The Personalized Souvenir Keychain
Here's a question I've been asking myself lately as I dig deeper into both naming a baby and also thinking about the ways our ideas about names have changed over time.
When I was a kid in the 80s and 90s, it was THE THING to have personalized items with your name on them. Little things, often vacation souvenirs, like keychains, pencils, or miniature license plates for your bicycle. My name is Sara as opposed to Sarah, and there was never anything for me with the correct spelling. This always felt a little disappointing.
As an adult reading opinions about baby names and naming online, I see a lot of advice (especially on sites like Quora, Reddit, etc) that you shouldn't name your child something unconventional, because then they'll never be able to find their name when looking for those little personalized keychains, and they will feel left out, and this will lead to disaster. Of course, most of those people don't have children and don't spend a lot of time thinking about naming trends. They don't realize that even the most common or traditional names, nowadays, are shared by a lot fewer babies than used to be the case. Baby names are much more diverse than they used to be.
Which causes me to wonder: do kids still enjoy those personalized items the way they used to? Are the companies that make them rushing to add Wyatt, Harper, etc. to their inventory to cover the influx of newly trendy names? Are they giving up, sticking to a nice manageable inventory of Caitlyn and Ryan and Amanda even as those names fall off in popularity? Are these items all print-on-demand at the shop nowadays, anyhow, and the current generation of children can have anything they like on their pencils, while you wait? Does little Nevaeh have a keyring with her name on it?
Tue, 08/29/2017 - 2:47pm