Is 40 too old to have a hope chest? These days women are remarrying after divorces or just starting out later with the whole marriage and family values ideal. We have careers and then think about children. Some of us begin with a family and career second but are side tracked by divorce or widowhood. (Whichever comes first?)
I don’t think the hope chest is a tradition which should be forgotten or left to those younger ladies, fresh out of school, all dewy and cute. Women should never give up hope and a good chest is always appreciated. Have a hope chest party with your friends and see who has the best ideas to stack the hope chest.
Consider revamping the tradition. If you know a woman beginning the dating thing again, show her your faith and give her a cedar chest. It doesn’t have to be some costly antique, any decent chest will do. Cedar works cause it smells nice and prevents your linens being eaten by moths, at least in theory. You can always add cedar or other pleasant smelling sachets to the chest to make it smell delightful each time it’s opened. The chest should have a top shelf which is removable and under that is the larger space for the traditional hand made linens.
We can revamp that too. Instead of hand embroidered lacy pretty sheets how about lacy, pretty lingerie. Include the sheets, tablecloths and quilts too, she’ll need those after all. You can also include personal and special items: Christmas ornaments, glass flower vases, a piggy bank with cash, favourite books or CDs and so on.
The top shelf of the chest can store photo albums, greeting cards, scrapbooks and anything else she might like to take out and look at between the dating scene and the marriage deal. The tradition was to give her things to make her new house a home. Think along those lines. Include gift certificates to stores where she can pick up home appliances and other goodies.
Keep in mind she will have plenty of her own keepsakes and trinkets which could also be put into the hope chest. Leave her some storage space in there too. By the time everyone has finished loading it up with new things and old things that should be one heavy hope chest. Full of hope and good wishes for a new bride whether she’s 20 or 40.