If I have no heirlooms, what should I pass down?

Personal Effects

Consider items of yours that your kids identify as an important part of your life as potential heirlooms. A treasured collection of books or even one favorite book that is well worn from the many times you read it could be heirloom material. What about religious books, especially a personalized bible or prayer books that you've used as a family? Do you have scrapbooks of photos and clippings from your childhood? Old photos connect your children with their ancestry. When kids are young, they're especially curious about their parents' past, so make the scrapbook like a storybook. These characters will become alive to them, and they'll remember the stories to pass down to their children.

Family recipes are often valued heirlooms. Many small businesses have begun with Aunt Helen's famous cookie recipe. And even if you don't plan to start a business venture, making familiar and beloved meals are excellent ways to preserve your family history while connecting with one another. If cooking just isn't you, then consider that handcrafted items are always a great way to remember someone. Ornaments you made as a child that hung on your Christmas tree every year will be just as valued by your kids. You can also save baby clothes and blankets or quilts you made or bought. Pretty much anything that reminds them of you will be special.

What makes your personal effects special is the history behind them. Next up, we'll look at family traditions that serve as heirlooms.