My Teen-aged Perfect Christmas List

From the time I was a small child and well into my teens, my mom bought most of our Christmas presents from Sears since they had mail-order and there were no major department stores in our town.  When we received the Wish Book, she would tell us to go through it a few times to see what we might like for Christmas.  Then usually around the first of November, she would tell us to look back through it again and circle what we really wished for, write out name in the circle, and fold down the corner of the Sears catalog page.

One year, mom told us how much money was allotted for each of us to purchase gifts.  The idea was to curtail anyone from asking for big items that would put her over her budget.  Knowing my dollar limit, I, as a thoughtful teenager, felt it would be beneficial to both me and my mom if I kept a tally of what the costs were as I looked through the book to be sure I did not go over budget by much.  As I was a teen girl, I selected make-up options, costume jewelry, and a few clothing items.  I only went over about $5, not including any applicable shipping or taxes.  I was quite proud of my frugality and the shopping choices I was providing for my mom..

On the other hand, mom thought this took the excitement out of selecting me an unexpected gift as a surprise under the tree.   When she tells the story, I sound greedy instead of helpful.  However, my list did help her pick different yet similar items on the one out-of-town shopping day she went on each year during the holiday season.   That shopping day typically coincided with the day she could go to the Sears Catalog Storefront to pick-up to pick up most of our ordered gifts.  So she ordered some things from the catalog and made a list of other things to look for.  

Actually, everything I got that year was a surprise to me because once I made the list in November, I never looked at that issue of the Wish Book again for fear I might find something good I missed the first time through.  Okay, maybe that does sound a little greedy – forgive me as I was a teenager at the time!

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