Tchotchke (pronounced choch-ka ) is a small toy, gewgaw, knickknack, bauble, lagniappe, trinket, or kitsch. Depending on context, the term has a connotation of worthlessness or disposability, as well as tackiness, and has long been used by Jewish-Americans and in the regional speech of New York City and elsewhere.--Wikipedia
When I was a child in New York, I had a toy box in the bottom of my closet where I kept all the little toy “treasures” I collected from cereal and Cracker Jack boxes .
Also included, were the promotional items from serial radio programs (badges, spy rings, Little Orphan Annie code-o-graph and other thingies). They were all added to my motley collection of toy cars, miniature guns (Cowboys and Indians were big—Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, etc. made even little girls fans of guns and horses) and other what-nots.
Like a bird attracted to little sparkly rocks, feathers and imaginative bits and pieces, I tucked them all away in that toy box, occasionally taking them out to inspect them and dream the dreams of an imaginative seven year old.
The other day, while trying to get rid of clutter in my office, I found a hat box full of small tchotches. No longer the stuff of childhood, this box contained empty perfume bottle samples, a handmade dinosaur my daughter made thirty years ago, some crystals and various touch stones collected during my New Age/Hippie days and other bits and pieces of silly and serious things.
After pulling the hat box out this time, I remembered the toy box I had as a child and realized that I still have a thingie box of collected items that continue to inspire and delight me when I pull them out to inspect them. My creative child is alive and well.
Then I wondered, how many other people have boxes like this (or maybe a drawer somewhere). I’m sure you creative types have something similar, if not an actual box.
Do you? What do you collect? I’d love to hear about it.