Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Christmas Wish Lists by Christine Johnson

Did you make wish lists for Christmas when you were a child? I remember carefully going through the toy catalogs and circling the items I wanted for Christmas. I’d then mark a big “C” so my mom would know I was the one who hoped to find this cherished item under the tree on Christmas morning.

We lived far from shopping, so catalogs were a great way for us to browse the season’s offerings. As an adult, I also realized the advantage of having children “shop” by catalog rather than in the store. Impulse buying was out. Mom couldn’t be influenced by plucking an item off the shelf and waving it in front of her face.

Perhaps that’s why I love the movie, A Christmas Story. Ralphie works so hard to “hint” to his parents what he wants. Knowing his mother disapproves only makes him try harder. Thinking back to some of my oddball requests as a child, the one that must have perplexed my parents was my deep desire for walkie-talkies. These little gems would allow me to stay in contact with my brother while we, ace child detectives, were on the hunt for evidence. (Can you tell I read all the Nancy Drew books?) They were also pretty expensive, and I didn’t think I stood a chance of receiving them.

Then came Christmas morning. At the appropriate time, after dad turned on the lights and we wished mom Merry Christmas, my brother and sister and I raced into the living room. To my utter joy, there sat my walkie-talkie set. My delight was so great that I remember it to this day, many decades later.

Christmas tree

Imagine asking for something even more audacious than a pricey gift from the catalog. In Mail Order Mommy, little Sadie wants a new mother for Christmas. She writes about this for her school paper, even suggesting exactly who that new mommy should be. Once her teacher reads this, the adults get involved. Unfortunately, Sadie’s father doesn’t want to get married to anyone but especially not to the woman Sadie named. She resembles his late wife far too much. How will Sadie ever get her Christmas wish?

Did you make Christmas wish lists when you were a child? What gift did you most want—and most fear you wouldn’t get?

Mail Order Mommy

Christine Johnson
Mail Order Mommy (LIH, Nov 2016)


  1. Christine, I smiled when you mentioned going over the Christmas catalogs as a child. When I was a child, we got every possible catalog and I looked forward to that time of the year so much. I'd carefully go over each of the catalogs and as always there was so many things to chose from. Nowadays, everything is online, but there was just something special about looking through those catalogs.

  2. Great memories, Mary. I remember lying on the floor and leafing through the catalogs. Such fun!

  3. I loved getting story books n still do getting caught up in the story such fun

  4. I really love your blog there's a lot to share. Keep it up. Actually, I am looking for Christmas Wishes. Do you have?

  5. Absolutely, Scraproni! There's nothing like a good book.

  6. Your Christmas Wishes texts are sweet, SMS timez. Sorry I don't have any to add, but you do have a lovely collection.

  7. What a great premise for a story, Christine.

    I asked for walkie-talkies too! Loved them. I was a Nancy Drew fan and played detective and G-Men. Anyone remember that show? I guess they were like FBI agents. :)

    I lived in Japan for three years as a child without TV. When we moved back to the states, I always watched Gunsmoke and asked for six shooters! My mom thought I was too old, but my father insisted that I receive my special request on Christmas. I had so much fun with those guns. I practiced my draw and was the fastest gun in the neighborhood! :)

    The Sears toy catalogs were great when my children were little. They would pour over the pages and let me know exactly what they liked.

  8. How sweet that your father supported your desire for six shooters, Debby. What a special Christmas that must have been.

  9. I also remember looking at the Christmas catalogue. So many wishes in that book. I think it was even called the "Wish Book."

  10. Yes, Merrillee! Great memory. It was called the Wish Book. Such memories...

  11. I loved the Sears catalog! I'd circle everything I wanted Santa to bring me. I think that's how I learned to dress--by mimicking the models in the catalog! I'm sure Santa stopped by Sears a lot in those days! Great post! Oh, and I still have a wish list. A long one!

  12. That must have been my guide for fashion too, Lenora! I don't suppose the wish list included shoes???