Honor Your Loved Ones, Not Occasional Visitors

vintage table linens

I recently helped a friend clean out her kitchen. She has wonderful taste and a great eye. She has also inherited and collected some really amazing vintage table linens. They were neatly stacked away in a closet, and I asked her how often she uses them (they were fantastic!). She said she was saving them for special occasions.

This is a mother that loves her children and family fiercely. She puts so much effort into caring for those around her and making their lives special. She is also a fantastic cook and loves to entertain. She is a huge role model for me. And she also loves these linens. They are precious to her and have special meaning. I totally get it, and this is not uncommon—saving your best for another day. I’m sure we can all think of something similar in our own homes.

This was my advice to her: It is an honor for whomever gets to use these linens. Who do you love more in this world than your family? Honor them (and you!!), not the occasional visitor. Your children will remember growing up surrounded by beauty and a mother who embraced using the best. Honor now, honor today. A morbid thought, but really, it is all we have.

Put another way, which would you rather have at the end of your life: Perfectly pressed and preserved items that no one ever used, or something with maybe a few stains and imperfections but full of memories? I have a feeling our children will fight over the slightly rumpled items because they were a part of their lives. No one remembers anything hidden away in a closet.


  1. This is the way I’ve always felt about quilts. I noticed the other day the red and white star quilt my grandmother made is frayed and “holy” in spots. It crossed my mind to clean it, fold it and put it in Dad’s cedar chest. But I stopped myself before I got started. I love seeing it on the back of the couch (under that cat), but not as much as I like curling up in it on (4 prepositions in a row and she calls herself a writer?)a rainy day. The sterling silver, however, is locked up tight.


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