Leaving a family heirloom to a child, grandchild or great-grandchild is more than simply passing on a treasured object. A Family heirloom is a window into your family history, a chance to connect the past with the present and to keep your history alive. Below are a few ways to ensure your family heirloom stays meaningful as it is passed from one generation to the next.
Tell a Story
A family heirloom can feel impersonal if not accompanied by a story. Make the heirloom even more special by including the following information:
- Who owned it first. Was it your grandmother’s? Your great-father’s? Or does it go even further back?
- How, why and when did that person acquire the item? Was it a gift? Did they save their hard earned money to buy it?
- Why is this piece meaningful to you?
- Do you remember any special moments involving this piece?
- Why do you think a particular person in your family would like to own this heirloom?
Label, Label, Label
Just as it’s important to label family photos, it’s also important to label family heirlooms. You may remember your grandmother playing music on her treasured piano, but your grandchildren don’t have that memory. Your grandmother and her story are a big part of what makes the piano special. Labeling a family heirloom will help younger generations understand its importance within the family.
Write a few words about an item on masking tape and stick it to the bottom of the piece. Or type up a detailed description of the family heirloom and tape that on. This works well for larger pieces, such as furniture.
Make an Heirloom Album
Since many objects, like crystal and jewelry, are too small for direct labeling, a photo album may be a better choice. A family heirloom photo album can be a traditional picture album or a digital one on the computer.
To make your album, simply take a photo of each heirloom and pair it with a story or a few lines of information. For a more personal touch, have a friend or family member take photos of you with the heirloom.
Create an Heirloom Video
For something even more personal, share the stories behind an heirloom in an heirloom video. When you share your memories on video, your voice, personality and expressions bring the heirloom and your family history to life. You can either narrate the video or tell the stories while showing the objects.
Whether you label your treasures with masking tape or record your memories in an album or on video, future generations will cherish a family heirloom more knowing how and why it is part of their family history.
~ Legacy Videos ~
Give your parent or grandparent the gift of a lifetime by capturing their life story for your family to know!
Here at Family Tree Video, we produce Legacy Videos, modern-day memoirs that weave a filmed interview with a parent or grandparent, together with family photos, documents, maps and other memorabilia. The result is a beautiful “Moving Portrait” capturing your loved one as they recount their life story, family history and memories – a gift your family will treasure for generations to come.
To learn more about giving the gift of a Legacy Video, visit us at FamilyTreeVideo.com.
Family Tree Video LLC
Legacy Video Production
Legacy Video Producer
“There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children.
One is roots, and the other, wings.” — H. S. Carter