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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

No one wants to give someone a present that they’ll be over with-in the next week. Memorable and lasting presents can be difficult to think of. However, the best way to ensure a present will have some longevity to it is to add a little sentimentality. Objects that have been passed down through the family are priceless and something you hand made is one of a kind. Follow these tips for gifts that can be treasured for a lifetime.

Family Heirlooms
Giving a gift that has been in your family for decades, or even centuries is always a safe bet. (1) It is highly unlikely that the person you are giving to will dislike an heirloom and (2) doing so costs very little, or nothing. The value of the gift is its history. So the present doesn’t have to be monetarily valuable. Items that can be seen or used each day are especially effective, because they serve as cheerful reminders of someone close. An old clock or painting on the wall, the candlesticks from your grandmothers nightstand, a locket or pocket watch. Food can be especially sentimental so items like an old gumbo pot, teakettle or wooden spoon could be very special to the receiver. Handing down a family heirloom is one of the most sentimental things that one can do. Besides being a meaningful gift it also implies an amount of trust, that this person will be the holder of something special. It’s their duty to take care of it now.

A Culturally Significant Gift
A person’s heritage can be a major defining factor in how they see themselves. A culturally significant gift can be very dear to someone who values his or her culture. Often these gifts can be older as well, but unlike a family heirloom, they don’t have to be. An item from someone’s home country could work; and with the power of worldwide shipping it isn’t difficult to find a foreign gift. A flag or rare book could do. A beautifully unique piece of art could represent the culture. Some cultures have specialty food prep rituals or tools. Maybe a sushi board or escargot fork would be meaningful. Religious iconography often fits the bill here too. Items like saint icons, unique menorahs or rosary necklaces could also be significant for quite some time.

Get Crafty
Creating a crafty present for someone special will surely last a lifetime. There are lots of great ways to get creative with your giving. Naturally, macaroni jewelry or something made of paper isn’t going to last very long. You want to consider materials and usability when crafting a gift. If it is something practical like a coffee mug or mirror the person is more likely to find a place for it/appreciate it than if you gift a decorative knick-knack. Scrapbooks are the end-all, be-all of sentimental crafting. Not only do they store on a bookcase, but one can fit loads of sentimentality in one.

The perfect gift can take a while to find. But the receiver will certainly appreciate the effort. If you give something truly sentimental, they will enjoy it again and again.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to give lasting gifts.

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