Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Wish Books of yesteryear

Do you all know about the Wishbook Web Project? It was launched in 2005 to share those wonderful old Christmas gift catalogs from the past, and I recently took some time to start looking through them in search of a doll from my childhood. All I remembered was that the doll had a light-blue velvet dress trimmed in white fur, and I remembered getting her as a gift long about first grade, because I entered her in a doll show at school and won some sort of prize. The doll—as well as her name and any maker—had been lost to time, but thinking about the old Sears catalogs made me go "Hmm…" Well, I guessed she came from the Sears catalog, and I further guessed it was around 1970, when I was six years old, that I received her. So I clicked on that catalog, turned to the dolls, and voila! There she is, and I’ll bet you anything my mother chose her because her name was Angela! 

Much as I love vintage Christmas things, I have been having a great time looking through these catalogs of yesteryear, and not surprisingly, there are lots of tea sets to be found. Here’s a page from the 1937 Sears Christmas catalog, and don’t you wish we could buy all those things at these prices today! I, for one, would be delighted to get a 45-piece Blue Willow set for 89 cents.

Even more tea party goodies are shown here, in the 1958 Wish Book.
Are you ready to visit WishBookWeb and start looking for your own toys and tea sets of yesteryear? Click here, and enjoy!


  1. I'd sure love to find some of those tea sets at those prices! And the dolls (yours in particular) are so pretty.

  2. Those Blue Willow china tea sets are very similar--but not exactly the same--as the set that I received from Santa one Christmas in the 1950's. I don't know exactly what year it was, but I still have most of the pieces. I remember having tea parties with my two younger sisters. The set has a cute oval platter, and I have loved oval platters ever since.

  3. Thanks for the link. I’ll have to show the kids. We were talking about Christmas catalogs recently.

  4. This really brings back sweet memories...As young kids and teenagers my sister and I would devour the annual Wish Book..Santa also brought me the
    Blue Willow dishes and I still have several pieces which are displayed in my kitchen, including the platter, covered bowl and teapot.
    Thank you for this wonderful reminder of the simple joys of childhood!

  5. I loved dreaming with the Sears Wish book once upon a time.


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