As a parent, you may sometimes think about how you want your kids to remember you. What kind of stories do you want them to tell their kids and what items do you hope they pass down when you’re gone?
If you’re as sentimental as me, perhaps you’re thinking about objects that embody the spirit and values of your family.
While my parents didn't pass down any specific items to me, a couple of years ago, I started collecting little items like my dad’s sweaters and my mom’s jewelry. I hope to pass them on to my son when he's older and i'm sure they'll comfort me when my parents are no longer here.
You're probably here because you need ideas for heirloom gifts, and i'm here to say you've landed on the right post.
For those who don’t know what heirlooms are, they’re a valuable object that has belonged to a family for many generations. Below, you'll find a list of gifts every mom should pass down to their kids.
We are now in the digital age which means it’s likely 99.9 percent of people don’t print images anymore. While that estimates are probably erroneous, it’s obvious that most people would rather keep digital than physical albums. However, there is something about being able to physically hold and look at pictures.
Consider printing some of your favorite pictures---ones that you want your great great great grandkids to see. To keep the images from getting destroyed, here are a few tips;
- Keep them out of direct sunlight
- Avoid humidity
- Consider cool storage
- Keep them in archive-friendly containers
- Avoid magnetic and vinyl photo albums
Regarding the last point, it’s highly recommended that you use archival-appropriate polypropylene pages instead of PVC plastics.
Another sentimental and unconventional gift idea to consider is a canvas poem. You could write anything on it from your family mission to a heartfelt message to one of your family members. This can be one of many powerful heirloom gift ideas because it’s something that can give your family a sense of pride.
Love on a Canvas creates unique and long-lasting customized canvas poems. They’ll write your poem from scratch and print it on quality canvas. You can also include an image if you want something more visual.
If you’ve been married before a wedding item is one of many heirloom gifts that should make the cut. It could be your wedding dress or jewelry or your husband’s tux or cufflinks. While there’s no pressure for your kids to wear it on their wedding day, just having those items can make them feel connected and as a part of a special lineage.
Food is a major aspect of family life. Most people make reference to their mother’s or grandmother’s cooking, so perhaps it’s something you’d like to carry on. Think about a dish that everyone enjoys as a family and write the recipe down in a notebook. If you want to go all out, create a recipe book filled with as many special recipes you can think of. Having meals that are passed down from generation to generation will put a smile on your loved one’s faces and in their bellies.
You can make a recipe book with under $5 if you enjoy DIY. Either get a black recipe book or buy a spiral bound book and add images so that it’s more vibrant. If you want to go all in, take pictures after you make each dish so they can see exactly what each dish looks like.
Toys can be the best and worst thing to happen to any parent. The clutter and broken pieces can be a thorn in your flesh but they’re essential for any child. Instead of throwing all of your child’s toys out or giving them away, think about keeping some of the timeless and good quality ones. You can pass them onto future generations and each will have a story to tell.
So what are some good toys for heirloom gifts? Perhaps consider a teddy bear, toy dinosaur, ball, or anything else that won’t easily fall apart.
When my son was born, his grandma gave him two tiny gold rings that had been passed down from the generation before him. I protect them fiercely as they are items that will give him a sense of who he is and where he comes from when he's older.
Jewelry is a common heirloom but it doesn’t make it any less impactful. Choose one or several pieces of jewelry that can be passed down be it a necklace, earrings, or rings. If you don’t have any, maybe buy something and have it engraved with your family name. Keep it safely until it’s time for you to pass it on to the family member of choice.
The good thing about quilts or blankets is that they can be used by anyone at any time. This makes it a gift that can be passed down to anyone irrespective of their age.
Antique furniture isn’t only valuable, it can also be a good gift to pass onto your kids. If you have simple pieces like a table, chair, lamp, or clock, keep it in the best shape possible.
- Avoid wet cleaning
- Dust with a lint free cloth
- Polish with a thin coat of wax, depending on furniture type
- Regularly check for loose or damaged joinery
- Avoid direct sunlight
- Blot up spills immediately
Not everyone journals but if you do, don’t be so fast to throw yours away. Journals are a good way to give loved ones an insight to who you really are. They get to read your most intimate thoughts which can help them connect with your spirit, even if they never get to meet you. You could also write them a diary full of letters that they won't see until you pass. It's something that will help keep them going one you're no longer around.