lesson that helps me everyday.

But I guess what I’m thankful for with these catalogs are the moments of imagination and wonder.  Let’s be honest…when you got the physical toys, it never really played out like it was shown in the pages.  Don’t get me wrong.  We did have fun with the toys.  I think that I just never said “thanks” for the imaginative moments.  The moments when you put the catalog down, went outside, grabbed a wiffle ball bat, and turned it into the lightsaber that will save the galaxy.

I don’t know if I’m saying this right but, I’m thankful for the imaginative moments just as much (if not more) than the hands on moments.  The J.C. Penney catalog helped, in a small way, encourage my imagination.

Thanks for reading…



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