or that secret box of gourmet chocolates?
The tablecloth that comes out once a year?
The quilt your grandma made?
When will you use it?
Are you hoping to pass it down, in pristine condition, to your children...
who won't use it?
I collect Spode Blue Italian (oh, and Royal Doulton Norfolk pattern too if you're keeping tabs for next Christmas).
I USE it.
We eat on the plates and even my gardener drinks from my cups. I don't freak out when I hear them clink a little roughly when being put away.
In 2008 I sent my mother a Spode tea cup and saucer.
When I was a young adult and she was a young-ish widow, we'd sit in the morning sun and have a hot drink together. We'd joke that we were "celebrating the moments of our lives".
I wanted her to use that cup and imagine we were not only on the same continent, but in the same kitchen.
She said she loved it.
This year I happened on a Blue Italian Tea for One (little tea pot with cup). I was thrilled because Spode went under about a year ago and stopped making anything-- of course that sent people into a panic and they shopped until I dropped (they have since been "financially assisted" by a different company and have resumed producing my pattern, but so far it's mostly the basic pieces, nothing like candle sticks).
I saved that tea pot and cup for 5 months and then lovingly wrapped it and mailed it to my mother for Christmas.
When I asked her about it... she said, "Oh yes, it's beautiful! I had (my step dad) put it up with all of my other tea pots for me".
I clarified that she had placed this gift up high where she couldn't reach it and truthfully, can't even really see it without straining. I'm willing to bet she even kept it in the box.
I could cry.
I would have used it. I would have let my children use it.
Thirty or forty years from now, I can envision my children sitting around their own tables with a mismatched, chipped or cracked dinner set remembering the times we had used it as a family. Long after I am gone, my children will know which quilts my Granny made for me because they see them now on my bed. I don't allow them to drag them around the house like the other blankets, but her quilts are lovingly used.
save a child from neglect,
save your friend from making a terrible mistake.
save the harsh critisism even though your husband has set himself up for it,
but for Pete's sake,
USE your treasures while you're here to use them!
At least use the ones your daughter sent you.