Gransnet forums


Sentimentality -what items do you keep?

(65 Posts)
Franbern Wed 11-Mar-20 09:14:20

Just wondered what items Gn's keep totally out of sentimentality - no current or future use. When I moved recently (downsizing) I did try to be quite hard hearted, as the next 'clearing out' will be by my children after I have died.
However, I have kept one large file of letters that were written to me by my children over the years. These were back in the day before emails and internet. some of them are quite faded, but I do like looking through them -most sent when they were on school trips or first went away to Uni.
The only other article I have kept - pure and total sentiment - is a tiny, knitted, all in one that I made myself for my first born who was only just 5 lbs when born - and back then no baby clothes could be bought for prems. I made this by using a double knit pattern and making it up in 3 ply. Just cannot steel myself to dispose of it although he is now in his fifties!!!
Be interesting to see what our gransnetters keep out of sentiment of their children or parents, etc.

glammanana Wed 11-Mar-20 09:23:49

I have my three name tags from when my children where born and all their congratulation cards.
Also the gold horse shoe which adorned my grandmothers wedding cake it must have cost a fortune in those days it still has some icing stuck to the base,my DD has promised to care for it when I have gone.

Calendargirl Wed 11-Mar-20 10:07:59

Too many irrelevant things really. A few birthday cards my dad sent to my mum when courting in the 40’s. The most unromantic man, could hardly visualise him buying a card and writing a few words of love.
Also my grandma’s will. She died when I was 3, never knew this little, rather witch like figure. Had nothing of value to leave really, but left a daughter her feather bed and three jugs which I still have. (The jugs, not feather bed!)
Made me feel sad at the thought of such insignificant things to bequeath, but obviously of value to her.
And a little illustrated letter my GD sent to me when about 5. Had collected her from school, played up horribly for some reason, squared her up thoroughly, lots of tears and upset, but ok later. Then next day this note, picture of me and her holding hands, “I luv you Grany, sory I was norty, I like
cuming to yor hows. Luv....”

Oopsadaisy3 Wed 11-Mar-20 10:15:01

I have masses of stuff, all filed or put into boxes and labelled ‘family tree’ hmmm, not entirely true.......

I have things that DDs made in school nearly 40 years ago, stuff my Mum made , GCs stuff, postcards, Christmas cards some hand made , others with drawings in them, about 35 photo albums, I darent go on.

Scribbles Wed 11-Mar-20 10:45:06

I sent OH's passport to the Passport Office for cancellation after his death and ticked the box to have it returned to me afterwards. It arrived back this morning and I've carefully put it away in a drawer. Why? It's of no use to anybody but I couldn't bear to think of it being shredded.
I've come to the conclusion that we humans are, collectively, a bit odd!

ninathenana Wed 11-Mar-20 10:47:41

Tags from when the children were born anti natal record cards and one satin shoe DD wore for her Christening, no idea where the other one is, also cards received.
My wedding cake topper, lucky horse shoes etc.
Mum's costume jewellery and a couple of ornaments. DH has his dad's wallet and some paper work.

ninathenana Wed 11-Mar-20 10:51:51

Calendargirl Your GD's note made me well up.
Can't be cross with them for long can we.

Smileless2012 Wed 11-Mar-20 10:54:27

I have far too many including all the baby clothes my gran knitted for the boys, my wedding dress, tights and the garter I wore, mum's wedding dress that my gran made for her and the sewing machine she made it on.

It's beautiful with tiny buttons from the wrist all the way up the sleeve that she covered in the same fabric as the dress. A work of art.

Blinko Wed 11-Mar-20 10:56:57

I have a button from a coat my Mum wore most days. I use it as my bidding counter at bridge. Mum played bridge too.

Also I've kept those little name tags from when our sons were born, plus a special note from OH when we were going through a bad patch. It kept me sane...

Marmight Wed 11-Mar-20 11:35:34

Far too much. Things the girls made/painted at school, their reports, my reports, my Mum’s reports, baby clothes, first shoes, baby teeth, locks of hsir, letters my Dad wrote to my Mum when he was away during the War for 6 years, boxes & boxes of family photos dating back to the early 1900s to date, post cards from my Aunts who lived in Africa & Australia back in the 50s, my Dad’s old fountain pens, boxes of buttons, My collection if foreign dolls......I could go on & on. I just can’t bring myself to get rid of anything with family history

grannyactivist Wed 11-Mar-20 11:42:41

I'm not sentimental in general, but for decades I kept a little pair of booties that were knitted for a baby I lost under traumatic circumstances. When my first grandchild was born I passed them on, but didn't tell anyone about their history.

Coconut Wed 11-Mar-20 12:02:46

Having moved a few times I’ve downsized my memory box. I’ve kept a couple of cards from when my 3 were born, various cards they’ve sent me over the years, and of course all their wrist bands from the maternity home. I’ve also kept 3 beautiful dresses that my DD had as a toddler. My 2 granddaughters have since both worn them and the 1st one to have a daughter themselves will get them too !

schnackie Wed 11-Mar-20 12:30:37

Letters. My mum and nan kept every letter or card sent to them. I have weeded them out rigorously but there are still so many. I am lucky enough to have a note written from my great-gran to her boyfriend in 1898 (later my great grandpa). Makes me sad to think that people in the future will not have these precious correspondences. They are not heavy or difficult to store. I try to lift my spirit reading these, when I think of things that have been lost during many international moves, such as my paternal grandma's British passport from 1920. No photos, and a lovely if honest description of her (short, round, small nose, light brown hair etc.)

