Family Heirlooms: Hidden Away or Out for Display?

Family Heirlooms: Hidden Away or Out for Display?

Amanda Johnson
Oct 12, 2010

When I was but a wee adolescent, my family bestowed upon me my very first (and only) family heirloom — the importance of which was pressed upon me about as firmly as was their expectations that I received good grades and behaved myself at school. What was this precious gift? Well, a crocheted table runner, of course. Just exactly what every thirteen-year-old girl hopes for, right? Terrified that something might happen to the antique table runner that my great-grandmother had so lovingly made, I packed it away and hid it in a cedar chest. I had forgotten all about that table runner until I moved into a new home and unpacked my old chest. I was then faced with the decision — pack it up again with my antique spoon collection? Or put it out for display?

My first thought was to use the runner for a tablescape on my dining room table. But it looked so sad positioned there, too short to make it to either end of the table, and always needing moved when it was time to eat. (I couldn't imagine splattering spaghetti sauce or red wine on the dear thing!) Eventually I settled on placing it on my 3x4 foot coffee table, where it provides a nice anchor for magazines and books, while still leaving enough room for drinks and such to reside on the either end of the table.

My family was a bit shocked that I have placed it out in the open, where it is susceptible to a tipped wine glass or knocked-over coffee cup. However, I have let go of that fear, and I'm quite happy that it's out in the open for me to see every day, and for my visitors to admire. I think grandma would be happy it's getting some use, don't you?

What sort of family heirlooms do you have stored away that you could be using for display in your home?

Images: Amanda Johnson

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