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Great Ways to Share Family Heirlooms

vintage wedding dress Family heirlooms are very special items that evoke the memory of a specific relative. They are treasured not because of their monetary value, but because they provide a connection between a person and a family member who has passed away. It is not unheard of for people to fight over who gets to keep a particular heirloom. Instead of fighting, why not share them? Here are some great ways to share family heirlooms.


There is a rhyme that is used to indicate what every bride needs. “Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.” Family heirlooms can easily fit into this plan.

Mothers can share their wedding dress with their daughter. There will likely be the need for some alterations in order to make it fit the daughter. Even so, this is a nice way for that family heirloom to be used again. Perhaps the bride will someday share the dress with her own daughter.

The “something borrowed” part of the rhyme provides a good reason to share jewelry that is a family heirloom with the bride. Which family member is keeper of grandmother’s (or great-grandmother’s) jewelry? The new bride could borrow a necklace or earring that are heirlooms. If the jewelry has a blue gem in it, then it fits both “something borrowed” and “something blue”.

Wedding rings from grandparents or great-grandparents can be shared with future generations. A man could propose to his significant other with a ring that had been worn by one of his ancestors. That wedding ring is an heirloom that can be used to signify acceptance into the family.

Family Reunions

It takes a lot of planning to organize a family reunion. These events can take all day, or all weekend. People are going to need to eat! Instead of calling a caterer, why not share some family recipes?

One way to do this is to ask family members to bring a dish that comes from a family recipe. There is something incredibly satisfying about eating food that is “just like mom used to make”. Plan ahead to ensure that there will be enough main courses, appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. The kinds of foods that are shared will unique to each family.

Each family member should share the exact recipe with everyone else. It can be done simply, by making copies of the recipe had handing them out like flyers at the family reunion. Or, someone could put together a blog that includes all the recipes. Now would be a good time to put together a family recipe cookbook.

You could try and take things one step farther. Encourage family members to share a kitchen related family heirloom with someone else at the reunion. Focus on giving heirlooms to relatives who do not currently have any physical items to remind them of a particular person who has passed away.

Image by Eunice on Flickr.

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