For the longest time, I was not interested in charm bracelets at all. I’d seen colleagues and friends talking about their latest acquisitions –special/limited editions, another bead to add to their colour-coordinated bracelets-in-progress, etc., and to my astonishment, some owned an impressive five! Though most got their first bracelets from their parents or sweethearts or friends, it seemed to spin into something else completely and there seemed to be the air of collector’s mania that overtook the sentimental aspect. On top of that, I believed that with my predilection for needing all of my jewellery to have meaning (I have no jewellery for the sole sake of accessorising –yes, I am boring!), charm bracelets just weren’t for me. Which is silly, when the main idea is that each charm is bought because of a special occasion/happening/meaning. My jaded self cynically mutters something about consumerism taking over and making us want, want, want more than we need, and it is very easy to lose sight of what charms are supposed to mean and why we choose them.
However… on my 26th birthday, my man got me a Pandora bracelet with a single charm on it!! I believe it was the first time I ever pretended to be crazy about a present, initially. I sat on our bed, turning it over, and wondering what to do. Should I be honest and say I had no wish or need for a charm bracelet? I never wore bracelets anyway, being a klutz. I decided it had meaning for me because it was the year we got married and moved across Canada. Plus the charm he got for me was “Ocean Treasures“, and since I have always wanted to be called Cordelia (long before I read Anne of Green Gables, really!) which is Celtic for daughter/jewel of the sea, I thought it was incredibly sweet. As soon as I saw it in that light, I began to appreciate and enjoy the bracelet and decided not to tell Alex anything as of yet. I jokingly thought of it as its being on probation!
Then I went to the library the following week, and serendipitously came across the December 2013 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. In it, J.K. Rowling talks about the healing powers that charm bracelets hold for her. It was a fascinating read, especially with the context of my recent thoughts, and I did begin to somewhat view my charm bracelet as a talisman of sorts, a tangible reminder of all the good things that I have had the wonderful fortune to have happen to me. Well, I doubt a girl ever did a 180° in opinion so quickly or thoroughly! I’m very grateful to my Mr. Tilney for such a thoughtful present.
I must admit it is tempting at times, looking at all the pretty baubles that Pandora brings out every season, but I do stay true to my requirement that every charm have a meaning, and not just a purchase on fancy’s whim. This is why I currently only have three charms on my bracelet, none of which are purposefully colour-coordinated, but they do seem to belong together in a higgledy-piggledy fashion. I do worry about running out of space on my bracelet in the future –I can’t imagine having more than one, and how will I wear all my memories at once? Which is of course, the only way to do it, to my way of thinking.
The first one I received was, of course, “Ocean Treasures“, on my 26th birthday, and the year in which we were married. I proudly wore this lone charm for two years before…
“Green Lucky Clover” joined my first charm, when Alex bought it for me in Dublin, proper, while we were on our belated honeymoon. How lucky and sweet is that?
The third one was the “Encased in Love” in cerise, Alex’s Valentine’s gift on the year of our third anniversary.
That is all for now, and though I sometimes glance at new collections, I don’t actively look for my next charm. However, now that I am a newly minted Mum, I am hoping to add the “Tree of Hearts” charm to symbolise our growing family, and the love that keeps us connected. Perhaps as a treat for myself on my upcoming birthday…
After that, I’m sure our next big life event/memory together will pick my next charm out for me when it is time to visit Pandora again!
Do you have a charm bracelet? How did you get started, and what makes it special for you? If you have multiples, do share how you view/wear them!