First sign that Fall has really arrived.

I failed to post my usual Happy Fall Equinox post back on September 22nd when it rolled through and I blame my forgetfulness on the very un-Fall like weather we’ve had recently. Until today we’ve been regularly breaking the 80° mark (we’re managing only 74° today) so it hasn’t felt much like Fall, though some cooler temps in August and early September did manage to start the leaves changing ahead of schedule.  This morning, however, was downright nippy out when I left for work and when I came home I found one of the the surest signs that Fall has finally arrived… in my mailbox. What could that possible be, you ask? Why the arrival of the first Harriet Carter catalog of the season!

I’ve written of my fascination with mail order catalogs before and how they can start the slow build-up of anticipation for the holidays that I usually start to feel around about this time of year. There’s rarely anything in these catalogs I’d actually buy, especially the Harriet Carter one, but I can’t throw them away without sitting down and glancing through them at least once as they bring back fond memories of my childhood. Of course none of them compare to the ultimate in mail order catalogs: The Sears Holiday Wish Book. Long since gone from American mailboxes, the arrival of this vaunted tome of treasures was a highly anticipated event around our house—at least for me. Before there was an Amazon Wish List, the Sears Wish Book was how we kids made up our list of hoped for Christmas gifts. Armed with an ink pen and an afternoon free to explore each page in detail, that poor catalog didn’t stay in a pristine condition for very long. Sears has since taken the Wish Book online, but the URL simply links to their “gifts” section of their website which doesn’t give one the sense of wonder and possibilities that the printer catalog once did. Reportedly, Canadians still enjoy receiving a 1,000 page Sears Wish Book to this day.

Anyway, the first of the season’s catalogs has arrived and I can feel the anticipation starting already. We’re headed into my favorite time of the year. I suppose I should get started on some sort of Halloween themed design for the website…

7 thoughts on “First sign that Fall has really arrived.

  1. I’ve never been a big fan of holidays, b-days, or any event that disrupts normal activity for aimless fun.  Honestly, i pretty much dislike them.  Anything that interrupts the normal cadence of daily life has always seemed to me to be more of a burden than a joy.

    Weekends are enough.
    Holidays are like serving cotton candy with meat and potatoes, to me at least.

    rob@egoz.org

  2. I remember those days of going through the Sears Wish Book – man, that takes me back.  Especially when they’d have the newest Star Wars toys at the time.  Nothing like being an 8 year old Star Wars fan when the Wish Book showed up.

    The Christmas stuff didn’t seem to go up in the stores until this month, after Labor Day.  Or maybe I just didn’t see it until then.  Last year it was out in August.  Jeez, that’s just TOO freaking early in the year.  At least wait until the leaves start to turn – in ANY part of the country.  It’s just not right to be in shorts, sweating, thinking about summer stuff and walk up on a holiday display in the store.  Might induce a heatstroke or something.

  3. This must be the day of SEB-enabled flashbacks!  First, The Last Starfighter, and now the Sears Wish List.  Oh, how I long for the days of circling the Empire Strikes Back sleeping bag while fighting with my brother over which of us gets to ask for Optimus Prime….

    Good times, my friends, good times.

  4. I hate catalog season. We tend to be inundated ever since we have kids and if we forget to pick up the mail, we’re likely to experience the dreaded mailbox overflow.

  5. Online shopping has curtailed our catalog influx.  I used to keep a box of current catalogs for when I needed to “shop” for something. 

    I grew up rural, so trips to the nearest mall were always fun, especially with a pocketful of Xmas cash that wasn’t going to get spent anywhere else.  When I bought my own computer, sound cards and cd-roms were out, but not standard on a pc, so walking into Best Buy with a wad of cash was divine – especially for a po’ college student.  Oh, the agony of deciding between a 14.4 modem, 4Mb ram upgrade, or cd-rom, and you’ve only got a couple hundred bucks!

  6. Hrm….if you go into Sears, last I knew, they still have it.  JC Penny has their own version as well.  My guess is the shipping just got to be too high for them to send it out everywhere like they used to here in the states, you walk in, and you can pick it up for free.

  7. Rob, this explains much about why your comments boggle my mind when I read them. I don’t think we could be more polar opposites.

    Ragman, the Star Wars figures were an oft-request item, but alas I only managed to collect a few in my time. Instead I got the cheaper, but still fun, Micronauts playsets and figures.

    The stores around here aren’t too bad about putting up the Christmas stuff early. Some of the artsy-craftsy stuff will hit stores in August as folks will want to start working on that stuff about that time. The first supply-type stuff will start hitting in late September or early October, but they will generally wait to get Halloween out of the way before rolling out all the major Christmas stuff.

    Ted, I get flashbacks all the time and I wasn’t even in ‘Nam.

    Elwed, we don’t get too many catalogs. Mostly only from places we’ve actually ordered from in the past. These days it seems a lot of places are cutting back due to shipping costs and the cheaper avenue of going online. Most of our Christmas shopping the last couple of years has been done online, which is rough for a die-hard mall crowd shopped like myself in some respects, but also a pleasant relief in others.

    Slick, going in to get the catalog just wouldn’t be the same as having it magically arrive one day in my mailbox. That’s kinda like owning the old stop-motion holiday specials on video. It removes the “milestone” aspect of the object to be able to watch it/pick it up whenever you want to.

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