The Beauty of Heirloom Gifts

While blog surfing yesterday, I came across a post wondering which was better: heirloom gifts or practical gifts?  While both are great, it really depends on a couple of things: who is giving and who is receiving.  Sure, I may do practical gifts for my father-in-law and brother-in-law, but I always do heirloom gifts for my mother-in-law.

I also know that my favorite gifts from my husband have always been heirloom gifts.  I love the watch that he gave me last year for Christmas, and the sapphires that he gave me a few years ago.  (Granted, my most favorite and beloved gift ever from my husband was the year that he gave me my Winston the Wonder Chihuahua for my birthday, but still.)

Heirloom gifts are something to be treasured and passed on.  I love that I have my grandmother’s wedding ring and my other grandmother’s high school class ring… from nearly 100 years ago.  I think it’s absolutely amazing that I’ll someday be able to sit down with my own grandchildren and show them pictures and jewels from my grandmothers.  I’ll know the stories of the various heirlooms from my mother-in-law’s side of the family and be able to pass those items on to my descendents along with the family lore that goes with them.  To have that and the family trees for both sides of the family is a tremendous blessing and an enormous responsibility.

You see, to me, I don’t own these heirloom gifts.  I’m just the custodian who cares for them and makes sure that they are protected for the generations that follow.  (And if those generations that follow don’t treasure them and protect them, rest assured that they will be haunted by a very irritated grandmother.)

Do you have special heirloom gifts that you look forward to passing on to your children and grandchildren?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. On my last birthday my mother in law gave me the ring my father in law gave her (they are not married now)…so I guess it counts as an heirloom gift. I am trying to think of anything else…but I can’t come up with anything!!

  2. Great post, heirloom gifts are great to have and be able to pass on. I have earrings from my grandmother I have never meet before and my husband has jewelry from his grandfathers to pass on.

  3. I wish I had some heirloom gifts! My in laws kind of do things backwards and sell things when a person passes so if you want to keep it in the family you have to buy it. My hubby did manage to sneak his grandfathers watch and hunting gun out of the house before that happened. And my daughter has a soft cat that hubby’s grandma had (my daughter eyed it every time we went there because it looks just like her beloved kitty)

    • Oh, no! It’s such a shame that they sell things instead of passing them on! It seems like so much family history and lore is lost. 🙁

  4. Mama_de_Gabi_Y_Mari says:

    My mother has her mother’s mother’s ring. I have rings from both my grandmothers that I wear every day and my mom has already decided who gets her rings when she passes away. I will be getting the wedding (and engagement I think) rings that my father gave her, my older sister gets my mom’s mother’s ring, she already gave my older brother her black onyz ring, and I forget what our youngest sister is getting.
    I presume that I will hand all of these “heirlooms” down to my daughters some day. (The rings from one grandmother are actually not valuable in any material sense. They are priceless emotionally, however.)

    • I find that with most heirloom gifts, it’s not the dollar value behind it so much as the love and the continuity. 🙂 My grandmother’s class ring is in terrible condition and is probably worthless… but it’s family history, nonetheless

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