It is no secret that, no matter how close and strong their bond is, there comes a point in life when a family drifts apart. This can happen in a gradual way, when parents tend to get lost in the demands of their jobs and maintaining the household and children grow up and move out of the home. The distance is sometimes more than just physical as phone calls become rarer and visits far and few in between.
If the thought of drifting apart makes you anxious, then you should know that there are ways to bring your family closer. Some go for experience, going on vacations and visiting new places together. Others maintain the connection through traditions and constant communication.
But do you know that giving your children and husband keepsakes can strengthen your bond? Keepsakes are more than just material things. The memories they hold are more precious than any metal or gem.
If you want your children to have a permanent remembrance of your family, here are some of the most common keepsakes you can hand down to them.
Teach Them the Family History
There is definitely nothing better than bits and pieces of family history to bring you closer together. Knowing where you come from and the people who have forged your present path creates a strong bond through common understanding. Family history tells the younger generation how life was like before their time, the struggles and hardships that made them who they are today. And with this knowledge come the appreciation and pride of having a family that conquered difficult challenges together.
The perfect keepsake to remind one of family history are furniture, wall arts, and antique homewares. These things have passed from hand to hand and have created innumerable memories years before. Make sure that, when you give them their part, a story of the rosewood table or the Waterford plates is included.
Pass Down the Family Secrets
If there is a story about where you come from, of the men and women who came before and have passed down more than their genes to the present generation, there must also be a treasure trove of family secrets. These include family recipes that are always a hit during celebrations and reunions.
Tell your daughters about their grandmother’s shepherd’s pie or their great-aunt’s beef stew. Even better, compile the collection of recipes into a book. It will be an amazing legacy that will continue once the children have a family of their own. You can also bond by trying out the recipes together.
Give Them Something to Remember
Memories, no matter how deeply etched into your heart, will soon fade away with time. Eventually, you will forget how blue your grandfather’s eyes were or how your smile actually resembles your favorite aunt’s. Give your children keepsakes that will make them remember your happy times many years later.
Taking a lot of photographs is one thing. You can also gather your favorite frozen moments and put them into photo albums. To make them more interesting, you can include captions and important dates in every page or turn it into a story.
There is also the time capsule, where you can all put your most precious keepsakes inside an envelope and into your chosen capsule and store it in a safe place. Set the time when you will be able to open it, like ten years later. You can ask your children to give you and your husband a visit so you can all relive your favorite memories by leafing through the photo albums or opening the time capsule together.
Impress the Importance of Heirlooms
Heirloom pieces, like your jewelry, are such valuable keepsakes for your children. You may have your grandmother’s brooch, which you plan to pass down to your youngest daughter because she has always admired it when you take it out of the box.
If you have children who plan to marry, let them understand that buying an elegant engagement ring is more than just choosing a beautiful piece of jewelry that symbolizes commitment. Heirloom jewelry is valuable, and that goes beyond the monetary worth. Being able to keep a tradition of handing down jewelry to younger generations impresses on your descendants strong family ties, as well as a special bond with the previous owners.
Share What You Love
Keepsakes are more than just the tangible things you pass down. There is also the sharing of what you love, whether it is reading, music, or collecting stamps.
You can share some golden moments with your children by reading to them your favorite childhood book or listening to your beloved collection of Joni Mitchell’s songs. Years later, you can leave them your favorite collection of books or CDs, and they will remember many fun nights when you gathered around the family room and enjoy your hobbies, which they also learn to love.
Although the young may prefer the modern convenience of technology, it will not hurt if you try to make them see the importance of old things, of their ties to you and the people before you. Keepsakes from the old days are such wonderful reminders of everything you have been through as a family and how far you have come. They can evoke memories that the young will cherish forever.