Those of us who grew up in redneckistan were used to a process whereby anything worth owning had to be ordered on the phone and then picked up an hour's drive (each way) away when it showed up two weeks later. For this process, the Christmas catalogs were effectively the Cargo Cult feasts of the solstice; they heralded the tidings of the new year and the glory of Christmas.
Some of us, however, have birthdays in late October. The Wishbook landed in mailboxes in early October.
Thus, my birthday present was usually an early glory - a preview of the bounty of the coming toy season. I never got anything expensive, I never got anything grand, but I fuckin' got it early therefore, for three or four glorious weeks, my social cachet rose enough to tide me through to the summer.
I never got an Ewok Village. I never got an AT-AT. I never got a Millennium Falcon. But for three glorious weeks I had a fuckin' Scout Walker and you didn't. And for those brief fifteen days, I was a cool kid.