Is it collecting or hoarding?

I recently read an article about the Delft little blue houses that you get given by KLM when you fly business class. KLM have been doing this since 1950 and release a new house every October. For frequent travellers you can just imagine what their collections look like. Every single miniature house is modeled on a real building in Holland and some enterprising people have even put tours together so you can see the original inspiration. I have received a few of these cute little houses but honestly I am not a collector – it takes a special something in people to become such a person – and sometimes it gets taken to the extreme.

So I will tell you my Father Christmas story (my husband is going to kill me). One year I saw a really cute Father Christmas and bought it and proudly displayed it on the sideboard to make my Christmas really festive. The following Christmas my husband gave me a Father Christmas to go with it. I was thrilled. It was beautiful. So I put the two Fathers Christmas together and Christmas was perfect. Next Christmas my husband gave me another Father Christmas. Hmm. So I smiled and put him alongside his mates on the sideboard. When I got another Father Christmas the following year I had to put a stop to it. (We are still married!)

You have to be a certain type of person to collect, and then collect some more – endlessly. And the type of things people collect are just amazing if you start looking into it. You will often find travellers who have a little habit of collecting a Christmas ornament from each place on their travels. Well I guess that is fine – after all you have a tree to hang it on. But I think this collecting thing is a bit obsessive compulsive … how about these collectors –

Um … OK!

Or this lady who collects Barbie dolls. I am not surprised really to see someone with a Barbie doll collection what with all the special editions that come out regularly. The Barbie dolls in my house sadly were usually naked, one legged and had no hair.

And here’s a weird travel related one – a Dutch guy named Niek Vermeulen has a collection of over 6000 airline barf bags. I kid you not! Another traveller has over 11,000 Do Not Disturb signs from hotels all over the world.

Sadly if you are a collector hoping to cash in on some money at the end of your collecting years you might be in for a disappointment. Remember Beany Babies? You can’t even give them away now because of over production.

However if you are a points collector then you might be on the right track and what better reward than free travel? Here’s an interesting article with some good tips –

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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