Marriage, Family, and Society

The Point: Heirlooms and Chronological Snobbery


John Stonestreet

There’s a reason you should care about family heirlooms. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

An article at reveals that Boomers are having a hard time distributing family heirlooms that once belonged to their parents to their kids.

You see, no one wants them. Boomers are cutting back on stuff, and their kids never wanted much stuff in the first place. Plus, “They don’t have the emotional connection to things that earlier generations did.”

If this indicates a shift away from materialism, that’s good.

But I wonder if perhaps there’s more than a little of what C. S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery” going on here, the idea that old things are irrelevant to the future we are creating for ourselves.

Heirlooms are things, of course, but most of them come along with stories–stories about struggles and victories, about virtue and vice, the importance of family, and ultimately, about the faithfulness of God. It’s those stories, and the grounding they can offer a new generation dominated by the “latest and greatest,” that are really worth handing down.



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