Catalogs Are Still a Thing

Gift catalogs are still a thing

Catalogs used to be a big source of marketing power for stores like JC Penney, with distributions beginning in 1963. I remember flipping through the stack of them that my grandma had in her living room. I earmarked the corners of pages that displayed things I had my eye on for Christmas, just in case she needed a few ideas.

Shopping from your couch seemed like such a huge luxury at the time. Catalogs were really a brilliant way to showcase your product pre-ecommerce. It seems like the relevancy has died out, along with phone books and Blockbuster.

However, they’re making a resurgence in this digital age. Even JC Penney resurrected their catalog recently, using it as a branding tool to connect with their audience. Through a more robust narrative, they can still drive the point of sale online or in stores.

Catalogs aren’t going anywhere.

The point is that catalogs aren’t going anywhere, but what if you’re looking to make a more meaningful purchase? What if you’re feeling the pressure to find the perfect gift for someone, and you just keep defaulting to a meaningless gift card? What if your family doesn’t need more matching pajamas or electronics or plastic toys that will be next year’s garage sale haul? What if you desire to make real change through your purchases? What if you knew that the item you select could have life-long impact?

As funny as it sounds, the answer is still a catalog.

Food for the Hungry has officially released its 2016 Gift Catalog, and now you can flip through the physical (or digital pages) filled with meaningful, life-giving, impact-making gifts that will help bring about positive change in the lives of vulnerable people.

My favorite items

Here are the items I’m earmarking this year:

coffeeseedlingsCoffee Seedlings:

I’m an avid coffee drinker and I can’t think of a better way to honor someone who loves coffee than by gifting them with this sustainable flow of income to an impoverished family.



Baby Delivery KitBaby Delivery Kit:

After the birth of my own son, I’m forever connected to other mamas all over the world. I can’t think of a better gift than a kit of supplies that will help them deliver their child into the world.



School SuppliesSchool Supplies:

When I was in school, going shopping for school supplies was my favorite. Deciding on the backpack and lunch box that would represent me all year was such a fun undertaking, but so many kids don’t even have the basics. You can get them started on the right track. Plus, all the items are purchased locally, pouring into the local economy. I love that.

A challenge 

I’d like to personally challenge you to replace at, the very least, one Christmas gift with an item from this gift catalog. Imagine the impact you could make with such a small shift in your Christmas shopping. I hope you’ll join me this year as we rethink what Christmas giving is all about.