Souvenirs Can Make
By: Lin Stone
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Grandma was a grown
woman by the time the 20th century finally arrived. By that time she was
living in Arkansas, having arrived in horse and wagon from deep down in
Texas. Grandpa was rich back in those pre-income tax days and he bought a
memento of the trip at every stop. Grandma put them up on a shelf all their
own. By 1957 she had a knickknack shelf that stretched twelve feet long with
just the salt shaker sets she had gathered from her own trips.
Some of the shakers were almost duplicates, the only difference being what state's name was emblazoned on the side. In sizes ranging from tiny to huge, the states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona each had more than ten salt shaker sets for their names. These were Grandma's favorite states for traveling and she just loved having something to remind her of those exciting trips. Exciting, yes, back in those days traveling was an exciting pastime.
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|Down below Grandma's salt shaker shelf were
four more shelves that were full of mementos her children and their
children brought back to her from their trips. The souvenirs were
their way of telling Grandma how much they loved her. They brought
back everything from spoons to dolls. There are literally hundreds
of souvenirs and other novelties you can pick up while traveling.
Curio shops and service stations have long since discovered that
when the state's name is emblazoned on the item that they can sell
thousands more of them. Regional items like
“Hot Springs” or “Santa Fe”
will sell almost as well for them.
People enjoy picking up small souvenirs that will remind them of some place or event they have been to. Whether you’re traveling to another state or another country, collecting souvenirs will remind you of times and places for years to come. Many of these mementos (like those commemorating a trip to the original Disneyland) can also become valuable collectibles worth some serious money in the years ahead. But most of all, it’s just plain fun to collect souvenirs.
Like Grandma, some of your friends and family might appreciate the little trinkets you bring back for them. The more expensive souvenirs can also make a nice thank you gift for those who watched your house while you were away. People appreciate the thought behind the gift and will keep it for years to remind them of your fondness. The price doesn't really matter, whether it’s a magnet, a baseball hat or a t-shirt with that place, event, state or country’s namesake on it, they are very appreciative.
|It’s best to have some particular person in
mind when purchasing your souvenirs. While it won't hurt a thing to
give a state emblem ash tray to a
person who doesn’t smoke, you probably don’t want to give one to
a person who has recently kicked the habit. Unless you go to
extremes it isn't the size and it isn't the price that matters most.
It's the thought. If you have a lot of children in your extended
family or even special neighbors, be sure to have enough souvenirs
to go around. People who get left out can feel slighted. It is a
good idea to buy a few extras just in case you happen to forget
somebody. Remember too that the most important people on your list
is you and your spouse.
The most popular and least expensive mementos are those little refrigerator magnets in the shape of a particular state or with the state’s image on it. There are also cigarette lighters, ash trays, shot glasses, coffee mugs and travel mugs. You don’t have to be a smoker or a coffee drinker to buy or receive one of these items as their real function is to be displayed.
Key chains, bumper stickers, window decals, miniature spoons, glass bells and miniature tea sets, all depicting the image or name of the state or country, will also make great souvenirs and gifts. These are items that make great gifts for relatives and neighbors. Like Grandma, some people own a fine collection of miniature spoons or tea sets and souvenirs like this can make a fine addition to their collection. Souvenirs that can be worn or used often, such as: t-shirts, sweat shirts, baseball hats, jackets, pens, stationary and coolers with the state or country’s namesake imprinted on it will remind the receiver more often that you love them and thought of them. These also make great gifts for yourself, your family, or for kids of any age.
You'll also want to collect things which are special to some state or country. I've had one handwoven and dyed Navajo blanket from Gallup New Mexico for over forty years now. Part with it? Huh UH! That blanket is SPECIAL. Some great souvenirs from Canada are Point Blankets. These are beautiful and warm blankets that were first offered for trade in the late 1600's by the Native Americans. The “points” (the short lines on the blanket) is a reference to the maximum number of beaver pelts that were to be traded for the blanket. From France you might want to bring home some genuine limoges. Ale cups from England can be intricate mementos that bring fond memories for centuries.
Souvenirs can also serve to help sponsor organizations that are doing good work. For example, when you buy one of the engraved rocks from the Heavener Runestone park in Oklahoma about half of those funds are used for upkeep and park maintenance. Any time one of your visitors notices one of your engraved rocks it will point them to a visit there too.
Bio: Lin Stone writes travel stories for yourvacationworld.com. His favorite subjects are canoes, horses, guides and hiking. Seventeen pages of pictures and stories about Robbers Cave are yours for free reading.
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