Family Heirlooms

Laura and I were chatting one morning and I’m not sure what brought it up. We were talking about getting rid of things. Both Paul and  Steve have a hard time with that. I told her I had a hard time getting rid of “some things” but they have to really have a special memory for me to hang on to them. I told her I still had Jason’s braces and all the boys teeth to which Laura responded “that’s gross.” I said “yes, I know.” But I still have them.

One thing led to the other and I mentioned that I had my great grandmothers China and have no idea what to do with it. She used it and it’s not very nice looking. It’s chipped and has lines in it and to put it bluntly, it’s ugly and it’s been sitting in the same box I got it in on the floor in the closet. I’ve never once used them nor can I part with them. How dumb is that? I think what keeps me hanging on to them is that it thrilled my grandma to give me her mothers dishes. I do remember my Grandma Moore but not very clearly and for some reason, there those dishes sit. I also think I don’t really like them more is because I don’t remember them. Now if it were my grandma’s and I remembered eating on them and had memories of them it would be different but I could have picked these up at any swap meet.

Laura then mentioned her “china” she got when her and Steve got married or she has her in laws or something and what a big deal picking out china patterns was back then. She never uses hers and I never use mine but it was so traditional to pick out fancy la-di-da china and fancy drinking glasses and crystal. It was one of the first things people asked you after you got engaged. Have you picked out your dishes yet? I got stoneware because I’m just not the china type but I never use those dishes.

Do people do this anymore? I know when I “picked mine” they were really expensive. They were $30 something for a place setting and that was a lot then and I also got really nice glasses that matched but stupid me, I got blue and they’ve never matched any other set of dishes or I would use those.

I know now it’s really big to take those scanner things in stores and scan everything you want from fishing gear to toilet paper and people go by that when you get married or have a child but do people still pick out “special” dishes, glasses and silver?

Do you have any family heirlooms? If you didn’t want them and know nobody ever would, what would you do with them?

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21 Responses to Family Heirlooms

  1. Laura says:

    I only read the first paragraph so far, and I’m heading up to bed (wrangling 7 little boys for an hour and a half is exhausting), but I have this to say right now…

    eeeeewwwwwwwww………. (‘course, Steve has started his own “little boy’s teeth” collection since we had that chat!)

  2. Jenny says:

    LOL on the braces Joy!! I remember when I was losing my teeth I would always put them in my scrapbook. I would just tape the teeth in there. As far as family heirlooms my mom has some of her Grandma’s china I think. Tea set also. When Jason & I got married we did get some “nicer” dishes, which we have NEVER used!! Got 2 sets of those.

    • Joy says:

      Where do you keep them Jenny? Storage is such a big deal. I could really use the space above my fridge for other stuff but NO. There sit dishes I never use.

      • Jenny says:

        Are you talking about the dishes? Well currently they are wrapped in newspaper and sitting in a couple of old diaper boxes. I’ve tried a few times to sell them on Craigslist. They’re nice platinum dishes but too fancy for us.

  3. SKL says:

    Well, I never got married, but I do have a cupboard full of china above my fridge too! My mom snagged it for me when my grandma died. She felt I ought to have a set of “my own” dishes in case I ever had “my own” place (which I never have). They are blue Chinese design china and I don’t think they have ever been used by anyone. My grandma used to work for department stores and she’d stock up on discounted stuff to give as gifts “some day.” Cleaning out her house was quite the adventure.

    I would probably use the dishes if we didn’t already have way too many sets of dishes around our house.

    No offense to anyone, but I am really uncomfortable with the idea of asking for fancy new dishes for a wedding present, unless they are really going to get used. Even then. That is so much money for most people. To heck with tradition. Then again, I am still eating off the dishes a stranger gave us (very used) during grad school, so maybe I’m not the right person to ask.

    Some folks in my family do have a “favorite dish set,” and they build it by buying on ebay and stuff. They do use those dishes, and it’s their only “nice set.”

    As for old heirlooms that you really don’t want, I say less is more. Maybe pull out a few pieces to hand down, and donate the rest.

    Now the braces – yeah. I have to side with Laura on that. Then again, I didn’t even save my kids’ first lock of hair, so maybe I’d better stop talking now.

  4. Vicki says:

    I have my grandma and grandpas old china cabinet and a old old rocking chair, i remember grandma rocking us in that chair when we were little, If i wanted to get rid of it and noone wanted it I would just keep it, thats not something i can just toss out. I have my moms wedding ring and I also have Loretta’s china which Jenny mentioned. we used to use it all the time for holidays but now just kinda sits and takes up space but there again i couldnt just get rid of it.

  5. mssc54 says:

    We have kept first hair cut hair but was so thankful when all the braces came off we never wanted to see them again.

    Our family has lots of heirlooms. But if you aren’t in the family they would be called antiques. It’s all furniture related from our grandparents. The typical old southern four poster beds, pie safes, dressors, etc. My personal favorite is that cane rocker you posted a pic of last year. My Mrs. recaned it herself as a Christmas gift one year.

