I read in “The Happiness Project” that one thing people can do to be happy is to have a collection. Anything will do, and some people collect multiple things, and it is both the having of things and the finding of things to have that creates feelings of joy.
When I was younger I went through a phase (a fairly long one) of surrounding myself in STUFF. From papering the walls of my bedroom with the torn-out pages of magazines to shelves full of trinkets that didn’t mean anything to me, it was a nameless, themeless eruption of dust-gathering tchotchkes. Change finally came in the college years, where at first nearly everything traveled with me, and slowly (did the situation change, or did I?) I started shedding things. Since then, I’ve rid myself of bags upon bags of these things. Seasons pass and I find something in my closet and wonder how it is possible that I have not yet rid myself of this particular item. Indeed, now I gain as much pleasure from emptying it as I ever did of filling it.
All the same, the urge to collect persists… so I found a solution. At some point I decided that my “thing” would be to collect Christmas tree ornaments. My family has always had eclectic trees covered in items from different eras and themes, and I keep that going in my home. More specifically, though, I collect ornaments from places I (and now AG & I) have visited. They’re the perfect souvenir! Small, light, portable, relatively inexpensive, widely available, and a source of joyful memories each year. Added bonus: they’re stored away 11 months of the year — no gathering dust!
Some memories: Vieux-Montréal, kayaking in Kouchibouguac, a London telephone box, Boston, Las Vegas, the Eiffel Tower, the CN Tower, Myrtle Beach.
One thing I realized this year, though, is that I have all of these ornaments for places I’ve visited… and no ornaments for any of the places I’ve actually lived! I’m rectifying that, starting with this ornament I bought at Aitkens Pewter during my #bringitdowntown adventure.
I’d love to hear about your collections and/or Christmas tree decor… any fun traditions?