The act of obtaining a physical object as part of a tradition goes back to when I was little and received a Christmas ornament every year from my mother. I have some that go back to my very first Christmas- and in fact, they’re handmade by my mother when she went through a ceramics phase. I do the same thing for the boys- collect ornaments every year (although they are most certainly NOT handmade) as well as other things. I collect for them places- which shows my sentimental side, something I try very hard at times to hide.
Life before children, I collected fridge magnets. My husband had a matchbook collection. By the time we left SC, we had so many things that they filled shoeboxes and we knew it would be silly to bring them abroad. Heck, I figured that we would just collect more. Well, that plan was scratched when we realized this house has a fridge in some kind of wood-paneling and clearly cannot hold a magnet. Additionally, many matches + kids = bad idea.
Thus, my trinket addiction started out slowly and I seemed to gain momentum right around the coronation of the new king here in the Netherlands last year. It was a really big deal- and I knew this would be the only time in our lives that we would be a part of something so special. So, I couldn’t resist and started picking up ‘Koningin’ stuff. It snowballed from there. I mean, I bought not one- but two of these tacky cheese plates (seen above) since one of them fell behind the fridge and I can’t get to it. Fortunately it was on clearance for €3 the second time I bought it. Score!
I used the excuse ‘they’re for the boys‘ whenever I picked up something new. And truthfully- they were. I remember being in Pisa and this guy pushed these red little animals on me for a price ‘too good to pass up.’ Since I thought they were unique, I bought them- but now know better. Those little red animals are everywhere. Anyhow, I got used to buying things in threes- one for each of them and have this idea in my head that they are items the boys will treasure forever. I’m sure their future significant others will REALLY appreciate this box of stuff, right?
On top of the magnets from yesteryear, the random object from wherever, and the occasional tee shirt- we buy a postcard. I keep them together in the cabinet and have taken the time to fill out the back with info on that trip or place. Right now we have a huge stack and I have no idea what to do with them.
Our Rome trip was the first time the boys seemed interested in picking out their own trinket- which proved to be a bad idea. They broke their little Vespa keychains before we walked across the square. I have no idea where this is going to go with them, so I may have to set up some rules and restrictions. Maybe one of them will like bar coasters? That would be easy.
So much for my de-cluttering. We’re in serious trouble by the time we move in 2017!
I want to hear about your addiction to souvenirs you find when you travel. What do you collect and what do you do with them? I’ll random.org reader comments (one entry per person) on this post and send the winner a collection of tchotchkes from our travels this spring and summer. I know this is probably the most exciting giveaway EVER- so please try to contain your excitement. But really, it’s fun for me to do- and you never know what funky thing I will find for you.
Contest ends a week from today: Tuesday, February 11th. I’ll pick the winner Weds morning and your prize will be sent out at some point this fall! (Note: if you like things in particular (magnet, thimble, etc) let me know and I’ll make a special effort to look for those.) Contest open to 18+, US, Canada, UK and EU countries.