Memories of Christmas catalog

News 21 December, 2017
  • Christine Lemus

    Stéphane Plant

    Thursday, December 21, 2017 08:00

    Thursday, December 21, 2017 08:00

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    The closure of a chain of stores is becoming commonplace in the media. When I knew for Sears, I did not react immediately.

    And the Christmas decorations, and the tunes that go with it have emerged. This is where I thought of Sears. In addition to its traditional catalogue of Christmas in fact.

    With us, the christmas season began as soon as we received the Christmas catalog Sears. And also Distribution to consumers. So add the catalog, Canadian Tire and Radio Shack once.

    Flip through to me at the user fingertips the catalogs of Christmas, Sears or Distribution to consumers was a part for me of the traditions of the holiday season in the same way as preparing the christmas tree or install the garlands in the house.

    I walked faster on some pages, but I stared at all the passages of toys. And also the electronic gadgets, sports items, board games.

    Ah, I have admired…

    • games table hockey
    • channels stereo complete with a turntable, AM/FM, dual cassette
    • roller skates
    • of keytars
    • the Monopoly special edition with the small houses and hotels in wood
    • of kit to play chess, checkers, backgammon, etc

    I turned each page with attention. I didn’t want to miss anything.

    But, even with the best intentions, the pages were damaged by this consultation frenetic, in the same way (but not for the same reasons) than other types of publications that I will find out in adolescence…

    See and review my gifts are potential in the morning and in the evening made my days less long in the waiting of Christmas. I fell asleep even with a catalog in my bed very often. Some parents take their offspring to see a psychologist for less than that, I know.

    The Sears catalogues, Distribution to consumers, Radio Shack and Canadian Tire for the holidays were my books bedside. I délaissais my usual readings, not very numerous anyway at the time, to turn and return to each of the pages showing me the coveted items for the Big Night of December 25.

    I knew that my parents could offer me all of the desired objects. I encerclais therefore some must-sees(the chain, stereo double cassette) to show my priorities.

    To say that I knew by heart these bibles consumption would be an understatement. I had so many travelled that I knew the exact number of the page of the robot Tommy or Atari consoles.

    Catalogues Québécois years 60-70-80


    Catalogues Quebec years 70-80-90

    I was looking forward to going back to school for the read and the reread again. Because, yes, I was reading it. As a novel. Like a child who can retype dozens of times the Lion King.

    To my recollection, my teacher in 4th grade had forbidden that it brings the said catalogue in the classroom. The two or three pages, with the track proving to be more challenging as the basics of geometry.

    Seeing the main character in the film 1981 Ricardo Troggi, I was touched(and a little surprised) to know that I was not the only one to cultivate this scholarship weird to the consumption of the 80’s.

    My colleague Frédéric, I have also confessed that little he dreamed of the day when he would be big enough to go to the store for Distribution to consumers and fill him-even the small piece of paper with a pencil.

    He dreamt of being the guy who works in the warehouse. The one who will look for the objects, relying on the small sheets of the world…

    So I wasn’t the only one to entertain this obsession for catalogues!

    Other fans have finished the same party on a page Facebook dedicated to the catalogues of our childhood titled Catalogues Quebec years 70-80-90.

    And the old catalogues, for Distribution to consommauteurs can also be consulted online.

    Even though I was a little embarrassed at the time to know too much about the so-called catalogues, I felt a certain pride when my mother had asked guests to tell me the number of a page so that I can guess what it was. In fact, I guessed not. I knew it.

    Such diligence in my studies I would have probably given a phd for 14 years as the Doctor, Doogie.

    Today I know that this obsession was a packaging unhealthy consumerism as it is said in the lectures at UQAM.

    A ritual of “conspicuous consumption” as it was called by the american sociologist Thorstein Veblen.

    “Did you really need it?” would ask me, surely, Pierre-Yves McSween.

    Fortunately, there has not been healed. Never quite but it is treatable. A little.

    (Especially as the catalogues of today have more the thickness of a sheet in the parish, that of a telephone directory as before.)

    Happy holidays and, most importantly, do surconsommez not too much!