How to Start a Family Heirloom

The beauty of an heirloom is that its price is irrelevant. Its worth comes from the love between the people who give and receive it, and the special events that are occurring in their lives at the time. That’s what makes it priceless – and timeless.

Many of us have treasured heirlooms that have been passed down for generations. These are the lockets and knick-knacks that we’d grab (after the kids and the pets) if we had to leave the house in a hurry. A ceramic angel, priceless because our beloved grandmother gave it to us; a snow globe from an airport, priceless because our mother gave it to us after her first visit to our new home; our first wrist watch, which was worn by a parent for many years.

Creating The Gift that Will Become an Heirloom

But how do you create a gift that will be treasured by your children and handed down to your grandchildren as a family heirloom?

1. Wait for a unique and special occasion, and give the gift at that time. A graduation, a wedding, any anniversary, the birth of a child, the opening of a new business, a 21st birthday, the return of a family member from a long trip – there are countless opportunities for the moment to be perfect.

2. Personalize your gift. If you give a music box, choose one with a song that’s meaningful to you both. Or choose a music box with decorative figurines on top that match the occasion – like a sweet 16 party, a concert, or a graduation. If you give jewelry, have it inscribed with a line from your recipient’s favorite poem.

Give a Gift that Will Stand Up to Time

Present the gift with enough fanfare that your recipient understands the love behind it. You can even suggest that they keep it for their children.

Make sure the quality and workmanship of the item are impeccable. If you’re giving, say, your son and daughter-in-law a store-bought pendulum clock to start an heirloom, make sure it’s made well. Do some research and know what the most reliable brands are. An heirloom, expensive or inexpensive, must stay in one piece reliably; it must be fairly durable; and it must be from a reputable company. After all, it can’t be an heirloom if it breaks in a year or starts looking raggedy after a short time. To start you off with some ideas, feel free to browse around a gift shop like Treasure Rocket and see if anything speaks to you.

An heirloom grows in value because it has meaning in your family. A new piano that you purchase, given to your child when she or he grows up, has meaning. To your grown child and his children, this is the piano mom (or grandma) played. That gives it value.

Heirlooms are the physical manifestations of love and thoughtfulness. Every time your child or friend sees this music box – or whatever the gift is – you will be in her heart. And what makes an heirloom different from an ordinary gift is that you will also be in the hearts of generations to come.


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