I love to give sentimental Christmas gifts because of the strong meaning behind them. It doesn’t happen very often, but for the last couple of years I have thought of gifts that carry great meaning for me which hopefully means they are meaningful to my kids!
Last year I gave my kids a very special sentimental gift that celebrated the past. This year, I’m giving them gifts to look toward the future with HOPE!
Last year (2021) was the first time in a long time that my extended family was able to be together (and even with that, my son and DIL were missing because of a ski trip). Grown grandkids plus COVID had created a several year gap in us being together so I wanted this special time to have a special gift.
My dad passed away in 2020 at the very beginning of COVID (though his death was not COVID related). All four grandkids (my sister’s two boys and my son and daughter) adored their “Agrad.” Agrad is the name the oldest grand son came up with while trying to say Grandad, and it stuck with all four kids.
What you need to know about my dad for this story, besides the fact that he was a wonderful man, is that he believed in looking nice. He was very particular in the way he dressed. His business partner lived by the moto, “Everyone wants to pet a fat dog.” My dad was a deal maker in business, and he always dress the part. He was professional looking to all who met him. He wore either a white or blue button-down shirt- most of them custom made just for him with his initials JRS monogramed on the cuff of his long sleeve shirts and the pocket of his short sleeve shirts.
After he passed away, I took about 16 of his blue, long sleeve shirts- most still crisp from the dry cleaners. I was going to have them made into aprons like I had seen done on Pinterest. After I got them, it just didn’t seem right. I didn’t know if the grandkids would really like aprons. His monogram on the sleeve was the prize of the shirt so I decided to just have the cuff cut off and made into bookmarks. A small bookmark is easy to keep up with, and I knew that monogram would mean so much to them.
Sentimental Christmas Gifts
In thinking about the book mark, and the fact that my daughter was getting married in a few months, my thoughts were drawn to the Family Bible merchants in my hometown gave me when I married my late husband. I decided to get all the grandkids a Family Bible to house this special monogramed cuff bookmark. I wanted to revive a tradition of getting a Family Bible when you get married.
Inside the Bible I wrote all the important births, deaths, and marriages in our family. I also marked one scripture, Philippians 4:8-9 which says: (English Standard Version)
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned[a] and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
My pastor had recently mentioned this verse at a GriefShare event he and I hosted. It fit so perfectly for the grandfather and dad/uncle (my late husband) that they all miss so much. My dad and late husband lived this verse. It is a crucial command for us all to remember- think always of the goodness of life, the goodness of people (especially those who have passed), and the goodness of God.
I love sentimental gifts. I love that the grandkids will always have a sweet memory of their Agrad. They never knew him to wear anything else. (Well, except for our beach trip for his birthday when they gave him an “Old Guys Rule” T-shirt. and They asked him to wear it to dinner- which of course he did.)
I also love that they each have their own Family Bible as they are setting out in their own lives with their own families. The word of God is in their homes, but they also have a single place to write all their family history. Those pages at the beginning of Family Bibles are priceless.
How about you? What is a sentimental gift that you’ve given?