Faith is the very first thing you should pack in a hope chest.
~Sarah Ban Breathnach
I want to send a big thank you to Brenda W. who donated The Hope Chest: A Legacy of Love by Rebekah Wilson to the farm library. Your generosity is so appreciated. The book certainly piqued my interest because I remember being a young girl and wishing I had a hope chest. I have to say, I never really got one and I didn't have one for any of my daughters either and I regret that now.
The concept of a hope chest is to fill it with items necessary to set up a home of your own - particularly with items that have been handmade because it is the learning of the skill that is integral to the process.
The contents of a hope chest are as varied as each family is from one another. One hope chest may be filled with fine linens ranging from napkins, tablecloths, towels and bedding while another maybe filled with recipes handed down from generation to generation or even heirloom seeds. It is less about what is in the chest and more about the heritage it represents.
I was happy to read that a hope chest can be as simple as a shoebox or as elaborate as a finely carved cedar piece of art. While not nearly as fun, it could even be one of those totes you can get at your local dollar store.
The book is a very pleasant one to read and full of history and useful information. It really helps you consider what legacy you can pass to the next generation. One thing that I want to be clear about is that this tradition is not just for your daughters. Your sons also need skills and tools to prepare for independent living. I was happy to see a small section devoted to the boys too.
These days, it is much more common for the bridal shower to replace the hope chest but all those tangible gifts on the store registry cannot replace the traditions and memories unique to your own family.
Some things I'm thinking of including are traditional and non-traditional. For example, how about along with the hand embroidered linens you include a favorite book or piece of music? Rebekah Wilson also recommends including journals as part of the family legacy. Note that she recommend journals not diaries. Diaries are very personal. Journals are more an accounting of the day to day events.
If I were to journal about today, I would say I collected 23 eggs from the hens, spent the day at work and then traveled to pick up our milk from the dairy truck, admired the late day snowfall and unfortunately, had to clean out freezer which had succumbed to an electric failure in the outlet. Fortunately, the freezer was nearly empty waiting for the side of beef we are getting next week. That is, we will get it if we can get the outlet fixed and the freezer still works. ;)
I love that I can still start a hope chest for everyone I love, even for myself. The book makes that suggestion and I think it is a great one. Let's go save some family memories!
I'm so glad you stopped by to visit today. Tomorrow is the day we learn more about essential oils. The oils of the month are in the citrus family and I'll write about some uses for them around the home. I hope to see you then. :)
Peace be with you,
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