Heirlooms in Hiding? Perhaps it’s time to think about re-gifting…

She stopped by my house to borrow a few tablecloths for her wedding. She’s a young woman who appreciates pretty housewares but has had little chance to own any. Earlier in the week I’d spent time downsizing my china cabinet, so I showed her the box of items I planned to give away, saying offhandedly,

There are some glass trays and cake plates—and a Lazy Susan. Nothing particularly valuable, but I’ve used and enjoyed them for years. It’s just time to pass them along. You’re welcome to any or all.


It was as if time stood still as she slowly turned to look at me, eyes wide…

You have a Lazy Susan … that you’re getting rid of?


Really, it was nothing special; just a Kromex piece for “fancy” occasions. I’d received it as a wedding gift in 1979, had used it many times—but I saw no reason to store it any longer.


Perhaps you have something similar?


Click pic to see this “twin to mine” available at Etsy.


I can really have it? I’ve always wanted a Lazy Susan!


Something so simple…barely an afterthought…brought squeals of joy to the next generation—and a warmth of spirit to me.


Perhaps it’s time to think about re-gifting some of our “heirlooms in hiding.”


As you prepare to spend time with family and friends over the coming holidays, are there treasures you might consider passing along? Things that could bring a smile to someone else?


It may be as simple as passing along Grandma’s cookbook … or a favorite holiday recipe.



A piece of jewelry, silk scarf, hat … or pair of cuff links, a money clip.



Perhaps a quilt or linens handmade by a family member of yesteryear. Even a single handkerchief or doily or potholder.

Vintage linens


Of course, if you’re ready to part with them, perhaps you’d like to pass along Grandmother’s china or crystal goblets. Grandma’s flatware or dishes. Monogrammed treasures.

Fine heirlooms


Perhaps your family didn’t have those things. Are your memories attached to a single figurine? A favorite handpainted plate or tray? Grandpa’s cane?

Family heirlooms


Maybe you’re even ready to pass along a piece of family furniture, an antique trunk, or lamp. Grandma’s typewriter.



Perhaps it’s Granddad’s tool box or briefcase … or Dad’s fishing lure.

man collage


It may even be a Christmas treasure you’ve enjoyed every year of your life.

Xmas heirlooms


What about passing along a favorite book … or your great-grandparents’ love letters? Are there family members who would appreciate receiving your family history … or old family photographs?

Ancestry heirlooms


Is there a favorite plant or garden ornament that Mom moved from house to house? One you might considering sharing with the next generation?

Garden heirlooms

Click pic to read about my Grandma’s roses


Pulling those heirlooms out of their hiding places and passing them along to new caregivers is not only budget-friendly, but—if you’ll take some time to thoughtfully pair the treasures with the interests of their new owners—it’s a creative way of sharing your family’s history with the next generation. It’s a way of honoring those younger members of your family; those links to the future.


Is there an “heirloom in hiding” you might consider giving away this season? Have you ever been on the receiving end of such a gift?

Do tell!

I’m joining:

Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings

Mosaic Monday at Lavender Cottage


  1. When I was in junior high school my Grandparents purchased a hope chest for me. One of the first things I put in it was gifted to me from my Grandma. It was my Granddad’s baby blanket – a crazy quilt. I stored it in tissue inside a box and would show all my friends my treasure. Of course they didn’t think much of it at the time. I still have it. I had it framed on a wall for many years and have since packed it back away. Our daughter is a lover of family history and treasures as well so it will be passed on to her. I love the idea of re-gifting treasures!

  2. Judith @ Lavender Cottage says:

    A good reminder to pass heirlooms along while we’re still alive to see them enjoyed by the next generation. I have passed on a few things already and if a family member were to ask for something now, I’d certainly consider giving it to them.
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  3. I adore heirlooms and as we pack up my mother to move to a smaller spot we will be sharing her heirlooms with family and strangers…lucky strangers!