‘Twas 225 days before Christmas, and all through the Hallmark house, every clerk was stirring, even the mouse.

Even though most people are celebrating the arrival of spring, some retailers are gearing up for the holiday season already.  It was the Dream Book Party at Hallmark this weekend, giving customers their first look at Keepsake Ornaments.  Ugh!

I don’t want to look at Christmas decorations in May.  I want tulips and sandals and bicycles.

But Hallmark has capitalized on that magic word: “collectibles”.  Those who turn in their Wish List early will receive access to a special ornament available only to collectors.  Oooh!

I think about all the beautiful ornaments that never leave their boxes so as to preserve their value.  All the Barbies, Beanie Babies and Cabbage Patch Dolls that never were played with or enjoyed.

Before you collect something for the sake of collecting it, think about what you are giving up in the hopes of gaining something more someday.  There are a lot of well-loved items fetching a nice price on eBay, and many unloved items collecting dust in closets.

Let your collections increase in value because of what they mean to you, not to a potential future buyer.

— beth triplett

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