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Hope Chests - A Fabulous Way To Revisit History

Oct 16, 2007
Hope chests have been a staple of family traditions for centuries. They seem to have gone by the wayside in recent years though, but if you have a daughter, you may want to consider purchasing this time-honored special gift for her.

Hope chests were originally the chests where a woman's dowry was kept. They come by many names from hope chests to wedding chests or glory boxes. But their jobs are the same. They are a place where special things are put for a girl, to start her new life as a married woman.

Generally the unmarried woman will store different things in her hope chest, plus, her family makes sure they are filled with things she will need to start her new home such as tablecloths, bed linens, towels, quilts, even silverware and china. These were all thought to be items the young women would need to begin her new home and family once she was married to a young man. Additionally there was usually a special dress kept in this box. That dress would be her wedding dress, often a heirloom dress that had been passed down over time.

The name of hope chests came from the hope all young women had of being married and starting their own family. In the 1950s as society changed in views about marriage, and the stereotypical roles in marriage, this practice started to wane.

Just because it's no longer the trend, doesn't mean you can't create hope chests you're your daughters. This does not mean you expect your daughter to only hope to be married and start a family as her whole life goal. Even career minded women can use many of the things hope chests hold.

If your family has some fine linens, china or hand embroidered items that have been handed down through generations and you are planning to hand down to your daughter, hope chests are the place for these to go. You can create the hope chests with your girls and let them know about the history of each of the items going into the hope chests, so they will well appreciate the items that are waiting for them in the years to come.

For many girls, just being able to have a piece of their past through hope chests is priceless, knowing that they are an important part of a continuing family legacy.

As you consider what to put in today's hope chests, you can take into account that times have changed, and things that were important a century ago, may not be as important now. But you may want to work with your daughter to create hope chests that are perfect for her. Some of the things that may be included are Christmas ornaments that you have selected each year of her life. If you are crafty or talented in sewing you may want to create a blanket or other items that will go well with the theme of hope chests. It's even better if you create these items together. You will be able to share time with your daughter, and dream about her future together.
About the Author
Jesse Akre, owner of many onlines sites, offers consumers advice on purchasing stylish storage chests, a lovely bedroom chest, and a beautiful hall chest.
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