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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CREATING HEIRLOOMS


I’ve become guardian and protector of many of our family heirlooms. I’ve also begun the creation of new family heirlooms.

Not all of these new heirlooms have great intrinsic value. But to me, the creation of a new heirloom is more about sentimental, than intrinsic value. If it has no sentiment behind it, chances are it’s just "stuff."

So, although my awesome and amazing turbo whisk is incredible—it will never be a family heirloom. It neither has intrinsic value nor sentimental value.

My collection of necklaces and ear bobs may have intrinsic value, but to my son they’re just minerals.

Our collection of Dickens Village houses, however has become a family heirloom in the making. Each house was selected and added to the growing collection over a period of more than 25 years, with each family member in mind.

Daughter Nicole chose the Cratchet family house with the real smoking chimney and the Nicolas Nickelby house to match her nickname.

Doug liked the train station and the mill with the rotating water wheel because—well, wheels back in Dickens’ day were as close to cars as a young boy could get.

Each year the boxes were opened amid delighted squeals and "ooohs." Each house was placed under the Christmas tree with care and adjusted and tweaked until that moment when the power strip trailing 20 cords attached to 20 houses was flipped on, bringing the village to "life."

The memories of the village include the train track that ran around the tree and through the village, the train never quite making it beyond its first rotation before jumping the track and landing in a polyester snow pile, but adding charm to the village nonetheless.

Memories include the daily readjustment of the wobbly trees and fences.

Memories include the white kitty cat who each year concluded we had placed the fluffy snow cloth under the tree for his specific sleeping pleasure.

Memories include sitting in the dark together, looking at the tree and the lights and the village and the cat. Not speaking. Just being together

As we close the end of 2012, once again I look forward to digging out those family heirlooms—only one generation old—and reliving the sentiment behind them. Family heirlooms in the making.

PRAYER: Thank you God for families and memories we can make together. Please give us more opportunities to create memories together and reminders of treasured times past. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have a new family heirloom in the making?

 

This post is part of the Christian Writer’s Blog Chain. Our theme for November is "heirloom." Please click on the links to the right to see what my friends have to say about our theme.

15 comments:

Nona King said...

What a wonderful heirloom collecting tradition! Thank you for giving me an idea to include in a novel. :-)

From Carols Quill said...

@ Nona - aha! Glad to be of novel help.

heathercking said...

We set up our Christmas village after Thanksgiving and I had a similar thought. It's not an expensive set that we have, but one my mom collected over time for her husband and children's interests. She gave them to me and I cherish them every year as my kids and I set them up together.

From Carols Quill said...

@ Heather - you make me smile knowing how you, your mother and I are thinking along the same happy lines...

Victor Travison said...

What a charming idea! My family is too spread out across the U.S., and even Mexico and Korea, to start something like that. I imagine you'd have to start when in kids are very young, then it would be ingrained. I'd love to see your village sometimes (though I don't know when that would be!).

~ VT

From Carols Quill said...

@ VT Dave - the saying "it's a small world" doesn't apply when it's family, does it? Blessings to you all.

chris said...

Your story reminded me of many Christmas' spent at my grandparents, watching the tree, lights and village with trains circling. A wonderful tradition and time of year. Thanks Carol !!

Pam B. said...

Many of our Christmas tree ornaments have been collected throughout our marriage during our family trips and vacations so when they are unpacked they bring back wonderful memories. They are quite an eclectic collection.

From Carols Quill said...

@ Chris - your grandparents' train stayed on the track? Impressive.

@ Pam - eclectic is beautiful when each one includes a memory.

lynnmosher said...

Oh, Carol, this is so sweet. I love the thought of the village heirlooms. I, too, love to sit in the dark and stare at the tree. Never understood why. Blessings!

Stephanie Boles said...

I love to turn out the lights and 'watch' the tree too. I cannot fathom why. I just love it. My children do the same. ;-) I enjoyed this post. Blessings.

Christine Henderson said...

Love those wonderful Christmas traditions. How about posting a picture of the complete village for us to see?

Deborah K. Anderson said...

This was great, Carol. I could actually see the entire setting. Felt as though I were right there with you. What great memories.

From Carols Quill said...

@ Stephanie - it is the wonder of it all; the magic; the silent peace that reminds us of God's glory. Plus it's just really pretty...

From Carols Quill said...

@ Christine and Deborah - ah, a photo would be a great idea. Will it happen? Uh...