For weeks, brightly colored Christmas catalogs have been filling my mailbox.
Although I seldom buy from the catalogs that come my way, I never tire of doing my "window shopping" from the comfort of my easy chair. It's quite a change from my early Christmas seasons.
In those long ago days, a highlight of the holidays was the actual window-shopping trip Mom and I took to downtown Ft. Worth.
At the time, Mom was a widow and one of the early members of that over-stressed, underfunded sisterhood known today as working, single mothers. That limited our window-shopping to outside-of-the-store dream sessions. But our annual mother-daughter day of make-believe shopping was still a priceless adventure for both of us.
We'd start out in the morning and take a bus to Ft. Worth's busy retail district. Then we'd mosey along with the bustling crowds, stopping from time to time in front of the large windows to do some heavy dreaming.
I'd press my nose to the glass and point out the clothes and toys that were my Christmas fantasy gifts. Mom would smile and agree that I had made some good selections.
These long ago adventures cost only the bus fare and a light lunch, but they are still among my most cherished holiday memories.
Our favorite game during these trips was deciding what we'd buy from the selection in the beautiful displays, if money were no object.
Mom has been gone for many years now, but I still enjoy taking a fantasy-shopping trip. These days, however, I don't need the bus fare and no windows are actually involved.
Today my fantasy shopping opportunities come in the mailbox. (Others may shop by computer, but I have vowed not to let some tech-savvy crook invade my life via the Internet.)
I have no idea how so many companies have found me here in my little corner of the world. But the diversity of the catalogs I receive is proof my name has made its way onto some master list of possible buyers.
Unfortunately for these companies, I'm a lifelong browser, but a hesitant buyer.
Still, that doesn't stop me from enjoying the chance to look over the impressive and often very expensive wares offered in the dazzling catalogs.
It's as though I'm once again pressing my nose to those glittering store windows with Mom at my side.
The long ago days when Mom and I strolled along the streets in Ft. Worth, window-shopping at the bright displays, are long gone. But, thanks to the never-ending stream of Christmas catalogs filling my mailbox, I can still enjoy browsing through treasures I have no intention of buying.
I wish Mom were here to share a fantasy shopping afternoon via Christmas catalog. I know she'd love it.