It’s still Christmas where I am, but for most of the world the day is over. I had a lot of fun today even though my husband had to work. My son has figured out this walking thing and is quickly moving on to running. He has to stop every few seconds to clap. I clap too, after all it’s what you do when someone does something amazing, right? He’s a funny little guy, tearing though the place holding his new iPod that’s perpetually playing Florence + The Machine (his favorite) and asking for bananas (also his favorite).
While he’s excited about his presents, I’m still waiting on some of mine. Some years ago USPS made it their mission to destroy me, so although it was supposed to be delivered yesterday my present has yet to arrive. What is my present you might ask? Earrings, earrings I had made. They’re sort of a combined birthday and Christmas present. You’re probably also wondering what this has to do with the title of this post. Well I’ll tell you. The stones in these earrings are second hand. As I don’t have them in hand I’ll give you the shots taken by the setter.
Both stones are tourmalines and the settings are rose gold. Now don’t let these shots fool you, none of these stones has any orange or brown in them and they aren’t at all dark. If you’ve seen tourmalines you’ve probably been in a mall jewelry store where dark, murky, brown stone are common, but not these ones!
I was looking for a pair of earrings for my birthday and among other stones I saw a pair of 5mm pink tourmalines, not that you could really call them that. They were far more brown than pink, obviously the worst quality and the price was through the roof- $450! For muddy and brownish stones! I knew I could do better. So I went online and there was great lady who was selling two pairs of tourmalines, one a light bubblegum pink and the other true old stock rubellite tourmalines. I managed to buy both pairs and have them set for almost $100 less than that one mall pair! So nice things will still cost, but they don’t need to cost an absolute fortune if you’re willing to go second hand for at least part of the project. And for the record the stones I bought had never been set, so it was like getting brand new ones. Yay!
The title of this post could also apply to parenting style, at least for me. There was a blog post on Baby Center some weeks ago talking about jewelry. They were talking about kiddie jewelry and after I googled the brand I was surprised by the prices. They were for these charm bracelets that are made in China (so you know they have lead in them). With charm bracelets no one buys just one charm, you load them down- it’s the whole point. One of their nicer bracelets, half full would cost you almost as much as one set of my earrings. When I pointed out something nice could be bought for the same price the author of the post said she didn’t want to give her kid something nice cause she’d be sad if it was lost. I don’t know about you but if my kid lost a bracelet loaded down with overpriced pieces of base metal on it I wouldn’t be sad, I’d be angry. In the end the cost is the same, but 20 years from now (assuming your kid didn’t loose it) you’ll still have something nice that can be worn for another 20 years. Something that’s even worth passing down.
I think it’s a shame and a sign of our disposable society. People don’t think anymore. They just see a $6 charm and think “who cares if it gets lost”. Even if it doesn’t get lost, it won’t last. No one is wearing that to prom, a fancy dinner, or even their wedding. It’ll be a blackened, broken mess on the bottom of some cardboard jewelry box one day. I used to buy that stuff myself as a kid, but I know better now. You would think other adults know better too, but they don’t seem to. What’s worse is the message it sends to their kids. It says, “don’t save for anything, quantity over quality” and worst of all, “you don’t have to respect what I give you”. When you give your child something with the attitude of “I don’t care what happens to this” they adopt that attitude as well and it permeates well beyond that single item.
So if you were lucky enough to get a bit of Christmas mad money this year, consider getting something nice. Pretty, quality pieces don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Consider something that will last for many Christmases to come. Think about the message that saving for quality items sends to your kids, and don’t give them stuff with a blasé attitude. My son owns a single gold chain and cross, it’s not super fancy but it’s nice. I take care of it now, and when he’s old enough I’ll expect him to do the same. After all, his son might like to wear it one day too.