We are SO lucky to have been raised amongst catalogs." - Meg Swan (Parker Posey), "Best in Show""
I don't know about you, but I love catalogs. I love the thought put into them (the good ones, anyway); the sets in which the products are displayed (and that, unless one has a zillion dollars, one would never be able to replicate); the dreaming and inspiration they contain.
My first experience with catalogs has to be the giant Fleet Farm catalog that arrived every October. For those of you not living in the Midwest, Fleet Farm is a farm implement/hardware store (around here, dubbed the "Man Mall") that transformed into a holiday paradise from the third weekend in October until the New Year. My sister Jen and I would pore over it with a fervor heretofore reserved for, well, nothing. We would very methodically cut out the items we wanted and make our own wish lists, complete with color choice and price (we found out pretty early that Santa was mom & dad).
And then, there wasn't much else. I don't recall a whole lot of catalogs coming in the mail until I was married the first time, in the mid-Nineties. And then - AVALANCHE! This of course coincided with the mid-size big-box stores coming into fashion, like Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, Garnet Hill and the rest. For a while I must've been on some sort of list, because every holiday season I'd get probably 100 catalogs. It became almost maddening.
I got very few catalogs this year; I wonder if stores are cutting back on their printing and mailing costs and just focusing on their online catalogs. Doesn't this make far more sense, anyway? Imagine the money a company could save if they never printed/sent a catalog again!