The hope chest tradition has become a somewhat antiquated idea in this modern, busy world. However, this time-honored custom holds a special place in our hearts as we consider our readers and the many families being knit together by your marriages. You are embarking on a lifelong journey that will create a brand new shared history — marriage is amazing! Treasures abound, and they should!
The classic hope chest is a piece of furniture crafted from fine wood, usually cedar. Traditionally, mothers filled their daughters’ chests with household necessities to prepare for the day they would leave their parent’s house into their own home. Linens, dishes, and quilts were stored here for safekeeping.
Frequently, today’s engaged couples are already living in fully stocked homes of their own, and will probably create a gift registry for additional household items. We recognize that you likely won’t enter your marriage with all of your home goods stored in one box, but the hope chest still serves a purpose. The modern version is a collection of keepsakes, representing the traditions and fond memories that make you, you!
Family heirlooms are first to consider. Lay your hands on the treasures gives to you by loved ones, whether handmade or not, and you have a great starting place. Next, ask your parents what they may have tucked away and all but forgotten. From here, take inventory, and think about each person who is represented. There may be special people missing from your collection, so our suggestion is to reach out to them! Call the cousin who was your childhood best friend, or your favorite great-aunt. They will consider it an honor to contribute!
And finally, think about who you were as a child, and add pieces that recall happy memories. Holiday decorations, favorite cookbooks or recipes, photo albums, and board games are just a few ideas — but only you can say what belongs in your collection.
Your hope chest symbolizes your family and your past coming along with you as you move into your future. Many articles you include will bring someone special to mind with just one glance. Sharing the memories and love behind these priceless treasures will deepen your relationship with your new spouse, and can transform a house into your shared home.
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