Redrobin51 Wed 11-Mar-20 12:31:23

Every card my husband has ever sent me and letters of thanks I had when I was an advisor as it made a sometimes difficult job worthwhile.x

antheacarol55 Wed 11-Mar-20 12:39:02

I have pictures and things they made at school .
My most treasured item is my mums watch that she got for her 21st birthday that she passed on to me on my 21st .

deec Wed 11-Mar-20 13:01:50

My daughters two front baby teeth....I have always said I will get them dipped in gold and made into quirky earrings for her!

Calendargirl Wed 11-Mar-20 13:04:53

ninathenana I know, it was the spelling of ‘naughty’ that got me, shall bequeath the note to her!

seadragon Wed 11-Mar-20 13:05:51

@Franbern - Your post reminded me that I had a collection of letters from our two children which they wrote to me from Orkney when I was away training in Bristol from 1985-1987. On impulse, a few years ago, after a life threatening illness, I sent them to 'the authors' each in a special vintage tin, one Christmas, worried that they may get lost if I suffered a sudden demise. Neither AC commented at the time....

Shandy3 Wed 11-Mar-20 13:11:24

I have three tins one for each of my children. They are filled with birth memorabilia, letter, cards and sentiments associated with their births. They know I have them, and through their childhood went through them several times.
I also kept many other things paintings they did as children etc.
These I have just recently given to them, so I could see what they wanted to do with them . As adults they got to understand what those things meant to me and that I had felt their achievements worth keeping. Some they didn't want others they kept and cherished.
When my mum died I found just the same sort of things she'd kept of mine I wish I could have gone through those with her like I did with my children. They bring smiles and laughter who'd deny any of that?

Northernandproud Wed 11-Mar-20 13:12:00

A bridesmaid dress i wore when i was 7, , and a baby outfit of my younger brother, im not at all sentimental or a hoarder, but mum found them in nannas when she cleaned the house out, and then i found them many years later in mums doing the same thing

Kim19 Wed 11-Mar-20 13:39:50

Couple of letters/poems from my husband and lots of photographs. That's it.

Dee1012 Wed 11-Mar-20 14:13:07

My grandfather was a Fireman in WW2 and was commended for his work in the Liverpool Blitz....I have his certificates/awards.
He was my hero and I cherish those together with the Teddy bear he brought me on the day I was born.

SalsaQueen Wed 11-Mar-20 14:17:46

I haven't kept much at all, over the years. I've got my Mum's wedding at eternity rings (she died 1995), on a chain, although I don't wear it. I've kept the last 8 or so Mother's Day and birthday cards from my sons, and a few pictures that my Grandchildren have done. I've got all the usual photos, but I don't believe in hanging on to things. I'm not particularly sentimental.

Grandma70s Wed 11-Mar-20 14:19:46

Children’s school reports and selection of cards and letters from them. I also have drawings and poems I did myself as a child, kept by my mother. Baby curls. Crystal and silver ornaments that belonged to my grandmother and great aunt. A beautiful mother-of-pearl case for visiting cards, with a
blue silk lining and my great aunt’s initials on a silver inlay. A totally useless carved chair that has been in the family as long as anyone can remember.

A card from my brother to congratulate me on my degree. It was one of only two written communications from him I had in my whole life.

Every word written to me by my grandchildren.

Very important are my grandmother’s and my mother’s engagement rings, which I wear regularly, on the fingers they fit. My fingers are smaller than my mother’s, but bigger than my grandmother’s. I have other pieces of jewellery as well.

When I downsized and had to part with beloved family furniture and china. I was lucky that my son took much of it. He has a big house! I feel it hasn’t really gone.

I wish I’d kept letters from my parents, but I didn’t. I like seeing their handwriting. Recordings of their voices would be good to have, too. I never thought of that.

Witzend Wed 11-Mar-20 14:32:10

Lots of dd-related things - baby congrats cards, some of their tiny baby clothes, one of each of their first shoes.

Things of my mother’s (she died in 2015) that I can’t bring myself to get rid of: the ‘lucky horseshoe’ thing she carried at her wedding in 1939 - still in its original box! - and lots of the birthday and Valentine’s Day cards my father sent her.

A load of picture postcards (written and stamped) collected by a grandmother, many dating from the very early 1900s. They were in the ancient original album, but it was falling to bits, so they’re now in a tin. One or two were quite helpful with family tree research, though.

Some letters written by my father to his folks when he was about 12. Much funnier and cheekier than I’d expect from that era!

A WW2 ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ certificate awarded to my father, signed by King George V, or his pp. Probably relating to the Battle of the Atlantic, since he was engaged with that for at least 2 years.

It’s going to be down to dds to chuck most of those one day, I’m afraid.
Apart from books - far too many! - we don’t have much general clutter at all, though.