Back in the day, we circled things we wanted for Xmas in the Service Merchandise catalog!  How long ago was that? Seems like 100s of years...

Now that the Holiday season is here, we've started talking to my son Brody about some things that he might want for Christmas this year, hoping to help him with his list for Santa Claus.

I didn't do it online, which I know a lot of parents do, I actually wanted him to circle things like we used to do as kids so I grabbed a Target catalog and invited my 7-year-old to sit on my lap and we started looking at things together.

159 things, and nearly $8,000 dollars later, he circled enough things in the Target catalog for about 30 kids, so that was a project we'll need better guidelines for down the road.  Regardless, it was fun, somewhat helpful,  and got me thinking about how when we were kids, we did the same thing with the Service Merchandise Catalogue.

When I grew up, department store shopping was a way of life, but sadly, department stores aren't really all that useful anymore.

I'm an 80's and 90's kid, those were the decades that shaped my life and it was so different growing up in the Capital Region back then, especially around Christmas time.  As convenient and easy as Amazon is, there was something special about Christmas shopping in a department store that is lacking today.

Nobody shipped anything back in the day, and if you wanted something bad enough you battled traffic, weather, other shoppers, and a parking spot bully while venturing out to spots like Caldor, Lechmere, or Service Merchandise.

The decorations, the music, the hustle, the sense of accomplishment!   Remember obsessively calling Toys R Us to see if they had Cabbage Patch Kids, Transformers, or a Nintendo 64 in stock?  And if they did, you put everything on hold and raced over to a place like KB Toys at Crossgates mall praying that it was still in stock.

I'm not sure I'd ever want to go back to the way it used to be, but it's fun and nostalgic to reminisce.  Remember any of these?

Here are The 10 Department Stores in Upstate NY that We Miss the Most!

10 Lost Stores Upstate New Yorkers Miss the Most at Xmas Time

Crossgates Mall in Albany Opened in 1984

This is what the Crossgates Mall looked like when it opened in 1984.

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