Tag Archive | jc penney

Vintage Christmas Catalogs


Here’s an entertaining  site to browse through when you’re done with all your shopping. These guys have scanned literally thousands of pages from Christmas Wishbook catalogs from the 1940s to the 1970s.  It’s quite a labor of love and the graphics are fantastic.

I remember my sisters and I eagerly awaiting the delivery of the Sears Wishbook so we could make all our gift choices.  We truly believed that Sears and Roebuck was a subsidiary of Santa Claus, Inc., because everything we picked out of the catalog magically showed up at our house on Christmas Day.  We had no clue how he figured out what we wanted.  We just knew it had something to do with choosing presents from that special book and that’s all that mattered.   I  wonder if other kids  had that same catalog delusion back then?  Or were we just strange, which, if you knew my family, is a distinct possiblity! I’ll have to remember to ask my guests at Christmas dinner this year.

Anyway,  these Wishbooks are a real blast from the past and these guys have done a fantastic job with the scans.
It does take a couple of minutes for a full catalog to load if you have DSL, but worth the wait.

Here are a few examples.

Speigel catalog 1955. I was almost a year old when this one came out.  Unfortunately, way too young to order any of these fabulous accessories.


In case you didn’t know what to get your friends who live a specific alternative lifestyle,  the 1945 Sears catalog describes  music boxes as gay,  helpfully taking some of the guesswork out of gift giving.


Love the Barbie Color n Curl Beauty Salon from the 1966 JC Penney catalog.  You got wigs that changed to different colors and a cool hairdyer.  I don’t recall getting this for Christmas and now I feel deprived. But I did get the Barbie dream house  and my Barbie was very thankful. She was definitely too uppity to live in the communal conditions of my toybox!


It’s been great fun going through these, an added benefit being it’s been diverting my attention away from the cookies that I can’t seem to stay away from.

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