Wishlists and Woodworkers

November 21, 2010

I’m going out on a limb to speculate (based completely on stats from those of you who answered the survey a while back) most of you know what I’m talking about when I refer to the SEARS WISHBOOK.

As a kid, every year this glorious, amazing, life-changing, monstrously mind-blowing catalog would be delivered, the first thing I’d do is drop it on the floor in front of the TV, flip it over and make my way from back to front. Why back to front? If you have to ask, you must not have grown up when I did. For all of you too young to remember, all the TOYS were in the back!

The beauty of the WISHBOOK for a kid was you had time to mull over and debate what the “IT” gift was going to be that year. I’d spend hours and hours flipping back and forth to make sure I wasn’t missing something. I knew I had to formulate the best plan to maximize my gift return.

By the time I was done with the book it was barely recognizable. But for sure there was no doubt in my parent’s minds, or anyone else for that matter, what gifts would elicite joy and which ones would simply earn a smile and tossed aside. It was the road-map to holiday happiness for years.

Flash-forward to today, and very few things stir this kind of response from me (except for the B&H Photo/Video catalog…that thing is crack to a podcaster). Sure woodworking tool catalogs such as Highland Woodworking, Lee-Valley, Woodcraft, Rockler and Eagle America bring a smile to my face.

Sure they get opened and dog-eared and set in obvious locations for others to find and hopefully take a hint about all the things I’ve highlighted, circled in red and left notes about in the margins. Yet somehow I still hear the following questions over and over “so what do you want for Christmas?” or “what do you want for your Birthday?”

A great way to avoid digging the catalogs back out of the recycle bin and starting from scratch is to make an online WISHLIST family and friends can visit and find EXCATLY what you’re looking for. No need to worry about getting the wrong model or something they were told you couldn’t live without by a sketchy salesman at the wrong store.

Pretty much all of our favorite vendors have WISHLIST options at their websites and they’re easy to use. For you the user, it’s a matter of setting up an account (you probably already have one I bet) and then adding items to it.

This is usually done by clicking on an item, adding it to your cart and rather than purchasing it yourself you move it the WISHLIST. Once you’re done, let family and friends know which website to visit, or simply email them a link and you’re done. Sit back and wait for the gifts to roll in.

Another great thing about WISHLISTS is if you’re in a giving mood, look to see what you’re woodworking family and friends have in theirs and you can buy for them without having to ask “so what do you want this year?” At some stores items are either removed as their purchased or a notation is made about how many have been purchased.

So what are you waiting for? The Holidays are here! Make that WISHLIST NOW so you don’t have to be worried about what to expect is coming your way!

Lee Valley


Highland Woodworking


Eagle America

Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

And just in case…most of my wishlists are either under my name or email address…I’m just saying in case you’re looking for an example!

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