Why Do We Keep Keepsakes?

We all have memories, some of them good, some bad. Our keepsakes are most likely associated with the good memories. And they're sort of like Christmas. Every day Christmas would be no joy. It's the year long anticipation that makes it so special. And so it is with keepsakes.


Sometimes we put keepsakes on display, giving them their own little niche on a shelf or maybe a more prominent spot on a coffee table. But I've noticed that with a lot of people, the more cherished the keepsake, the more likely it will be kept out of site. It may be kept in a little used drawer, wrapped loosely in paper or cloth, and maybe pushed a bit to the back.

Hardly ever seen, it sit there quietly till happened upon some rainy Sunday afternoon when you decide it's a good time to straighten some drawers. The unplanned but welcome encounter immediately pushes all of whatever you were thinking about, out of your mind.

The time you spend with the keepsake can vary. You may briefly smile and then go about your business of cleaning and rearranging.

Depending on your mood, you may choose to take the cherished object from its place, find a comfortable seat, unwrap the memory filled item and let your mind travel to places reserved for rare and quiet occasions.

Such times renew and strengthen a part of our psyche, a part we seldom acknowledge but is none the less vital to our sense of well being. This is truly what keepsakes are for.

I have several keepsakes, each worth more to me than gold. Money can't buy the pleasure derived from possessing these little treasures. My mind is all I have, and they are a part of my mind. They are a part of me.

Recently, I ran across a small keepsake given to me by my favorite aunt. It's a small pressed glass wash pot. Its value on the market? Maybe a dollar or two. I never researched to see. Its value to me cannot be measured monetarily. It evokes precious memories. Rusty bail and all, money can't do that.

Some time back, I ran across a small teddy bear while cleaning a closet. I had thought surely I would never see it again. A bit like a long lost friend finding their way back home. I was happy the rest of the day.

I thought to myself, 'Doug, you've had a stroke of good luck, today. Share that with someone else'. A plan began to form in my noggin, a way for this long lost keepsake to continue as a keepsake for someone else.

I have the sweetest little great grandniece. Her great grandmother (my sister), would have you believe she's a formidable tyrant, a monster no less. A little hellion to be reckoned with.

I know grandmothers and I know great grandmothers. I know how they can profess their grandchildren to be little devils at times. I also know who can be found down in the dumps when they learn 'the other Nana' will be baby sitting with the girls this weekend. I ain't dumb, Y'all.

My little niece is named Sarah. She has temper tantrums. She's Human. She tests Nana to see how much she can get away with. What child doesn't? It's all part of growing up. Soon my sister will be complaining, 'They're growing up so fast!

When I found the teddy bear, I immediately thought of Sarah. I'll clean up little Sherbert (so named because he reminds me of peach sherbet), and give him to Sarah as a keepsake.

I will ask my sister to join with me in this endeavor. Perhaps she will buy a nice frame for the letter I've written to accompany the bear. I will try to find a nice glass dome or glass box to house the little fella. I doubt the text of the letter will be legible here, so I have written it below for you to read.

The next time you unexpectedly run across a cherished keepsake, do give some thought as to who should be the next owner. We keep keepsakes for the joy they bring us. We also keep them to pass along, so that joy will live on long after we're gone.

Thank you


Dear Sarah,

This little fella's name is Sherbert. I found him in a dark, lonely corner of a closet. He had been sitting there quietly for thirty years.

I asked him why he never complained. He answered, 'Golly, I didn't mind. I knew that one day a sweet little girl named Sarah would be born and you would find me and take me to her.

Sarah and I will be the best of friends. I will always be a little bear, but I will stay by her side and watch as she grows into a beautiful young lady'.

And then he added, 'Please, Mister Doug, can we go soon? I know Sarah is expecting me. I mustn't keep my best friend waiting'.

And so, Sarah, here is Sherbert. I wish you both the very best of all those things only true friendship can bring.

Your great, great uncle



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May 1, 20181 found this helpful

I love this SO much. I am a keepsake hoarder out of sentiment and guilt that somehow, throwing things away will throw away my love for that moment in my life. I've never really thought to pass any along, and now I've got so much excitement to do so. I'll also have so much more room in my house. What a great great uncle you are. Sending love. PS: I loved the Care Bears! It made me so happy to see Sherbert in my feed.

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May 2, 20181 found this helpful

You're made of good stuff, Kid.

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May 4, 20181 found this helpful

I, too, have a lot of sentimental "stuff". I have 2 glass top display end tables that I have been putting small items in to display. My son ask that I separate the items into 2 categories (one for my daughter and one for him) plus put a description and story about each item in an envelope and attach to the bottom of each table.


I am in the process of accomplishing his request.

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May 4, 20180 found this helpful

What a nice idea.

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May 6, 20180 found this helpful

So incredibly sweet...........thanks for putting words to those feelings..............well put!!!!

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May 6, 20180 found this helpful

I love this...I am a keepsaker myself...

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May 17, 20180 found this helpful

I love that story. I have many keepsakes from my life. Thank you for the great idea to pass them along. It comes at a good time, as I am decluttering to as basic as I can be. Best wishes.

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