When you open your mailbox this week, you might find a piece of your childhood waiting inside.

In a page straight out of “what’s old is new again“ Amazon is mailing toy catalogs to households across the country just in time for Christmas shopping season.

And I have to say, it makes me pretty dang happy. 

Remember when you were a kid and the Sears catalog showed up at your house? It was the first sign that Christmas was coming when I was a kid in the 80s and 90s, and my brother and I would scramble to be the first to pour over its slick pages.

Pages and pages filled with toys and games and cutting edge technology like Nintendo consoles and Tamagotchis made that catalog something to be reverently and carefully consumed. We made lists, we dogeared corners, and we dreamed of presents under the tree straight from those glossy pages.

And remember the satisfying weight of the thing? It was as big as an encyclopedia—of course, 80% of it got only a cursory page-through since curtains and power tools weren’t what we were after. But you could drop it down on the kitchen table with a satisfying thwack and breathe in the inky smell of childhood Christmas. 

With Sears now defunct, Toys R Us just a memory, and the ever-growing prominence of digital living, I never thought my kids would have that experience. But Amazon has figured out that the power of nostalgia might just be worth the price of snail mail postage. 

Because there is a certain excitement that can’t be replicated scrolling on a computer screen or tablet, isn’t there? Much like there’s still immense satisfaction and value in doing some holiday shopping at local small businesses, there’s still power in holding something in your hands and dreaming in real life. 

When our catalog arrived in the mail this week, my 5-year-old squealed with delight. She immediately took it over to the kitchen table, plopped it down with a slightly-less-satisfying-than-the-Sears-catalog thwack, and began marking her favorites.

The little girl inside of me smiled.

So much of Christmas—beyond the true meaning, of course—is about the memories we make. And this week, for this mom, those memories are coming in the form of a few 8 1/2 x 11“ pages bound with joy.

**If you haven’t received your copy of the catalog, you can check out the online Holiday Toy List HERE.

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Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom