Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas presents

Several years ago we made a policy decision to abandon Christmas presents within our family.  Obviously Ken and I, like any decades-married old couple, have all the stuff we'll ever need and then some, so it was hard for our children to come up with any new stuff that would be well received.  And as the children became adults, it was hard for us to come up with anything that they would appreciate.  We guessed at one another's reading or music preferences and usually missed the mark; we gave sweaters or shirts that didn't really fit or sing.  So we gave up, and in retrospect, both generations agree it was one of the best family decisions ever.

This year, though, I had an idea.  I own too many things and am looking for opportunities to divest myself.  So at Christmas dinner I approached the two daughters-in-law and one granddaughter and gave them their choice of a whole lot of jewelry that sits unused in my drawers.  Much of what I put out for grabs came from my mother, who had a huge collection of fabulous jewelry, most of which I find way too heavy to wear myself.  But the one Zoe chose was a beautiful tiny opal necklace, which Ken gave me many years ago.

Here's Stephanie with an enameled fish that came from my mother; it's articulated so it wiggles around on its chain.

Here's Kristin with a massive gold chain that also was my mother's.  It goes so well with her white turtleneck that I hope she will always wear the two together.

I haven't worn any of these pieces in years, if ever, and it felt great to send them off with new owners who I hope will wear and love them.


  1. Lovely idea.

    happy new year, Kathleen. x

  2. My husband's grandmother did that one year. I got a ring set with a tiny cameo that had once been from a pair of earrings. When one of them went missing the other was preserved in that ring. I was the only one with fingers small enough for it to slip onto! Grannie is long gone but the memory of her & that Christmas is always with me when I wear that ring which is often. I too have started passing on family pieces. As you say, better they get some use than languish in a drawer.

  3. I have done this for 6 years now with the entire family. I,pass on family memorabilia along with the story that goes with it. Everyone enjoys there things that have sentimental value that is much greater than the monetary value. This was the second year they each got to choose a quilt and it surprised me again which quilt each one picked.

  4. Such a lovely idea. I hope in the future i could divest myself of my jewellery (or my quilts) to DIL's or friends.