When I was a kid, scrapbooking and archival memory keeping hadn't become as trendy as it has been for the last 15 years or so. Only a few stores that catered to kids or to stationery carried stickers in sheets or on a roll from companies like Sandylion or Mrs. Grossman's. There were a few catalogs and sticker clubs kids could join. And join I did. I loved that collection. I organized it in photo albums. I poured over the pages. I sorted and re-sorted all the time. I couldn't get enough of stickers. Even today, I am tempted by the rows and rows of stickers at craft and scrapbooking stores - the selection is so much more diverse than I had as a kid.
The more I indulged in this walk down memory lane, the more I remembered other collections from my childhood
- my rock collection (When I would spend an afternoon or evening with my grandparents while my folks were out, I would take my collection with me, and my grandmother would get me a bowl and some soap and water so I could clean my rocks. I can still remember what my favorite one looked like - a smooth, small grey one with stripes.)
- my business card collection (Probably an annoyance to those professionals from whom I took cards, but I loved those things. They are just the right size for the hands of a child. I was fascinated by the designs on them.)
- my eraser collection (Erasers make great stocking stuffers and come in some pretty fun designs. I was hooked and my mother happily watched for unique designs for my collection.)
It's no wonder that my book cases and craft shelves are overflowing these days. I may not self-identify as a collector, but that tendency is still strongly exhibited in my life. I may not read all the books I have, but my collection looks nice. Even if I haven't read every title in the series (yet), I don't want to miss the latest book or my series (read: collection) will be incomplete. I will never have the time to stitch all the cross stitch patterns I have from magazines and the internet and purchases, but I still like to organize them and look through them. I have plenty of scrapbooking paper, especially considering how seldom I make a page, but that doesn't keep me from popping into my local Archiver's to see what's new.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, either. My son has the collecting gene as well - he picks up business cards when we are out, and rocks from significant times or places, as well as dog tags and trading cards and comic books and magazines and Lego sets and.... well, you get the idea.
Are you a collector? What does that look like in your life today? What did it look like when you were a kid?