What to Do with Family "Heirloom"...

Updated on April 04, 2011
T.M. asks from Tampa, FL
23 answers

Several years ago, my MIL gave us my DH's "Christening Outfit". I bet you are thinking that it is this beautiful gown trimmed with lace...Nope...it is a hand-crocheted beige sweater and panty set. It does not even cover a baby's legs. My DH lived in New York when he was born in DECEMBER so I don't know how they covered his legs for the ceremony. I realize that someone went to a lot of effort to make this, but it is truly horrid. We are not religious and did not have a religious ceremony for either of our children. We live in Florida, so even if we were in need of a christening outfit, this would not be appropriate for the climate. What the heck do I do with this heirloom? It has sat in my closet for years. Throwing it out is out of the question and would create hurt feelings. There are no babies in the family to pass it on to...even if it were appropriate for any climate. There is not enough fabric to even consider making it into something else. If it were remotely attractive, I could see mounting it in some sort of shadowbox type frame, but obvioulsy not the case. At this point, I think it will be in my closet until I die... Anyone have any better ideas?

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answers from Boston on

It's probably sentimental to her I also like the idea of having it put in a shadow box and giving it to her for mothers day.

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answers from Lynchburg on

Hi T.-

If you know someone who crochets, maybe cut it down and make it into some lacy table doilies? And give them to MIL for mother's day?

I am the 'original' pack rat...and have a hard time with sentimental stuff...

Best luck!


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answers from Jacksonville on

Hey, maybe you could put it in a shadowbox and give it to HIS MOM for Mother's Day?!!!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I know you find this thing horrid, but still, it belonged to your husband when he was a baby.
I would take it and have it "heirloomed". They gently clean it, fold it nicely and wrap it in acid free paper so that it can stand the test of time.
Even if it's not something you think will ever have a use at all, you can save it for when your first kid has a child.
I know it sounds crazy, but I have saved my daughter and son's baby shoes and a few things. My daughter is having her first baby in May and she is thrilled to receive these things.
Okay, so it's not even remotely attractive, but it is a piece of your husband's history.
If you don't want to display it, don't. But I would make sure it's protected for storage.

I hope you get some great responses.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

I would hide it in a box until I die... LOL! (or at least until the last person who has a sentimental attachment to it is gone)

I may sound awful... but if it is really something you hate to hang on to... you *could* "loose" it of have it accidentally get put in a box to go to charity. It isn't really a "nice" thing to do though...

Really though... it is up to your husband. You could save it and offer it to your kids. Are there pictures of your DH in it? maybe you could dress your baby in it one day (not even on an occasion) and take a few photos of him in it.

I have 2 cute dresses that my mother wore as a baby, and then I wore as a baby, and I put my daughter in them for pictures. Were they practical or stylish... no... but really how much space do they take up? I will keep them at least until after my daughter's are grown, and see if THEY have daughters they would like to dress them in (for photos)... being that they are heirlooms- not "everyday" items... it would be incredible to have had 4 generations of babies wear them!

Since it is just a little outfit- i would say hang on to it. If she leaves you a whole wardrobe or all the furniture in the house... it is fair to so "no thanks". Why not get a cheap frame and store it in that? You don't have to hang it on the wall.... but you can pull it out if it ever comes up and she will probably melt knowing you took "care" of it. someday when your sons are grown... offer it to their wives... there is a chance that one of them will really, truly absolutely LOVE it! (or at least fib and make you feel better... wink)

Good Luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

It one of things you keep (like a wedding dress).
It's still family history even if it's not the going current style.
Preserve it, store it in the back of a closet, and pass it down to your kids when they have their own families.
Then it will be their problem/heirloom.

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answers from Kansas City on

i think it will be in your closet until you die. lol!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Nope, just keep it in the closet until you die, then it will be someone else's problem. :)

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answers from Boston on

I agree with its in your closet until you die....unless you can make hubby put it in his closet. Make him deal with it! Literally....ask what he wants to do with it, and if he says chuck it.....make HIM do it. Then it isn't your fault! It IS after all....HIS. :)

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answers from Tampa on

There until your mil goes, then Salvation Army.
best, k

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I agree with the moms that say it's worth saving. It's what SHE chose for her son's christening. You wouldn't want a future DIL being so cavalier about something you loved that you entrusted to her would you?

I really like the shadowbox idea--add some other of his childhood mementos--some pictures of him, the family home, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Put it on a baby doll that doesn't get played with (sits on a shelf) or keep it in a keepsake box.

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answers from Kansas City on

LOVE Victoria W's idea!!

Seriously, get a coupon for Michael's store in your paper, go get a really nice shadow box frame from there and act that you think you have given her the BEST gift ever! Act really excited while she opens it and ooh and aaah over how good it turned out.

Then pray she leaves it to someone else in the will ;)

Good luck!

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answers from Milwaukee on

I have a plastic bin w/ some of my kiddo's baby clothes (outfit wore home from hospital, first halloween outfit, etc). I would shove it in there.



answers from Oklahoma City on

It has history. I wold put it in the shadow box and just bite the bullet. It has importance to family and no matter what you do with it it will cause family issues.

You might also just put out feelers and find out if anyone wants it before spending the money to frame it to see if anyone wants it for their "closet"....LOL.



answers from Tampa on

Space Bags. I put all the "heirlooms" my mil gave us when I was pregnant with my first child into a space bag. That bag sits at the bottom of an antique trunk in my bedroom underneath all of my spare blankets and pillows.



answers from Minneapolis on

It will be in your closet forever (I'd put it in the basement storeroom), so just be glad that the "family heirloom" isn't some huge piece of furniture or something :-)


answers from Rochester on

I have a few totes/tubs/whatever stuffed with things I don't want but can't bear to part with...much like this. Of course, I have a basement to stack said totes in, and in Florida, you may not. How's the storage under your bed? They make totes that can slide under a bed...


answers from Eugene on

Take it to Antiques Roadshow. They can tell you if it has any value. If it does sell it.



answers from Milwaukee on

Perhaps there could be a "horrible garden weasel" accident?

(I'm showing my age with the garden weasel reference.)

I let 'things' go pretty easily. I've seen TOOOOOO MANY episodes of "Hoarders." It's stuff like this that starts that craziness. Willing to BET that thing has been a burden to every person that's had to deal with it since day one!


answers from Dallas on

Do you and your husband have separate closets? Make him keep it in his closet! :) Can you give it back to MIL? Really, I'm not sentimenal at all. I would give it to charity. Is anyone ever going to ask to see it again? If not, get rid of it. Good luck with your treasure!



answers from San Francisco on

Megan C hit it on the nail.


answers from Tallahassee on

So please tell us what happened! - You sound like me only my "thorn" was an ugly velvet picture - remember those? Maybe you are not old enough LOL

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