The purposeful kind is good.
It relieves the owner of the burden of collecting and it benefits the recipient of unexpected gifts.
Witness, a former student, whose goal -- despite being an elementary-level math teacher -- is to teach high school English. She stopped by today and picked up four full boxes of my favorite Heinemann/Boynton Cook literacy books. I don't miss them one bit.
The thoughtless kind is not.
It burdens the mind and weighs down the heart, longing for some physical connection to a loved past.
Years ago, someone threw out all the old family photographs (including a wonderful little album of my high-school and college-aged father in ancient black-and-white snaps -- one in his tennis togs, another sitting in his old Model A, and many more), Daddy's tipple, all the pictures that hung on the hallway into my parents' bedroom, and the original 16-millimeter silent movies. In their early adulthood, he and friends (including my mother) wrote and produced their own feature films. When my oldest brother was a baby, Daddy even experimented with his first color film, making a stop-motion short of a puppet riding the toy train under the Christmas tree.
I'm glad some folks appreciate the old things and introduce them to younger ones, and I can't help wondering if my father might have seen and been inspired by It's a Bird, the 1930 stop-motion feature. You can see it here on "The End of Being."