Family heirlooms offer a priceless connection to a family’s unique history. However, for heirlooms to keep their meanings, their stories must be passed on as well. Otherwise, they may one day end up in the garbage can in the alley, at the local flea market or on an episode of ‘Pawn Shop Stars’.
It’s all too easy to assume that our children and grandchildren will value our family heirlooms as we do, and expect them to pass our treasures down to their offspring. The truth is that unless the stories accompany these heirlooms, younger generations are unlikely to treasure them for their personal meaning within the family or in the life of a particular family member.
Do you have a special piece given to you by a grandparent or great grandparent? Do you know the story behind the object? Why it was meaningful to them? Will your children understand it’s significance the way you do?
If you have family heirlooms to pass on, it’s time to ensure their significance is passed on as well. Start by taking inventory and preparing a brief narrative of the history of each heirloom. Ask your grandparents and/or some of the older aunts and uncles if you’re not sure of an heirloom’s story. Include your own thoughts on the heirlooms and what they mean to you.
Once complete, make several copies and distribute one to each family member. If possible, keep a copy of the narrative with each heirloom or at least label it in some way. Finally, make a point of talking about your family heirlooms at Thanksgiving or reunions, so their significance within the family is heard, discussed and owned.
Family heirlooms connect generations and help to keep a family’s story and legacy alive. If you’re lucky enough to have an heirloom, or have a treasured item of your own you would like to pass on, ensure that your descendants value it as you do by preserving it’s story as well.
Capture a parent or grandparent’s life story – in their own words – for your family to know!
Here at Family Line Video, we produce Family Documentaries, modern-day memoirs that weave filmed interviews together with family photos, documents, maps and other memorabilia. The result is a beautiful ‘Moving Portrait’ of your loved one sharing their life story and memories – a gift your family will treasure for years to come.
To learn more about capturing your parent or grandparent’s life story for your family, visit us at FamilyLinevideo.com.
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