No matter which holiday you celebrate at this time of year, most of us look forward to bringing out our old family decorations and enjoying them just as much as if they were new. And in a way, they are new – it’s the one time of year that our home takes on a whole new and different look because of these traditional old pieces. Add to the mix celebrations with family and friends, and our homes come alive with nostalgia for the holidays.
But what if you don’t have any heirloom decorations? A reader of my Rich Ideas column had a creative solution to this problem by collecting meaningful future heirlooms in a unique way.
She and her husband were excited to have bought a home that was perfect for them to raise their young, growing family. As the first holiday season in their new home approached, she longed to fill it with family heirloom decorations, but unfortunately her ancestors didn’t leave much behind. The few items that were passed down had been distributed among aunts, uncles, and cousins in her large family, all of whom had children of their own.
In order to fulfill her vision of a future filled with holiday heirloom decorations carrying special meaning and stories of their own, she decided that she’d put a slight twist on her first seasonal party in this new home.
Rather than filling her tree with all new ornaments, she asked each couple or family to bring an ornament that signified something special about their relationship to her family in lieu of a hostess gift. In one case, a couple she was friendly with throughout college brought an ornament with the college’s name, school logo, and their year of graduation on it. She and her husband had met another couple while vacationing in Italy, and they brought a hand-blown glass ornament of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
When each guest arrived at the party, they placed their ornament on her lightly-decorated tree, and soon she had a wonderfully eclectic tree filled with ornaments that would always carry special meaning. Not only would she enjoy the memories generated by these decorations, but her children and future generations would now have heirloom decorations that could spark warm stories handed down through the years.
Whatever your special traditions are, I wish you and yours a happy holiday season