Weekly Planner: Identify Holiday Heirlooms

Once a year we pull our holiday decorations from their boxes and make our house as festive as the season. My decorations have come from various places. Some are heirlooms passed down from my parents and grandparents, and some are special items that I’ve accumulated throughout the years for my family. As I unpack these items the memories flow over me, and I tell my daughter the stories behind some of the items. While this is a start, I should do better in recording these stories and the significance of each decoration–the beautiful ornaments that once hung on my grandmother’s tree, the ones with my name on them in glitter made by my Aunt Chula, the ceramic church we bought when I first got married, and even the little elf that we used to look for as kids. Sometimes he’d be hanging from the lamps in the hallway, and other times peeking from behind a canister; it was a lot of fun trying to find him each year. This week, take a look at the special holiday decorations you have and make a note of their significance so that it’s not lost on future generations.

5 thoughts on “Weekly Planner: Identify Holiday Heirlooms

  1. While you are telling your daughter about all the wonderful stories of the ornaments why not place a tape recorder out and record those stories. They could later be transcribed, but also copied to CD for enjoyment (and memories) in later years. A few pictures of the occasion would be nice also.

    Just don’t forget to update the digital recording so it can be enjoyed for years to come.

  2. I loved your story about the Christmas decorations! I recently came across four small plastic gold filigree bells which were used during my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1977. I hung them on my Christmas tree last year and immediately told my adult daugher, “Whatever you do when I’m gone, don’t get rid of these bells!” She was two years old when my sisters and I hosted our parents’ anniversary party in my new home. My daughter has a photo of her with my parents on that day in her home.

  3. Christmas decorations are among our most beloved heirlooms also. I have some ornaments from Europe and China and my grandchildren all have picked out one that will be theirs
    “someday”. This year, since the two who always helped me with my tree are 18 and 20 and in college, I decorated my tree without them! Wrong Move!!! I won’t do that again.

  4. I, too, each year, as I decorate our tree with our treasured ornaments (now that my children are “grown and gone”), I treasure each item as it is placed on the tree. My memories, as I do so, are a comfort to me. A couple of years ago, as I removed those ornaments from the tree, I placed them on a series of trays. In late January, prior to packing them away in their cartons, I created a list with four categories: (1) a short description, (2) the origin and date of acquisition, (3) significance to me and/or a family member, and (4) eventual distribution (so that my heirs would know where to distribute these items if not already done). As I pack away each of these items this year, I intend to update my list. As time goes on, I will distribute some of these items but at least my heirs will know what to do with them down the road if they are still in my possession.

    And this year, I intend to do the same with the all of the rest of my Christmas decorations — and there are many, collected and revered over the years.

    Those lists are saved in my computer for my girls as one of the things for them to handle if it becomes necessary. I’ve placed two or three hard copies in the storage boxes so that my wishes will be carried out. And, this way, my children and their children will always be able to enjoy these treasures as I have.

  5. Good to know I am not alone in recording ornament origins. I have travelled all my life and often wonder when I put thel away each year where I shall be when I take them out again. I have for some time put little labels in the boxes descrining where each item came from. I have no children so perhaps noone will want them in the future but at least my little labels will make them stop and think.
    A peaceful Christmas season to everyone.

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