Christmas Shopping was easy when my brothers and I still believed in Santa Claus.
Because each year we would receive the Wards and Sears catalogs in the mail. THE WISHBOOK! YES! My older brother always claimed dibbsies first, because he was oldest and firstborn. Are we in Europe? I thought we lived in the USA. To him, same thing, as our forbears came from there. (oh, for pete's sake.) Mom let him have it to keep the peace.
So, Bud would spend the day reading and intense perusing, taking his time. This was a serious decision after all. We could only choose two things for Santa To bring us. Mustn't let Santa think we were greedy or spoiled. I would finally get to look through the book for a short while before bed. But, I would get it for most of the next day. I would spend most of the time dreaming over the dolls. I could only have one. After that it was Mom and Dad's turn.
Bud and I would show Mom and Dad what we would like. But, the choices had to have Mom and Dad's approval. Price and practicality, suitability and play quality. Then they would write the letter, (make out the order) and send it off. Very clever explanation, the letter was sent to Ward's or Sears , they would forward the request to Santa.
Dad would tell the Post Office to hold any packages. To let him know. He would pick them up when we kids wouldn't know.
Somehow Mom and Dad had a way of getting us out the way while Mom wrapped the presents.
We ended up opening our presents on Christmas eve. Because Mom and Dad had been married on that day. Dad always gave Mom an Anniversary gift. Bud and I would get mixed up and start to open ours. They had a time trying to get us to understand. When we were little, we could open one gift. When it was too hard to wait 'til morning. so, Mom and Dad said, oh, to heck with it. And that's how we came to open the presents on Christmas eve.
Bud and I and much later, my kid brother always got at least one of our chosen toys from the Wish Book.
This a catalog picture of my Eff and Bee Baby doll, I named Marie. She is twenty inches tall. I still have her. She no longer has that dress. But, she can wear 'newborn' size baby clothes.