(No, this is not a giveaway.)
Ah, the ubiquitous Stanley Mug. 44 ounces of enduring beverage protection. If you know, you know. They really are great for soda. They insulate so well that you can get a beverage on Saturday, and Sunday after Fast and Testimony meeting is over, you can have a fresh, carbonated beverage that still has ice in it. I know Amazing. It’s like manna in the wilderness. They are quite the rage, especially among LDS Diet Coke
(To my international readers: I can’t really explain the obsession many of us have with soda here. Best I can say is America?)
How do I know? We have several. But before you lump me in with all those trend chasers, you should know the backstory of our relationship with the Stanley mug.
Journey with me back to early 2018. My wife and I were at Bed Bath & Beyond, because I had seen these drink mugs that looked pretty cool, and I wanted to get her one for her birthday. They were hard to find, and not cheap – in the neighborhood of $40. For a stainless steel mug. That seemed a bit excessive, but nothing’s too good for my sweetie.
We bought one, filled it up, and from then on, we have been fans of the Stanley mug. (It also cracked me up that a company famous for hardware would make the best soda mug we’d ever seen.)
It wasn’t long before we both had two, our kids had one, and my wife was giving them to her friends for birthday gifts. We were the earliest of early adopters.
And then… they were gone – just like that. Stanley stopped making them the next year, and they became impossible to find.
Fast-forward 2 years: A group of social media influencer ladies had discovered the Stanley mugs and so impressed that they put some heat on Stanley to fire up the mug-making kiln and bring them back. They did! They showcased them on their website and sales soon took off.
Initially, they were very hard to get because the ladies sold out almost immediately. Eventually, they introduced new colors and styles, and they began to spread in the soda-drinking culture. People were excited about them. We just smiled, knowing that everyone else was just playing catch up.
Fast forward again to October 19 of this year: One of my sons texted the family and said, “Guys! I just sold my green Stanley mug for $450!”
We thought he was joking because the very idea of selling a used soda mug seemed ridiculous -until we looked on Social Media and found out that there was, indeed, a very healthy Stanley re-sale market. Some people out there collect the mugs, and some of the older colors have gotten pretty valuable. My wife sold her original, scratched stainless steel mug for $150 – and it was 4 years old and kind of beat up!
Why in the world am I telling you all this? So that we can talk about “worth.”
To me, no Stanley mug is worth more than the $40 they sell for – let alone 10x that. However, to some people they are worth that much. For a reason that I don’t understand, they are willing to spend enough on one mug instead of buying eleven brand new mugs. What’s the expression? “You do you.”
There are lots of things that are assigned great worth which do not make sense to me. There are other things that I think are under-valued. We all assign different values to everything around us.
The way we spend our time and money is an expression of what we think has worth – or is worthy. We assign worth to our material possessions, our spiritual possessions, our knowledge, our relationships.
We judge our own worth. Some think quite highly of themselves, others can hardly acknowledge their own worth even exists.
If you browse through the articles and talks on the church website and search for what living and ancient prophets say are of “great worth,” the main focus is on two things: Your soul and the Scriptures.
God made it very clear how he feels, “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” (D&C 18:10)
Next Sunday is Christmas. Does this seem like an odd time to be writing about the worth of souls and Stanley mugs? I think it is the perfect time.
November is the season of Thanksgiving, where we focus on gratitude. This puts us in a terrific mindset and heart to spend December focusing on the birth, life and worth of the Savior.
What’s next? A new year. What better time than now to think about what is of “great worth” to us.
Is it the secular and material trappings of Christmas?
Is it the gifts we get and the money we spend?
Is it the relationships that are strengthened and/or challenged during the holidays?
Is it the sense of holiday tradition?
Is it our relationship with God?
Is it of what worth we find in ourselves?
The Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years trifecta is, indeed, the most wonderful time of the year – especially if we use it well.
I have noticed that as I move through this life – well aware that there is more behind me than in front of me – the worth of the things that fill my life evolves. What may have been important as a younger man has given way to other foci. Some things that had little worth to me are now far more valuable, to me.
It is not enough, for me, to let that evolution just “happen.” I find myself compelled to evaluate where my heart lies, and how to pursue things of greater worth.
There is so much more out there than Stanley mugs – even though they are awesome. I invite you to spend some time with me this holiday season contemplating what is truly of most worth to us, and how to align our lives with that knowledge.
Merry Christmas! Cheers! (Metallic clinking sound.)