Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Little Pleasures

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.


  1. You are definitely onto something. We place values in the "wrong" things.
    Blessings, andrea

  2. Hi Nancy -

    This post brought back sweet memories. I remember my great-aunt had a charm machine in her tiny grocery store.

    Most of them were plastic in a variety of colors. One charm stood out: a tiny set of false teeth. I know, I know - strange, but a friend and I raced to get that charm for our collection. After feeding that machine a lot of pennies, I came away with the prize.

    LOL! I'd forgotten all about that summertime rivalry.

    Susan :)

  3. Oh yes, I definitely know about toddlers and boxes. LOL I don't buy my kids much because they have such wonderful imaginations! The littlest things give them pleasure.
    I've never been one to like trinkets but I think finding pleasure in little things like a cool breeze or the sound of rain is just as precious too.
    Great post Nancy!

  4. Susan - I'm so glad my post stirred up a good memory. That's what the magazine article did for me.

    Jessica - I agree. I love the sound of rain, especially on a roof, like it used to make when I slept at my grandma's farm.

  5. I know I don't appreciate those smaller things as much. I used to save all kinds of trinkets and then I didn't know what to do with them as I grew older. I still have my charm bracelet though in the attic:)

  6. My granddaughter loves little, insignificant trinkets, and carries them everywhere, calling them her "treasures." I love that.

    Great post, dear.

  7. Jeanette - That is so sweet. I'd love to have a chat with her and see what little things she values.