Monday, December 10, 2012

The Easy way to make an Heirloom Christmas Gift - write an inscription!

I was fortunate enough to inherit a large library of books from my mother. Some of the books, she inherited came from her mother, but most of the books are ones she bought that she received as presents over her lifetime. The ones most special to me are the books that managed to survive the childhood of mom and her brother, Calvin.

Last week, I started reading The Story of Ping to my 7-year-old daughter, Rosie.


I have a new copy, but I remembered seeing an older copy in some of Mom's old book boxes so I quickly searched for the book and came up with this old and tattered copy of the beloved book.
Heirlooms 2

 A quick turn of the cover and I was automatically flooded with memories - there in the corner was an inscription - To Calvin Leckrone Jr., from Uncle Fred and Aunt Mary, Christmas 1936

heirlooms

Calvin Leckrone Junior was my uncle.  I knew him as my "Bachelor" Uncle and he lived in the home with me when I was growing up.  How special it was for me to discover that this book had belonged to him when he was a little boy, just about the age Rosie is now.
Calvin Leckrone Jr.
Aunt Mary was my Great Aunt, and I remember her as being very smart with a wicked sense of humor. She was always doing interesting things even into her golden years.  She found our family tree all the way back to Germany - in the days before Ancestry. com or even the internet! and she published a book about it too!

Here she is on her wedding day to Uncle Fred.

Fred Mills and Mary Leckrone Mills Black

I suppose a lot of people would toss this book out now because it is so old, and definitely shows signs of wear, but because it is signed, I will treasure it forever AND teach my children to do the same by telling them stories and sharing all that I know about the people, their family members now deceased,  involved in the giving and receiving of this Christmas gift so long ago!

Dear Aunt Mary - how clever was she to assure that we wouldn't forget her!  And she did it in a very simple yet meaningful way - she bought a great book (hard cover), and then wrote the name of the recipient and her name, with the year and the event.  Those simple things and then voila - a keepsake is born.

The first step, is to pick out a great book.

Here are some suggestions for older kids.

Literature ideas for boys

Melissa Wiley's book recommendations.

For the Love of Literature- PDF


In the past I myself have given away a set of Little House Books, and also prayer books for birthdays and Christmas presents.

The second part is to simply get a good pen in black or blue ink (but I think black lasts longer and looks nicer) and write your inscription on the inside cover. I have found that I have to plan it out a little bit before I write it out.  This may take away from the "value" of the book on one hand.  But that's not the kind of "value" I am interested in building anyway! The value of this little book that belonged to my uncle as a little boy from my great aunt is rich in family history, sentiment, and love.





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