    Incidentally, we still have boxes in the hall closet that we had to pack up when we had to move out of the house for the reconstruction after Hurricane Hugo back in… 1989? I think we all need to get rid of those boxes that haven’t moved in a couple of decades.

  6. Laura says:

    Yep. Got the china. Bought the china because it was “the thing to do” when we got married. And we bought it to match the silver that was handed down to us from Steve’s grandma. And we’ve built an entire room around it. The china and the crystal are displayed in a china cabinet, along with a bunch of crystal bowls and serving platters that we never asked for, but were given anyway. We both have very ‘old-school’ families, and that was the stuff that you gave back then (geez, I sound like I’m ancient. For reference, we got married in 1993). The dining room set is a really pretty one – but it’s kinda cheap, and the chairs are falling apart. I’d love to sell the china and crystal, and the furniture, and turn the room into a family/play room. But I doubt that will ever happen, because… well… where will we put Grandma’s Silver???

  7. Nikki says:

    You are a freak!!!! JK! 😉 Well you are, but so am I!

    Tradition and heirlooms are extremely important to me, for different reasons than most. I don’t have any. I don’t have that type of family. My entire family, including my grandmother has moved their whole lives. It’s hard to really keep anything. My grandma does have a few things that she has kept, but she has 7 kids (only 5 left living), so I have no idea who will get them. She has already given her Hummels to my mom, and I imagine I will get those. She also gave me my grandfather horses. They are the size of what a barbie horse would be and they are made of Walnut shells. Those are very important to me.

    Joy gave me some of Pauls mothers bowls. Right, they were Kates?? Well, they are missed matched and some are chipped but they are dear to me, I don’t really use them. They sit on my shelf with my cooking books. I personally have nothing to hand down, besides those horses and eventually the Hummels.

    • Nikki says:

      Oh and I keep just about everything Bailey makes….almost everything. After preschool I had a huge box because I literally saved EVERYTHING! So I had to limit it to things that were painted or special, like mothers day and bday stuff. I kept his first lock of hair.

      When Bailey was about 9 months old I went to Canada to visit Joy, when she was staying up there. Well while I was gone, Jason thought it would be a great surprise to go have Baileys hair cut for when I got home. Bless his heart, he thought he was doing a good thing. He didn’t realize that is something a mother wants to be there for. But I didn’t say anything, and Bailey looked so handsome! At least he thought to keep some of his hair! 🙂 It’s in his baby book.

  8. Joy says:

    Okay. I went and looked at the braces and they really aren’t “that” gross. They are really just wires hooked together and I paid a LOT of money for em!

  9. Laura says:

    I probably should clarify my stance on this stuff. I’m not against heirlooms – a lot of them are pretty cool. I have a couple of my grandmother’s casserole bowls, myself. But I’m more into the collecting of stories. I’ve got three three-ring binders full of stories from my aunts and uncles, about their growing-up years during and after the Great Depression, WWI & WWII. The stories are fascinating and really give a glimpse into what life was like back then – with 12 brothers and sisters! I’m just sorry that we didn’t sit Grandma down while she was still alive and commit HER stories to paper. Rumor has it that there is a reel-to-reel with exactly that on it, somewhere. How I’d LOVE to get my paws on that!

    I also have a few pics around – reprints, not originals – of my grandmother when she was 16, their wedding picture, and their 60th anniversary.

    I just don’t much go for the stuff that sits in boxes, or (like my china) in a display cabinet, never to be taken out and used or appreciated, pretty much ignored, but you can’t throw it away because it belonged to someone.

  10. Just a Mom says:

    I have my grandmother’s silver that goes back pretty far in the family. It actually has a cool story to go with it. The “family” silver was sold at an estate auction when my Great-grandmother passed away. Somehow it got resold in pieces at a flea market. My Grandmother went around for 2 years buying it all back piece by little piece. This is why I love small towns! My grandmother gave it to me because “I’m the youngest and the other 2 girls get everything in the world from their other grandmother!” But I was not allowed to tell them that I have it. She has since passed away and my 2 cousins now know about it.

  11. Sue says:

    I like heirlooms, but don’t have many. My grandma collected dolls so when she died all of the girls (her daughters and granddaughters) got to pick the ones we wanted. There are a couple of things in the china closet (that we got from Toby’s grandpa when he moved), but none are really old or have a great story. We don’t have a nice set china. It’s one thing we never got when we got married and I don’t think I even asked for it!

  12. lucy says:

    I’ve gone to 3 weddings in the last 2 years and all of them had registered for some kind of china or REALLY expensive dishes.

    My parents have 4 sets of china that they rarely use (inherited 2 from my grandparents, got 1 when they married, and bought 1 set nicer set for their 30th wedding anniversary).

    When I get married I definitely want new, matching dishes but I have no interest in China or really expensive stuff.

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