Sunday, December 29, 2019

Collections, Acquisition, Gifts

We didn't have to deal with many gifts this year. And by 'deal' I mean find a place for them, write 'thank you' notes for them, etc. Does that seem crass and ungrateful? In the past, I collected things or was interested in things and these collections inspired gifts. Same for my husband and I as a couple and him separately. Same for our parents (whose effects we had to dispose of from 2002-2011).

This year we allowed each other to buy things 'for Christmas.' My husband got a sports coat and, I think, a book. I got a page-a-day French word and phrase calendar. I'm going to order a gadget from Amazon eventually. He bought me a beautiful winter scarf and I bought him an expensive tie (which he'd admired). Gift exchange (and disposing or saving wrapping) took minutes. We received gifts from my niece by mail. An interesting book (mentioned in an earlier entry), a rocks glass with an etching of an NYC map and some comestibles (mentioned in an earlier entry as well). We've mostly consumed the edibles. I've read about half the book and enjoyed the pictures of aging people. The glass awaits a Manhattan on the rocks for me or a guest. The truth is we have lots of fancy glassware some on display (as shown here) and some tucked away in a small bar, a console and cabinets.

All this stuff has to be maintained. Dusted, sorted, occasionally given away. The little cart above contains a remnant of an old collection of deco barware. It is a drinks pump with little glasses. It's never been used by us. It's just decoration. We have other barware decorating some bookshelves. This particular piece was found by my sister who had my dad buy it for us. Collections are like that. People add to them. Folks used to give me bendable figures with some regularity. Also, above you see several Welcome Kitties. My husband saw one in a bar, ordered one off eBay and then acquired a few others. So it goes. One year a friend sent a Welcome Kitty Christmas ornament after seeing a video of the Welcome Kitties welcoming with their paws. It usually sits with its animated buddies but currently is part of the Christmas decor with the only other glass ornaments we have. (We don't do a tree.)

Right now most surfaces have some of my Christmas (mostly bendable) figures collection. (See also the barware on this shelf.)

And books. Oh. My. Books. We buy them, we get them as gifts. And we have trouble weaning the collection. (We did give away over a thousand before moving from our large house in 2008.)

The stuff. The 'collections.' Fun. But sometimes overwhelming. At one time or the other, I dabbled in collecting things besides bendables and barware. There were the old globes. There was the vintage toy collection. There was dabbling in fake food. I accumulated pastis pitchers for a party decoration. And then there's the glassware (we still have most of that). The collections don't seem to inspire gifts as much anymore.

Fortunately, we receive very few gifts at all. This year my last remaining aunt sent a 100 dollar bill in her Christmas card. We decided that we would go hear a band and instead of our usual twenty-dollar tip share the C note with them. And we did. We got our money's worth. We explained the tip to the bandleader and how we felt spending it this way gave us the most possible psychic income.

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