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How you can place meaning on time spent with family through heirlooms or momentos to pass down through generations

Time is a funny thing and can sometimes fool you with its fluidity. Some days it moves so slowly making our days last on end, while other instances it moves too quickly leaving you to wonder where and when it escaped.  When you become a parent, time takes on a life of its own, because raising children seems to somehow make it move even faster. You become consumed with day-to-day activities that as you celebrate important milestones, you feel it was all done in haste. When it is all said and done, you are left questioning how you now have a grown adult in place of your once small child. 

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, it is not only the perfect time to honor the moms in your life for their endless devotion of time as a caregiver, role model, and supporter, but you as mothers can also take the opportunity to reflect on the standout moments in your time of motherhood. You can share special memories or mementos with your children or grandchildren to pass down through generations or — even more meaningful — share things which have been passed down to you. In today’s world, so much focus is placed on the digital part of moments with our easy access to social media and other technology to “snap” that fun or special moment you might be engaged in with others. However, the value of that time spent together vs. the number and urgency of how many photos (and likes of social media tools Facebook and Instagram) can be taken of an event is also lost on younger generations with that ease in accessibility. To be able to weave a memory in with a tangible object can emphasize the value placed on that precious time spent with family. There are many ways to incorporate a lasting legacy to share with your loved ones and hopefully pass on to future generations. 

Photography

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Pictures are the number one item we gather to capture our memories, and they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Writing your memory of a specific moment to share your version or story of a particular day or event could be a special keepsake between you and your adult children or grandchildren. A framed photo with a handwritten note could preserve that memory even more.  

 

 

Jewelry

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Pieces of jewelry hold their own distinct place in expressing love or gratitude with many possibilities to give. Whether it’s a favorite pendant, or pair of earrings you or your grandmother always wore, or grandpa’s watch, even an engagement ring to pass onto yourown daughter or son’s future wife, all express the importance and meaning of love within a family.

Recipes and Favorite Cooking Tools

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This is an easy and fun one to incorporate. If you know how much your chocolate chip cookies or brownies are enjoyed, you can easily record the recipe and share it with loved ones. If there is even a tool you use when making a dish, say a rolling pin when you bake your apple pies for Christmas or Thanksgiving, you could also pass that down as an heirloom. My sister and I always say we wished we had thought to ask for our grandmother’s cheese grater when family members went through her things. It had the look of a vintage kitchen item and was this mammoth-looking, stainless steel rectangle with a handle on top. It seems like such a trivial and silly thing to want to keep, but she made the best cheese enchiladas with it, and it was one of our favorite meals that she made. We are convinced that it all had to do with that cheese grater and the way it helped her prepare the dish. 

Furniture or Home Décor

This category sounds as though it can be too much since furniture can include larger-sized items. More compact pieces such as a rocking chair great grandfather made, or smaller décor such as a vase, even a Christmas decoration you might have made, could all be thoughtful keepsakes.

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Timeless Pieces of Fashion
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When it comes to specific articles of clothing, some things just never go out of style. There might be a fur stole, scarf, coat, or jacket that the fashionista in your family may want to keep. Even a tie or suspenders worn by dad could be fun items to share. 

Fishing Poles or Hunting Equipment

 

You may have hunters and fisherman in your family. Giving them past items used, especially if they are gifted during a hunting or fishing trip, could make the time spent together even that more meaningful.

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Some of these articles may not seem noteworthy enough in your opinion to pass down, but for your children and grandchildren,they may serve as reminders of significant and even humorous memories between them, you, and other loved ones. 

You also don’t want to leave family members wishing they had the opportunity to ask for specific things because anything could be relevant to them, no matter how big, small, or insignificant. 

We all know time is fleeting, but what matters is the time spent together, and these moments can help preserve a family’s legacy and leave an imprint for future generations.

By Jennifer O’Neill