What causes us to become collectors?
For some of us, it's as simple as finally being able to afford to have that certain thing that, as a child, we always wanted but were unable to attain due to a lack of finances. Perhaps we dreamed of it, longed for it, and hoped for it so much, that now, as adults having the money to buy it...we simply can't get enough of it! For my mother-in-law it was dolls. Now, in her seventies she has many dolls! Some she has purchased for herself, but most have been gifts from those who have known that she loved them as a girl, yet never had one of her very own. The variety of dolls she now has, adorn her bedroom and give her great pleasure...a testimony to the fact that it's never too late to begin a collection.
While some collections hold purely sentimental value, others are strictly monetary.
One relative has had quite a collection of precious and semi-precious stones over the years and because of their worth, has had to hide them at times. It's hard to enjoy a collection that has to be hidden under lock and key...but netting a handsome profit at resale can be more than satisfying for some collectors. My grandfather collected guns. He was a gun-smith and could make or restore almost any type of rifle. I now have one of those rifles from his carefully guarded but precious collection. He had it because he loved guns - I have it because I loved him.
No matter what it is...there is probably someone who collects it.
If you are not yet a "collector" but would like to begin, choose something you really like. Don't collect something because you know someone else collects it...a collection should be your very own - it should mean something to you. Maybe it's a particular item that makes for happy memories. Not long ago, I was shopping and found a little "treasure" that inspired me at a great price. As the saleswoman was wrapping it she dropped it. Another saleswoman assisted her in briefly examining it and after determining (incorrectly) that it was unharmed she said, "It's fine...these are very hard to break...anyway everybody's mother had one of these years ago..." - which was precisely why it had caught my eye!
Do you like a certain color?
Then collect anything and everything in that color! Collecting is always fun...and if you are very lucky - it may even be financially rewarding! A few people begin collecting for the purpose of making money someday - but most of us collect for the sheer enjoyment we get from the items themselves. There are some things that I have collected over the years that just "speak to me" and I simply love having them around. I wouldn't think of selling them - to me they are priceless.
Whatever your reason for collecting, remember - it's a past-time that helps to preserve times past - and that is just one more reason to feel good about collecting!
Copyright 2000-2003 Heart's Door (c/o C.L.Hanna)
About the Author
C.L. Hanna is the CEO of "HEART'S DOOR",which specializes in the creative use of collectibles and other unique items in home-decorating and can be found online at www.heartsdoor.org