Christmas 2010 Part 6: Heirlooms

This is a picture of my wife’s favorite snowglobe. It only makes it out of the box at Christmastime. It came from Costco, and was most definitely made in China. It’s ornate, heavy, and takes up a lot of space, but Sara loves this snowglobe dearly. It belonged to Sara’s grandmother, her Nana, who passed away when Sara was 16. Nana was the member of Sara’s family that she took after the most. She was small, shy and quiet, but brought passion and dedication to everything she did. I think she inspired Sara’s best qualities, and I regret that I never got to meet her.

I realize that’s a lot of emotion tied up in one knickknack. These days it’s become trendy to decry the evils of material goods. Words like “compulsive hoarder” have penetrated our collective consciousness. We are compelled to “de-clutter” and “simplify”. Is it absolutely necessary that we keep nothing of ourselves in the objects we own? Aren’t we robbing ourselves of some aspect of our memories, and eventually our history when we don’t hang on to anything? What is the difference between clutter and antique? I for one think that there is a middle ground between over-consumption and nothingness. We don’t need to keep everything we buy, but there is room for those objects that last. There is room for a life expressed through a few simple keepsakes.