Giving family heirlooms as gifts

There are mixed views out there over whether giving a family heirloom as a gift is a good idea or not. 

But if you’re in favour, then the chances are you could be in possession of a treasure trove of excellent present ideas.

What is a family heirloom?

Family heirlooms are not necessarily valuable paintings or antiques, but will have something to say something about ancestors or family heritage. While some people are fortunate to have great great-grandmother’s English bone china, others may treasure something handmade, such as a quilt or tablecloth. In each case, the real pleasure of the heirloom is that it is a clear link to the past.

New heirlooms

Just as important as the old heirlooms are the special things that are first generation to your family. It might be wedding presents or a painting done by a family member, ornaments or handmade crafts. Something you received a decade ago may have huge significance for future generations of your family.


With everybody going digital nowadays it’s rare for people to actually have a physical photo album. For a gift, consider gathering scrapbook materials and creating a photo album or you could shrink the pictures in a collage to create a larger family picture.

Family trees

Family trees come in all shapes and sizes and they’re always welcomed. A family tree quilt or mini tree sculptures make a great gift. You can hang small pictures of family members from the branches or consider a unique family tree diagram.


Are there any particular recipes which are peculiar to your family? Consider getting the cooking instructions for mum’s apple pie printed on a kitchen towel or onto an apron. There are also kitchen plates, bowls, and cups that you can have inscribed with a family recipe.


Consider giving a family with a newborn a personalized baby book. Or if you have any family stories that you would like to share with future generations, consider collecting them and creating a book.


A custom map is a great idea for a family that’s spread across the world. For instance, you can create a map and have initials to mark where relatives live around the world. Or for a family that’s constantly moving around, a map with hearts can indicate where they once lived. Embroidered map pillows and jewelry pendants are also a possibility.

Is there something in your home that you would consider giving as a gift in order to keep its significance alive in the family?





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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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