Spanning centuries, the Hope Chest is an ancient tradition in which a wooden chest is filled with household items. This handcrafted chest would be prepared for a young girl to aid her for her eventual status as a wife. The term hope implied wishes for a good future for the girl who would receive the chest.
An Ancient Tradition
Traditionally, items such as blankets, towels, oil lamps, dishes, candles, and bedding would fill the chest. Often, the girl’s father would build the hope chest himself, decorating it with art or mosaics. Typically, mothers taught their daughters how to sew, crochet, embroider, and knit from an early age. The girl would then stock the chest with linens, towels, napkins, blankets, and other items that she had made herself. Filling the hope chest with these handmade items would be a blessing when she entered married life, and it would prove her abilities and skills. The basic idea of the hope chest was that the new couple would have the necessities they would need for their new life together.
A Tradition Worth Keeping
Is the hope chest is an outdated and obsolete idea? In a time where almost anything can be purchased online with the click of a button, why would we bother to handcraft a chest let alone fill it with handcrafted items? We’d respond with one word: Hope.
Despite the change in our culture over the centuries, as parents, we still have hope for our children’s future. We hope they marry and enjoy fulfilling and healthy relationships with their spouse and others. Hoping they will bless us with grandchildren and carry on the traditions, we’ve worked diligently to instill good habits. The Hope chest represents so much more than hope for a happy marriage. It is not an antiquated idea or an irrelevant tradition—it is reflective of the good we wish to see happen, and accompanied by our expectation of obtaining that good for our children and future generations.
A Blessing To This Generation and the Next
Naturally, if the chest is appropriately filled with practical and useful items, it can be a thoughtful blessing for a new bride and groom. In modern terms, a hope chest can also be beneficial for a young adult moving out from under his or her parents wings and into their own home for the first time. These chests can be an unforgettable gift to give, regardless of the circumstances.
Made of solid wood and guaranteed to last for years to come, George’s Furniture’s Hope chests are a versatile asset to any home. Traditionally used to store blankets and linens, these chests can store whatever you need them to. A hope chest is a good companion at the bottom of a bed to rest while putting on shoes. They can even become toy chests! All of George’s Hope chests are able to be engraved so you can relay a personal message to the person or people that will receive the custom-made chest.
See For Yourself
Stop by and visit us at the shop! We’d love to show you around! See you soon!