Ponder this:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Holiday catalog shopping

Christmas is coming, and so are the catalogs. My rural mailbox is several hundred feet up the road from my driveway (the United States Postal Service fears coming too far down the road for fear of a non-return trip) and I break several vehicle and traffic laws by pulling to the far side of the oncoming lane to open the box from my car. During the last week there's been a veritable avalanche of catalogs waiting to fall upon me (if I'm quick) or on the ground (if I'm not) when I pull down the mailbox door.

I love this.

I bring them all indoors and stack them next to my Evening Chair, and spend hours examining each picture and sensual description of the myriad gift items.
"5 handmade brushes, each with a different width and length. Our ink set contains 5 ink blocks in black, red, blue, gold(!) and white, each embossed with a golden dragon." I think it's the "embossed with a golden dragon" that grabs me. And the idea of blocks of ink . . . I imagine the smooth surfaces, the rich colors.
Winter-themed solar lights! I envision glowing fairylights out in the cold winter darkness, softening, to my eye, the edges of the ice shards blown by the biting wind.

These poor deer would be blown two fields away in a week of our winter wind...but aren't they pretty?

Brightly colored alphabet giraffe puzzles, the A at the animal's head, the Z at its hind foot . . . sixteen inches tall! I have no children for whom to buy gifts but I like it so much that I consider for whose child I might buy it. (I have always leaned toward the educational in gifts . . . a characteristic not much appreciated by my child gift recipients, I think. I remember a plastic clock I had when I was learning to tell time; I loved it. But that was in the olden days. I think many children now cannot read analog clocks, only digital.)
Personalized everythings . . . gift boxes, pen sets, parking signs... Smooth woods, glittering crystals, wit in red print on metal.
Stacked boxes of fruits and nuts, assorted coffees and jewels of jams and jellies.
Boxed sets of holiday greeting cards with dreamy pictures and sentimental messages.
I'm sucked in by all of it.
I turn over corners of pages as I go, mentally piling up all the lovely sparkling treasures.

I set the catalogs aside, and during subsequent evenings I go through them again and again, running through the fingers of my mind the opulence of these riches.

I order nothing, and in February throw out the whole stack.

8 comments:

Wanda said...

Funny...so do I!

GooseBreeder said...

A the place of dreams in our lives! How enriching they are and what fun!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"I envision glowing fairylights out in the cold winter darkness, softening, to my eye, the edges of the ice shards blown by the biting wind."

I do that too. And then I throw them all out, except for many a special order here or there.

Lord Wellbourne said...

Thank you for visiting my blog, The Maine Thing. I have just spent the last hour and a half mesmerized by your writing in Growing Old Gratefully. I will come back and read as many of your previous posts as time allows. Time flies when reading your insightful musings. I'm glad to have encountered you. I think it would be a hoot to 'pour tea' with you.

Mary said...

I love to look, too, but my loudest side keeps saying, "It's not worth the money!"

June said...

It appears that this catalog ritual is a widespread phenomenon!
Lord W, happy to have you come by here as well! How flattering to find I have written "insightful musings"!

Barb said...

Hi June,
It is a little disconcerting to see so much of myself in someone else - aren't we all supposed to be unique? Well, apparently not when it comes to catalogs!

June said...

Barb...yeah...we are all unique.
Just like everybody else. :-P