Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Pass on the crapstastic cheapsakes

By Cindy Hoedel


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) A clever turn of phrase is like a carnival ride. It turns your view of the world on its head and makes you squeal with delight.

Like this gem from a column by Lizz Winstead in the February/March issue of Plenty magazine: "The great family heirloom is quickly being replaced with craptastic cheapsakes."

Craptastic cheapsakes! I feel a laughing fit a la Uncle Albert in "Mary Poppins" coming on. What wonderful words to describe the huge inventories of worthless junk Americans are increasingly filling their homes with.

Much has been written about the environmental cost of non-durable "durable" goods. But Winstead, co-creator of "The Daily Show," laments a different kind of fallout from "convenience" products:

"How will all this convenience redefine the heirlooms of the future? I have the sneaking suspicion that 100 years from now, my great-great-grandchildren won't be clamoring through my attic saying, `Oh look! It's one of those vintage Air Poppers. I think I'll make a lamp out of it!'" (Read the whole column at: plentymag.com/magazine/life_in_the_green_zone_1.php.)

It's ironic that relatively affluent, dual-income households today possess fewer objects worth handing down than their Depression-era parents and grandparents. Instead of a few great things, we have tons o' junk.

Think of it this way: Ten $50 purchases from discount retailers (lamps, side tables, folding bookshelves, radio alarm clocks, papasan chairs) that nobody will want when you are gone add up to $500 you could have spent on something your kids would fight over. A goose down comforter, say, or a heavy crystal vase or a hand-crafted porch swing.

Our two teenagers tease me endlessly about buying "used stuff" rather than new. It's not to save money (although that's often a side benefit). It's because household objects made before 1980, broadly speaking, were made with higher quality materials and better craftsmanship.

If I'm going to shell out $500 for a desk, hutch and dresser for our daughter, I'd rather buy a vintage set made of real wood from a local seller on Craig's List (craigslist.org) than new particle board pieces imported from China. The former can be handed down to grandkids one day; the latter most certainly not.

The heirloom angle is constantly on my mind when I shop for anything, from a kitchen timer to a sewing kit or an area rug. I routinely ask myself: "Will my kids want this in 30 years? Will this even exist in 30 years?" Objects from antique stores and flea markets are far more likely to pass that test than new merchandise from discount retailers.

For the sake of your nearest and dearest, not to mention the future of "Antiques Roadshow," it's time to say "no" to craptastic cheapsakes.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Cindy Hoedel is a columnist for The Kansas City Star.. Send a note by clicking here.



Previously:


Give your guests the right to shoes
Forced Family Fun serves its purpose
Expert advice helps take worry out of choosing exterior paint color
Take guesswork out of being a good guest
Natural lawn, garden worth the labor
You can rely on these landscape plants
Selling stuff on eBay can test patience
All set for things yet to come
Laminate flooring can be a good value
A whiff of vinyl
Storing, handling old photos

© 2007, The Kansas City Star. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles