Thursday, 23 April 2015


Tchotchke...a small bauble or miscellaneous item. According to the Urban Dictionary, it’s a small piece of worthless crap, a decorative knick-knack with little or no purpose. It can be pretty, sentimental, or might even be useful.

Look around your place, I’m sure you’ll find samples...souvenirs from a vacation, something cutesy from the dollar store, some little thank you gift more sentimental than valuable.

There are all sorts of names for this kind of thing: trinkets, trifles, playthings, baubles, bric-a-brac, bagatelle, gimcrack, gewgaws and on and on.

Sometimes a tchotchke can grow into a collection, and that can be a dangerous thing. Many of us like to collect items with a common theme. For me it was angels, my bookcases are full of very nice, very arty angel statues, many given to me for some special occasion.

The problem is once people know you collect something, they know they can always gift you in that theme, and then your collection grows beyond your space. I like the items displayed on my shelves, had to buy a curio cabinet to house all the rest, from the more valuable to the cheap.

I remember my brother once had a collection of penguins, which I gleefully added to. I think it started with a card he got and somehow went crazy from there. I seem to recollect that people were sending him cards and little baubles until, whether he wanted it or not, he had a collection.

My brother and I are alike in many ways, that tendency to collect, hoard seems too harsh a term. I also collected arty seal sculptures, gave them all to my son when I switched to angels. I’m out of the collecting game, my space is too limited, but I enjoy adding to the bauble collectives of others.

Cats are my new collection, for others, of course. My brother is a ready victim, as he has his first pet, a cat, and he’s into a cat theme now. I have a friend who is also very fond of cats, so it works for her too.

Just a warning, if you admit to a fondness for any specific topic, whether it be fairies, cats, candles, whatever, be prepared to be inundated. If you have reached a stage in life where you have your home settled, can get for yourself almost anything you need, friends and family are always looking for something to get you, and before you know’re a collector.

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