Tech Line

When You Wish Upon a... Catalog?

Holiday catalogs are a venerable marketing tradition. In fact, there has been much written about the subject over the years, including this recent article from Nuvo magazine: The Nostalgia and Romanticism of the Holiday Catalogue.

The author, Kristy Archibald, has this to say:

“For many of us, it’s hard to imagine a world without online shopping and speedy deliveries right to our doorsteps.... But the concept of long-distance shopping goes back to the time of the early railroads. Mail-order catalogues were the way to shop from home for more than a century.... Kids would live for the arrival of [these] magazines every year to see what new toys and clothing styles were available and spend hours perusing and highlighting items for their holiday wish list—a tangible version of Pinterest and IG shopping.”

There is so much interest in this history that there’s even a web site called “” (Please note: Since these examples are all from a time in the distant past, most are referred to as “Christmas” catalogs. Out effort here it to be historically accurate, not non-inclusive.) 

Sears and Lord & Taylor

The first two of note go back 80 years or to—the 1937 Sears Christmas Book and the 1941 Lord & Taylor Christmas Catalog. The compendium ends with the 1996 JC Penney Christmas Catalog. (It is no coincidence that, following the first secure Internet transactions, 1995 is often considered the first year the web became commercialized.) During the intervening years, we are shown examples of holiday catalogs from Spiegel, Wards, and FAO Schwarz—all major retail players, especially during the holidays, for decades.

Persons of a certain age, such as your author, will undoubtedly remember the excitement surrounding the arrival of the Sears catalog, my personal favorite. 

The 1964 Sears Christmas Catalogue cover and two interior pages. (Images courtesy

My plan every year was very similar to the author's description above: I would get my hands on the Sears beast (it was thick) as soon as it arrived, grab a Magic Marker (a Sharpie today), and hunker down in my room to do some serious research. I would shoot right to the “Toy” section and begin circling and dog-earring important items and pages—important meaning things I wanted. I’m not sure if it ever made any difference in terms of my present-getting, but it sure was fun. And, most important, it meant the holidays had finally begun.

The holidays have begun

The appearance of the PFL “2023 Holiday Lookbook” means the holidays have begun for you and your brand, too. PFL celebrates giving gifts that do more, and we invite you to join us in that celebration! This carefully curated catalog is chock full of ideas that will make your holiday giving the best ever.

We are especially proud to offer products from forward-thinking brands that give-back socially and environmentally. These are products that you can feel good about sending for the holidays. PFL believes that sustainable and eco-friendly products that are better for the planet.

Peeking at the presents

Since you might not quite be ready to sit by the fire and digitally dog-ear our catalog, it might be fun to give you a peek into just what we have available for you and your customers and prospects from inexpensive ($) to VIP ($$$$). 

LovePop Card

On the simple side ($) is this pop-up holiday card and envelope. This personalized card is die cut for easy removal from card sleeve. 

Hot Chocolate & Candy Cane Card

This personalized 6" x 9" Trifold Card ($) comes with Ghirardelli Double-Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix and a Crushed Candy Cane Sprinkle packet. 

Renew rPETPackable Shopper Kit

This modern everyday packable shopper bag ($$) is produced with recycled fabric made from plastic bottles. 

Baby Yoda Bluetooth Speaker

Stream your favorite music from any Bluetooth-enabled device ($$$) that wirelessly streams within a 30-foot range. It features a built-in rechargeable battery and comes with charging cable.

Fellow Kettle & Joey Mugs

Fellow-brand CorvoEKG Pro Electric Kettle ($$$$$) comes with two 8 oz. Joey Double-Wall Ceramic Mugs with laser engraving.

And that is barely a sliver of what this catalog has to offer. From prospects, employees, and partners, to customers and VIPs, you’ll find something in our “Holiday Lookbook” that will please everyone on your list.

We think you’ll agree that these truly remarkable gifts will spark joy in all!

Spread the cheer

Now, down to business. If you want to spread all this cheer you have to start early. We recommend placing your holiday orders with PFL in October—October 18 is ideal to avoid shipping delays and inventory shortages. Just as can happen in the brick-and-mortar world, our shelves are often empty come December, too. So download our Holiday Lookbook now and start the giving today.

Finally, we cannot overstate how important it is to be authentic. PFL makes it easy to automatically customize each piece of mail. Use your CRM and MAP data to personalize every gift to create a unique one-of-a-kind moment. And if you don't have the technology, we have other ways to help you with your holiday direct mail.

By reading this you are already well on you way to making this the best holiday season ever. Let PFL take you the all the way.