What is a keepsake? Its a physical reminder of an event or a loved one. The sight, smell, texture of an item or a place can bring memories flooding back. Give your family the opportunity to revisit their fondest memories with a keepsake.
I love how Susan V. Voska puts it. Experpt taken from LegacyProject.org
“You know when you hear a favorite song on the radio and your mind goes right back to a special memory? Keepsakes have that same kind of power. Grandchildren like the hottest new stuff, but they also have a real need for a sense of family history and connection. In the short term, keepsakes create an immediate sense of connection. Over the years, they become a powerful symbol of that connection. Keepsakes evoke memories and feelings. They also make us feel part of something bigger. They are a critical part of a living family legacy. Older people have a need to give keepsakes as “something to remember me by,” and grandchildren have just as much of a need to receive them.”
Pick up or buy mementos from a trip or day out
Buy a t-shirt for every place you visit. When your kids grow out of them, make a quilt.
If you collect rocks or shells from an outing string them on a necklace or glue them to a photo frame for a visual reminder of the fun you had.
Scrapbook or put together a photo album
Make sure you take pictures! Photos are the best way to etch memories into our minds. Put them all together in a book to keep forever. Sort them by specific event or trip or do a round up of your favorite memories throughout a whole year.
Pick a special item from an event and frame it
You can also add these tokens to a Scrapbook:
Invitations/ napkin/ party favor
Give favors or keepsakes at your own events
Pass out meaningful favors or trinkets to your guests to help them remember the special day. Use custom tags to cement the date and event, like “Sarah’s 6th Birthday, July 9, 2022”
Have a Photo booth/prop booth at your events for guests to take a photo and capture the memory. You could collect them all in a guest book or let the guests take their souvenir with them.
Using an item passed down from a family member
If you have the opportunity to choose an item from a loved one pick something you and your kids can use. Not just something that will sit on a shelf. You want something that your family can make their own memories with.
- A cooking/baking pan that was your grandmas
- A toy or book that you had when you were a child
- A blanket or quilt made by your great aunt
- Your mom’s dishes – use them on special occasions
Combine these heirlooms into your everyday life. Tell the story of where they came from and memories of the person who owned them before you.
Take something old and make it new
If all you have is a broken or very loved item from a relative, turn it into something new.
- A broken earring set with a missing earring can be turned into a necklace or pin
- A broken piece of furniture can be reupholstered or reclaimed to be a new piece in your home
- A worn-out piece can be up-cycled into something your family can actually use and enjoy. If you’re nervous about keeping it in it’s original condition just remember the real reason you kept it in the first place. It reminds you of a person or place. The memories attached to it won’t change.
- A much loved childhood book that has a broken spine or missing pages can be a beautiful framed piece to be hung in a nursery either for your children or grandchildren.
Put aside a few things you loved as a child and pass them on to the next generation.
- Favorite board games or movies can be shared with your kids. I find myself buying more old movies than new movies because I want my kids to experience the same things I used to enjoy. It makes a new bonding experience when you can both share in something.
Create Holiday Keepsakes
- Holiday crafts can be good keepsakes; like Valentine boxes, coloring Easter eggs, making a homemade card for Mom on Mother’s Day, Dad on Father’s Day, Halloween collage and Thanksgiving turkeys made out of leaves, or feathers or whatever you want.
- Making holiday crafts with your children can be a fun way to decorate your home for the different holidays. Even if some of them don’t survive more than one year you’ll still have the memories of making them together.
- Handprint crafts-I like these because you can see from year to year how your children are growing.
- Christmas ornaments – One of my favorite things during the holidays is pulling out all the ornaments for the Christmas tree. It’s like see an old friend. You’ll find ornaments passed down from your parents, ones that your kids made and some special ones that you hand-picked along the away.
- Decorations you get out year after year – That Tom turkey you set out on the table every Thanksgiving is another reminder of family and good times shared together. Your kids will recognize the old familiar things and grow attached to them.
Choose an ordinary everyday item and make it a keepsake for your family. Choose something that is of good quality so it will last for many years to come and be something you can pass on later. Either find and an heirloom quality item or get something from a relative that already has a history with your family
- A blanket you always snuggle in
- A pan you bake birthday cakes in
- A book you read at bedtime
- A special popcorn bowl you use on movie nights
What are your favorite keepsakes? Let me know below