Holidays like Christmas remind me of going to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner where I would see one of my favorite things on their bookshelf. It was the National Geographic magazine that was stacked on their bookshelf and which served as a doorway to the world from my hometown in Michigan.
At the very least, I would thumb through their collection and look at the pictures and read the cutlines to the pictures. I learned a lot about geography then. I learned about different countries and saw scenes that fueled my imagination.
This love for the magazine and for geography really got started when I was a lower grade student at Mt. Olive Lutheran School in Bay City where they had a bookshelf the length of the room that also housed a Webster's Unabridged Dictionary that quite often grab my attention.
The collection of National Geographics at my elementary school was huge. During an inside recess, I could travel to just about anyplace in the world.
During that era, you had to be recommended to get a subscription to the magazine. Those who subscribed got a special certificate of membership with their name on it. Now the magazine is available on supermarket newsstands and content-wise it is much thinner.