From Sears Wish Book to Amazon’s Holiday Kids Gift Book

The Standard October 20, 2022

Many of us over the age of 35 remember the sheer excitement of receiving the annual Sears Wish Book in the mail as children. Inside were any number of wonderful, if not magical, toys and games. If we had siblings, we often had to take turns poring over its pages, circling the items we hoped to get that Christmas. Scouring the thick Wish Book became an annual tradition for many families from the 1940s through the 1990s, with the print catalog being published from 1933 to 2011 in various sizes ranging up to 834 pages. In those earlier years, Christmas was much more simple for most families in the United States. The majority of children were delighted to receive just a few of the gifts they had circled.

In November 2018 Amazon mailed out its first Holiday Kids Gift Book to Prime members. Last week the 2022 edition was delivered, complete with a blank wish list, stickers, word search, coloring pages, a cut-out craft and more. No prices are included for the items, but one can scan the pages to shop online for the over 600 toys and gifts

It can be such fun to open a special present or to watch someone else unwrap a gift which makes them happy. Through ministries like Angel Tree, Operation Christmas Child and Toys for Tots most of us gladly share to make Christmas special for children. In giving to our kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews we should resolve not to go over the top.  Did any child ever truly suffer from receiving a modest number of  things on their wish list? It seems certain that some children have suffered from receiving every single item on their long wish lists. (Think Varuca Salt on “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”)

As the biblical proverb, not promise, says, “Train up a child in the way they should go; even when they are old, they will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Generally speaking, when we raise our children to value what is important, to appreciate and take care of what they have and to consider the needs of others, positive attributes like moderation and gratefulness naturally will follow. The more we adults model contentment and sharing, the better off the children around us will be.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:6-10; 17-19)


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