Little things mean a lot. Big is not always better. I find these concepts as true now as when I was young. Most children today don't seem to appreciate small things as much as they used to. I know this sounds silly, but I love little trinkets. There was an article in the Feb/March issue of Reminisce magazine on charms. These little toys were found in gumball machines when I was young. They were tiny toys, usually made of plastic. You would get one or a gumball and a charm for a penny. In my town, the machine was sprinkled with small inch-sized decks of cards. It was my fervent desire to get one of these. Alas, the dream alluded me.
We actually called these charms trinkets. They had a hole or ring where you could string then on a little brass key chain. The best wallets back then had a hole and chain for these trinkets.
When I was in college in Ohio, we went to Toledo and, at Christmastime, found a store called Little Pleasures. The whole store had small, fairly inexpensive, cute, creative, adorable things. I thought of it when I was in Pier One Imports recently at their central section where they have a table of the same type of things. I selected a little heavy blue enamel metal purse with a wire sticking out of it. It's for pictures, credit cards, or greeting cards. I got it for my daughter for Valentine's Day. I got a cute flower ring made out of different stones for spring.
When I was a kindergarten teacher, my students would give me over twenty one-dollar gifts for Christmas as well as homemade items. One year a teacher on a mission asked me to give some gifts away, to be used as "bribes" for good students during the year. I gave some, but her attitude was sad. It seemed to say, "you don't want this junk, do you?" Small roll-on perfumes, cute little candles, homemade ornaments? Well, I did appreciate them. I took the rest home and enjoyed my treasures. I used to send thank-you cards to each student. It was easy thinking of things to say, because I truly meant what I said.
My husband's grandmother always gave us nice gifts. She wrapped them in colorful paper and put on something wonderful, tie-ons. These were crocheted, made of needlepoint, or sewed. The lovely gifts have long since disappeared, but I still have some of these treasures. What some people might have discarded, I cherish.
Today, I feel that many children and most adults don't appreciate cute, inexpensive things. Now I know you can't keep everything. Some things are truly junk. But even if you do toss them, and that is your right, at least notice the effort someone went to and smile. You know how toddlers toss the toy aside and play with the box? Maybe they have insight. In fact, I think they have it exactly right.