Home For The Holidays: Heirloom Stories Are A Perfect Gift
by: Linda LaPointe
Selecting the right gift for a special someone is sometimes joyous, sometimes
a chore. Give a gift thatís free. A gift that no one else could give. A gift of
Consider giving to or requesting a very personal, one-of-a-kind gift this
year: heirloom stories. A perfect gift for an adult child who has everything. A
perfect gift to request from aging parents who donít know what to give.
A daughter knew that the quilt protected in her motherís cedar chest was her
great grandmotherís. But until her mother recorded the story of the quilt she
did not know how dear it really was. The quilt was a wedding present received
the day before her newly married great grandparents climbed onto a covered wagon
in Pennsylvania to begin their journey westward to Colorado and a new life.
Protected and hand carried across the U.S. the quilt bumped for a thousand miles
along the Santa Fe Trail with a wagon train. That quilt is now much more
People forget that they live in their homes with history all around them. Old
tools, equipment and machinery have a history all their own. A womanís gloves,
hat or shoes describe an era never to be seen again. Most of the stories go
untold, leaving generations without the knowledge of an itemís uniqueness,
history or sentimental value. History lessons and family stories can be
integrated, enjoyed & remembered by any age recipient.
Personal belongings and family heirlooms have so much to say. Have yours told
their stories yet? They will be welcome and engaging gifts. Here are some ideas
to help you tell those heirloom stories:
- Tell them to someone who will act as your scribe.
- Write them down in longhand or on a typewriter or computer.
- Record them on a tape recorder in your own voice.
- Have someone videotape you while you hold an item and tell its story or
demonstrate its use.
Even a person with Alzheimerís Disease can often share the stories that
others may think are lost. If she can still speak, put an item in her hand, and
it may remind her of events or uses, people or places. Ask her questions, and
you may get more history than you expected.
Start now to preserve those stories, histories and ways. Give or request a
loving legacy for any season or occasion.
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Linda LaPointe, MRA is an ElderLife Matters coach and author of several
products to assist families experiencing aging including the pamphlet, Donít Be
a Burden: 100 Tips. Get free articles and information at