Dream out loud

As the grand-kids circled their favorites in the Toys-R-Us flier recently, youngest boy posed a serious question: “Should we really be encouraging all that?”

He wondered about kids getting their hopes up only to not have the big guy in red come through.  They’ve been through so much, he said, his eyes saddened.

My response, ” Kids need to dream.”

sears wish bookAs a girl, I remember the much-anticipated arrival of the Sears Wish Book. My sisters and I fought over who got it first – oldest sister always won, middle sister and I shared.  We weren’t allowed to “dog ear” pages; instead we were encouraged to write down item numbers and page references so Mom could share our finds with Santa.

So what if I pored over walnut jewelry boxes with little ballerinas that danced when the lid lifted?  So what if I was a girl without jewelry?

So what if the outfits I coveted would not have fit my gangly 12-year-old body?  So what if the corduroy jacket was impractical in -20F temps?  So what?

I spent hours looking through the toys, the fashions, the luxurious velvet robes, the gift sets, and the gifts under a certain price. Reading, reading, reading.  Touring the pages, I learned what items were where.  By the time the holiday arrived, I was a Wish Book Tour Guide.

I was a realistic child; I knew I wasn’t going to receive everything I’d referenced but part of the fun – the magic if you will – was the idea that I could.  Part of the fun – a big part of the fun – was the anticipation.

No, kids needs to dream. Kids need to ooh and ahh and wonder.  Kids need magic and so do I.


dream quotes

What do you dream about?  Do you remember the Sears Wish Book?  Is it wrong to encourage kids to wish for things?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Mom, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “Dream out loud

  1. Of course children should wish. So should we. Don’t people still make wishes on the first star, or stamp white horses? I hope so. I do.

  2. Carol Peddle

    Yes..we all can dream..but wishes and dreams don’t always come true..doesn’t that set up children to believe if they just wish hard enough that they can have it all? And what is all…and is it really worth it.. You can have one thing in the Wish Book..but you can’t have it all..

    • I think children should be encouraged to dream and imagine and wonder — with a healthy balance of parenting to remind them that you can’t have it all, but you can have some. Too many parents give it all without the time to go with it – no boundaries. Kids end up spoiled and unfulfilled. I encourage dreaming as much as possible 🙂 MJ

  3. I LOVED this piece. We’d receive three different catalogs, and like yours, would be scoured thoroughly for things that I don’t think I ever received but spent hours dreaming of. Fond, fond memories that I hadn’t thought of in awhile.

  4. Diane Helminiak

    My cousin, Yvonne and I would do the same thing with ANY catalog. I would take the right side, she would take the left side and we would pick out the outfit we liked the best. Then we moved to kitchen things for our “house” when we grew up. We would entertain ourselves for hours with the JC Penney catalog. It’s not like we were going to buy much from the catalog, it was more discovery of what we liked and didn’t like. It was pure fun to dream.

    It still is.

  5. The Sear’s “Wish Book”…a vital part of a kid’s Christmas back in the day. 🙂

  6. Carol Peddle

    My dream doll was at Woolworth’s..He was a boy doll..I had seen him there up high on a shelf, looking down on me. Red overalls..and cap..yellow T-shirt. He was my dream..and I got him for Christmas that year from my parents. We always got one big gift..and then a few things like clothes and nightgowns ..oh and that year I got Saddle shoes…they were all the fashion then. There, I’m giving away my age. I am 71 years young. LOL I’m smiling now just remembering it. Thank you Thank you for sweet memories today..I needed it today of all days. You see today is a new beginning for me. The first day of the rest of my life. 🙂

    • I remember being very excited to have a new flannel nightgown or velvety slippers. Yes we dreamed of the toys but my parents struck a great balance – they allowed and encouraged us to dream, they taught us to give to others, and they set boundaries that were real. We knew we weren’t getting everything we listed, but part of the fun was imagining just which one or two things might magically appear? 🙂 MJ

  7. You were right about the dreaming. I spent hours with the Sears catalog (and I was lucky I didn’t have to share it). They had “fashion pages” with young teens in outfits that I wanted (but would never get). My coats were always practical and there was only one so there was no hope of getting that beauty in the catalog yet…..I am convinced that’s where my creative side started. I would even peruse the hairstyles (when I was 12!). If your grandchildren are grounded in reasonable expectations they will be fine!

    • I remember the fashion choices, the cute sweater outfits, and makeup lights/kids. Jewelry boxes and pretty robes, too.

      The kids are very grounded yet they love to dream and imagine, and I definitely encourage it!! ~MJ

  8. marsha

    You’re so right about dreaming, Marilyn. Everyone needs to have dreams. After all of those years of teaching, I found that the problem was that so many ‘expected’ rather than ‘appreciated’ because parents became so indulgent. I guess it was easier to give and give in than to sit down with their kids and spend time with them and show their love. Sad. Our childhood times were simpler and more genuine. (That said, I still make a list! )

    • I think sometimes parents confuse gifting kids with stuff vs. spending time with them. All the stuff in the world won’t make kids feel loved or secure. Mom encouraged us to dream and ponder and imagine, and she balanced that activity of “wanting” with acts of service – our choir sang carols at the Nursing home, for example. Our childhood wants were definitely simpler and I feel lucky to have those memories ❤ MJ

  9. I do remember the Sears wish book. We might even have an old one at our summer cottage (we had one there for years). Yes, dreaming of what may come is the only way for it to have a chance of actually happening. You bet!

  10. Your dreaming out loud post is wonderful MJ! Goes for us adults too. 🙂 I don’t get the Sears catalog anymore but you can bet I dream about things in the smaller special interest catalogs that flood our mailbox. I think dreaming is essential for all ages since those dreams represent “hope” and become the goals we subconsciously strive toward. Profound huh? 🙂

  11. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    We all need to dream and think about those special things. MJ, I like you, loved the Sears Christmas catalog. It was certainly my dream book.

  12. I remember being a kid, and being advised to make a wish list for Santa (and grandparents, and any other relatives who might be wanting to buy presents for us.) We didn’t have a lot and money was always tight growing up, but even then, I remember sitting down to make that list and realizing there wasn’t a lot that I *needed* that I didn’t already have. But it sure was fun to make each list, and even more so to open a present or two and find it was exactly what I’d hoped for.

    I agree that kids need to dream, along with being provided a good sense of balance about realistic wishes.

    • You go it! Mom shared our wish lists with other “interested” parties and while we didn’t have a lot, she was careful to remind us that we already had all we needed. She did encourage us to dream a little though and to be grateful for the opportunity to do so, MJ

  13. Loved it when the Wish Book arrived! I was busy for hours, days even. Visiting and revisiting those pages. I don’t remember what I wished for, or if I got it, but Christmas morning was always special, even in the lean years.

    • I think it was the dreaming and the wishing that made it so magical for me — like you, don’t really remember what I actually ended up getting — but the build up to it was pretty grand! 🙂 MJ

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