“Stuff You Don’t Need…”

“Stuff You Don’t Need…”

Christmas tree treasures

My holiday trinket larder is well provisioned.

On a road trip a few years ago, my friend Joan subjected me to every knick-knack, tchotchke shop between Providence, Rhode Island and P-town Mass. (Never add a second name to a rental car agreement.) Who knew Cape Cod was ground zero for the year-around Christmas Shop?

While the resin reindeer and soft-sculpture Santas held little appeal for me, Joan approached every new chockablock gewgaw store with an unbridled enthusiasm usually reserved for pirates and buried treasure. The most beautiful beaches on the Eastern Seaboard were playing second fiddle to yuletide trinket traps.

After several lifetimes in a Cape Cod gift emporium called The Stenciled Goose (or was it The Gingham Gander, perhaps The Paisley Plover), I chided Joan, “You really should open up your own gift store.”

Joan looked surprised and said, “You really think so?”

“Absolutely Joan, you could name it The S.Y.D.N. Shoppe.”

She knew better but still asked, “And do tell, just what does “S.Y.D.N.” stand for?”

“Why, Stuff You Don’t Need.”

(Truth be told the “S” really stood for a more colorful synonym, but you get the idea. )

When a missile-shaped Christmas Gnome flew past my head, I knew I was sleighing on thin ice.

So today, in honor of Joan and in an effort to pay off Boz and Gracie’s post-obedience school education (wasted money), I’ve created my Amazon.com store, featuring some things I like, love, use, embrace and marvel over. So unlike a romp through The Gingham Gander, Checkered Chicken or Damask Duck, my list of fresh-picked favorites focuses on useful “stuff.”

So Joan, should you need a cute-and-functional Blitzen-on-his-back bottle stopper, I’m your man, no road trip necessary and on demand.  And as the store grows, I promise to add a category called Stuff You Don’t Need, though I will need help with the inventory. I hear it’s a huge niche market.

tomatoes knife on cutting board
Welcome (no purchase necessary).



20 thoughts on ““Stuff You Don’t Need…””

  • hahahaha…that sounds so familiar. when my parter and I take his mom anywhere, she could care less about the actual attractions…she makes a bee-line for the gift shop…even if it’s somewhere we’ve been to dozens of times, she still finds some new tchotchke to buy 🙂 Good luck on the eBay store!

  • You have McVities Hob Nob 🙂 YEAHHHH…
    I miss them soooo (note the number of ‘o’) much along with Cadbury’s milk chocolate..(from good old England). My home for many moons.
    BTW, Cadbury’s Easter Egg’s don’t count..
    Now if only you could carry Harvey Nichols Ceylon Tea, you’d be my hero for ever and ever….

  • Tom I will use that one next time my friend Phoebe asks (she is an optimist) if I want to go shopping with her.
    As an extreme minimalist (I like to buy what I absolutely need and wear it out until it falls apart of its own sweet death) I will never comprehend people who like to surround themselves with junk, and more junk and more junk, as nauseam.
    One of the mysteries of human nature, I guess.

  • Well, I looked closely at that picture of those charming holiday ornaments, and I don’t think that they’re all junk…

    … plus South Beach Florida is the finest beach on the Eastern Seaboard!

    Otherwise, I totally get what you’re saying here. We’ve these friends who travel abroad a lot for work. They’re endlessly bringing us tiny plastic replicas of erotic European statuary, colorful napkins, shot glasses (do you ever need more than one or two of those?), fridge magnets, etc. It is hard to not accept gracefully, but what to do with it all?

    What would you recommend?

  • Stevie, sorry I didn’t clarify; the ornaments shown are mine and much loved, and as for South Beach I concur, it’s amazing, but I fear the lifeguards have strict rules against allowing portly, pale, middle aged men on the beach.

    Now here’s what you do with the gifted knick-knacks. Get out your glue gun, art supplies and said knick-knacks and secure to them a Masonite board to create an art treasure–an art treasure to re-gift to the original providers.

  • My parents traveled a lot and always brought home gifts. I finally told them that if the item they were considering for me would need to be dusted, they should leave it in the store. They started bringing consumables, candy, spices, pasta, etc. This was appreciated. I watch the home of neighbors who travel to the Orient several times a year. They feel they need to give me something. They now bring me special tea leaves. We are both happy now.
    I really like reading your blog. Your pictures are beautiful. Give Gracie and Boz a belly rub for me!

  • Karen, thanks for the comments, gift tips and bulldog love. The idea of consumables seems perfect, considering I’m not sure of what this thing you call ‘dusting’ is. cheers!

  • How do you set up your amazon store, it is perfect. Great way to show your friends and others what you like and where to get it. I want a store on my blog;(not that anyone reads it, or writes it regularly), would love one anyway.

  • Nita I’ll shoot you an email with details.
    Now brion, I just sold my last shingle stretcher, but I do have a tin-roof tongue wrapper.

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