Daily Archives: December 19, 2011


The Greatness of our Need


Some of my fondest memories as a child involve the sears catalog.  

That thing was massive!  Every year, my mother would hand me a pen and instruct me to flip through and to circle anything I wanted and write my name next to it.  Dutifully and with excessive glee I would flop down on the floor in front of the fireplace and turn with trembling fingers to the toy section.  Oh the bliss of those afternoons searching for toys that I couldn’t wait to uncover Christmas morning.  It’s a shame that the sears catalog is no longer the behemoth it once was; clicking the wishlist on Amazon just doesn’t have the same tangible thrill to me today.  With the book fully marked and every toy page covered in circles I would wait eagerly till Christmas morning.  

Now to be fair, I did get some toys on Christmas morning but the assortment under the tree was always paltry compared to the selection in the catalog.  Hindsight informs me that my parents were both loving and generous but invariably Christmas morning would arrive not merely with a much smaller collection of things that I wanted but always seemed to include with it a passel of items I needed but did not necessarily want. Every Christmas I was certain to find things like jeans that covered my ankles and lacked the holes I was prone to putting in them, shirts to replace the ones I had outgrown and the most dreadful yet needful Christmas present of all: socks and underwear!