Have you heard of a Trousseau Box? To be honest, I hadn't. A fellow mother had posted for ideas in a Facebook group that I frequent, and it immediately peaked my interest.
If, like me, this is new to you; let me give you a brief introduction.
A Trousseau Box is an ornate cedar chest that was traditionally bought for the first daughter in the family. Sometimes called a Hope Chest, Dowry Chest, Cedar Chest, or Bottom Drawer depending on where you are from and how well off you were. Often the cedar chest would be substituted for a closet or bottom drawer of a dresser [hence Bottom Drawer]. The mother would collect items such as linens, towels, kitchenware and a fancy dress, and the box would be gifted to the daughter on her wedding day. Often the women would leave home to live with their new spouse, this box would become a standard piece of furniture in their new home and help provide all the things that she would need. This was traditional until around the 1950's and still some people create updated versions of a Trousseau Box for their daughters.
It is such a beautiful gift to pass on and could potentially become an heirloom.
Typically I am not a traditional person but this year, I gave birth to a beautiful little boy. It had been heavy on my mind the traditions that I would like to have with him, something we can look forward to each year and ways in which we can commemorate his milestones. When I stumbled across the idea of a Trousseau Box, I decided I wanted to adopt that concept and create a box that would set him up for adulthood as apposed to marriage. Because who knows? He may decide not to get married in his lifetime. We live in a time where individuality overshadows tradition, our future is a lot less predictable so perhaps something more practical that he can keep or pass on as an heirloom. I am calling it The Legacy Box.
My goal is to fill a chest with items that my child can use and love, and use the box to make one for his own children. To be presented to him when he turns 18 as a coming of age gift.
I shared this idea in a few groups and got tons of requests for ideas and more information, so I am sharing today my list of suggestions to fill up a box for your little Legacies.
1 - A Savings Account and/or ISA
This could be a simple Savings account account that you add to as and when the funds are available, perhaps bonus payments on Birthdays etc. A Basic Savings account is usually free to set up and you can add as much or as little as you like, when you like. An ISA usually requires an initial deposit, but you can get ISA's that have really good interest rates and will give your little a nice little chunk in interest payments alone. This could potentially pay for their first car, a deposit for their first home or even college!
2 - A Watch and/or timeless piece of jewellery
Now, this doesn't mean you have to splash out. It could be a watch or piece of jewellery that you inherited and want to pass down, it could be some jewellery or cufflinks from your wedding day for example. But if you are able to, it can be fun shopping around for something that signifies your new family. Specially if you are the first generation to make a Legacy Box.
3 - A Blanket
You could make one or have one made with your child's initials, family name or maybe you come from a family that has a crest that would look beautiful adorning a nice. comforting blanket. It could also be yours or your child's favourite blanket from their infant days.
4 - A Photo Album
Partially filled with photos of all the people that they love and memories that your family cherished with them. Make sure to leave some room for them to add photos of the next generation and future memories.
5 - A letter from each Parent
This is a very personal one. When my baby was 3 months old, I looked at him and just could not believe that he had grown so much already. I was just in awe of him, full of life and potential and I just had to tell him. So I wrote it in a letter for him to have when he is older. No doubt I will write more over the years, but this seems to me the perfect way to give them to him.
6 - Recipes
Your babies favourite meal, desert etc Family recipes, Student friendly recipes. Recipe basics that everyone should know how to make, the possibilities are endless!
7 - A Journal, Letter Writing Set and a Good Pen
I know that we are in the digital age, but these are items that I feel you just can't beat having. When they are required, they are so useful. The journal particularly, your little could use it for so many things. Planning their future, writing a novel, noting their thoughts and feelings, maybe just day to day memos.
8 - An Original Creation
Perhaps you have a talent that you can use to make something your child can have and be reminded of you every time they see it. Maybe you are an artist and can make them and original piece of art, you could write them a story to share with their children or knit them something. Maybe you are crafty and can make them an ornament to set out at Christmas.
9 - A Contribution from each Grandparent
If their grandparents are around to take part still, perhaps you can ask them to add to it in anyway they feel would be special. Maybe they could write a letter, add a small heirloom or trinket or maybe even buy a small item your child can always associate with them. If they are no longer with us, perhaps you could add something that you know they would like or commemorates them in some way.
So that concludes my list, thank you for reading and I hope it has sparked your creativity. I would love to hear any thoughts and ideas you have also.
Here is to our little Legacies.