Home for the Holidays: Heirloom Stories are a Perfect Gift

 
 

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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. A gift that no one else could give. A gift of your legacy! Consider giving to or requesting a very personal, one-of-a-kind gift this year: heirloom stories. A perfect gift to request from aging parents who don't know what to give.

A daughter knew that the quilt protected in her mother's cedar chest was her great grandmother's. 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 cherished.

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 woman's 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 item's 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 Alzheimer's 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.

 


About The Author: Linda LaPointe, MRA is an ElderLife Matters Coach and the author of several publications on aging and eldercare, including, Loving Legacies: An Heirloom Organizing Kit which can be seen at www.SOSpueblo.com