Can’t we pretty much agree most of us have too much STUFF. George Carlin did a great piece on STUFF as you can see in the quote above. As I have been selling recently on ebay I have discovered how expendable a lot of my STUFF is. It’s been at the back of a closet, in boxes or piled in the basement. I haven’t given most of the STUFF a thought for years. And as I see this STUFF bring better than Yard Sale prices on ebay, rummaging around for more STUFF to sell has become one of my favorite pastimes.
Selling your Stuff is one thing and I will address that in a later blog but today I’m talking about giving away your STUFF. My mother, in her eighties started several years ago giving away her STUFF. A couple of Christmases ago we all got something that had belonged to she and my father. Something she knew each of us coveted or suited us. Her attitude was, “Why wait ‘til I’m gone and have bequeathed this STUFF when I can enjoy giving it away now.” She gave me a silver loving cup won by my uncle in a horse race with the newspaper clipping and a photo of him on the horse. One of my sisters-in-law received a set of crystal etched with the initial of our last name. She felt she was welcomed into the family and her tears proved it. My son was given his great-grandfather’s pocket watch and a sister our great-grandmother’s cane. I can’t think of a better gift than to pass important family items down and you can kill two birds with one stone….clear out your STUFF and delight the younger generations with the Cool STUFF.
My sister somehow ended up with a ratty old copy of a Christmas Ideals magazine that had been so well used by the kids in my family over many years it had lost its’ cover and was a pitiful example of how something can be nearly “loved to death.” Visiting her once she brought it out and we reminisced and I unashamedly mentioned how much I desired it. She appeared to be unmoved and of course, I was disappointed. Quite unexpectedly she gave it to me the next Christmas. I was overwhelmed not only because I wanted it so badly but because so did she and she gave it up to see my joy in receiving it. Unfortunately my uncontrollable emotion is documented in a series of family photos. They’re not pretty pictures.
It is my understanding that in some Native American cultures it is common to give a belonging of yours to someone who admires it. Years ago I had a well-known country-western singer staying at my home and I admired his beautiful beaded belt buckle. Right there in my kitchen, he took it off and gave it to me. That’s a gift I’ll never forget and isn’t that what gift giving is all about. To give something the other desires and remembers years later.
And in the process we can get rid of our over abundance of STUFF. George Carlin would be proud.