Y2K Souvenirs: Save or Trash?

Now that 2000 is here, what to do with those Y2K-themed knick-knacks

(Everything2000) Champagne flutes, plates and paperweights all popular gifts if the "Year 2000" was engraved on the item. Some were given as presents at company parties; maybe you picked one up yourself as a little momento. Now you have to be wondering where to put it, should you save it for a thousand years or give it away?

Most people when asked what they plan to do with the gifts or trinkets said put them away. Most will end up in an attic or a drawer until needed again, if ever needed.

While people don't intend to use or keep them in a place of prominence for long, the trinkets were a very popular office gift this Christmas. One San Francisco manager said he spent more than one thousand dollars on champagne flutes for his best clients. He made sure they had 2000 engraved on them so they would make great keepsakes. It turns out; people don't really like to keep "keepsakes". Maybe there is nowhere to put them, or maybe it's just that they don't mean much after the fact.

Penny Rebert, a judicial clerk in Pa., received a champagne flute from her employer and planned to toss it after New Year. Upon further reflection Rebert says she will probably save it.

``I guess I'll probably keep them because they're kitschy and cute,'' Rebert told the Associated Press. ``But they'll probably sit in the attic.''

There is also the hope that millennial mementos will be worth more money as collectibles in the future than right now. In fact, the United States Postal Service last week issued 120 million ``Baby New Year'' stamps, nearly double the number that are usually sold as commemoratives. The Post Office is banking on the idea that people will buy the stamps just to put them away in a drawer somewhere to save for the future.

Also, several Web sites hawking already popular items such as Beanie Babies, Furbys and all-things Pokemon have invoked the Year 2000 in their sales pitches. The Internet remains a busy place even now for Y2K trinkets. Specialized sites sell only Y2K gifts and others feature auctions where the trinkets are already being passed along.

Most Year 2000 gifts will end up dusty somewhere out of the way in a closet or attic. The question is how long will people keep passing them from shelf to shelf, from attic to garage before finally throwing them away? If you end up keeping your Year 2000 souvenir how long before it is a collector's item? Will it be 100 years or 1,000 years from now? If it's a 1,000 years that's a lot of time passing the cheap paperweight from place to place generation to generation and you have to wonder if it's really worth the trouble.

DATE: 1/7/2000

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