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The greatest thrift of all

January 18, 2011

I’m going to start off with a disclaimer. I love shopping…I mean I REALLY love shopping. All sorts of shopping. Shoe shopping. Jeans shopping. Even grocery shopping. But I might have found something that, to me at least, is more fulfilling.

My family doesn’t have a ton of traditions. Sure we have a lot of things we like to do on certain occasions. My mom’s homemade sauce on Sundays. Frits on Christmas morning. Scratch off lottery tickets. Our yearly family football pool. A lot of what is passed down in my family are memories and stories. Not many tangible things.

A few years ago, my mother started passing down some jewelry to me that had been her mother’s and my dad’s mother’s that she had been collecting over the years. Sadly, my maternal grandmother passed away when I was a senior in high school, but her memory still exists in the collectibles she left behind with my mom and my aunt. Being the only girl in my family, these things find their way in to my hands and my collection and serve as a reminder of the people who have meant the most to me.

Over the years, I have accumulated some great items that have proven to be some of my most favorite accessories. They are not necessarily the most fashionable or trendy items, but they hold in them something that means more to be than being in style. I love my great aunt’s cameo ring that sits perfectly on my ring finger. My Italian grandmother’s Virgin Mary pendant make me feel protected. My mom’s pearl earrings make me feel loved.

The past weekend, I took a spur of the moment trip to visit my parental units in Atlanta and casually asked my mother if there were any items that she didn’t wear anymore that I could bring back to D.C. with me. While some are items that will fall in to my possession at later times (my mother’s pearls, a diamond necklace every woman in my family has worn on their wedding day), she was able to gift me a few items.


One of the new items I am wearing today, this necklace that once belonged to my mom’s mom. When I saw it sitting in my mom’s dresser, I loved it immediately. When I found out it once belonged to my grandma, I loved it more. The earrings pictured I have had for a few years, and are little gold balls that once belonged to my mother (but I am also wearing them today). I also got a strand-pearl necklace and a vintage Ralph Lauren scarf.

I love a great thrift store find, but I love getting items like these so much more. I love telling people I am wearing something passed down through my family so much more than saying I got a necklace at Forever 21 or Target. These items might be free in terms of cost to me, but they are invaluable and priceless in terms of what they mean to me.

Are there any items that have been passed down through your family?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie permalink*
    January 18, 2011 7:14 pm

    I know what you mean! I have a bracelet, ring and brooch that belonged to my aunt (mom’s sister) who passed away my senior year of high school. I don’t wear them all the time, but I work each in on occasion.

  2. January 19, 2011 12:54 pm

    I totally agree! My mom has a ton of her mom’s jewelry and I think it’s so cool to incorporate some family history and sentimentality into certain outfits. I wore a gold and sapphire bracelet that my nana had bought for me (before she passed away) to my college graduation.

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