After a shopping trip yesterday with my grandson, I remembered that most of my "shopping" for Christmas as a child was done through the Sears and Penny's Christmas catalogs. We would fight over those catalogs as soon as they arrived and we'd study them until they were dog-eared and opened automatically to the toy section.
We could each pick one item to put on our wish list - all the other things we could expect on Christmas morning would be clothes, socks and other useful things.
If a toy didn't come from the catalog, we might expect it to come from cereal boxtops. Each company offered a baby doll more desirable than its competitors. More than once we all held our breath in hopes that the baby doll that was to go to one of my younger sisters would arrive in time to be under the tree on Christmas morning.
It seemed that another tradition was to get sick with the stomach flu right on Christmas Eve. It was the dreaded scourge of the Christmas season - one that prevented indulging all sorts of wonderful special and tempting treats or perhaps caused by them.
But our traditions have changed - gone are the Christmas catalogs with their special world of enchantment. Now we scour the internet for those hard-to-find gifts while sitting beside a cozy fireplace. Or we haunt the corridors of Walmart, Big Lots, the shopping malls and the Dollar Stores.
The mere idea of saving boxtops and sending them in for a baby doll seems ludicrous in this "give it to me now" society we live in. Wouldn't you agree?
Yesterday I walked the aisles of Walmart as my 4 year old grandson's secretary, noting down items on his Christmas wish list. When we got home, he posted the list on the refrigerator. Unfortunately, I had already gotten his gift - and it wasn't on his list!
Enough rambling! How have your Christmas traditions changed since you were young?