Hi there Ladies!
Hoorah! I am officially over my cold as of yesterday! Give the girls a day or two to catch up and they will be completely well too! Praise the Lord! We needed to be over that cold A.S.A.P. for this Saturday, as we will be singing with one of our favorite local bands at an old Opry’ House! We are excited beyond words! Pray that it goes well, as well as for clear voices!
I want to thank each of you for posting up your questions for this series! It has really been a joy to read between the lines of your Qs and get a hint of where everyone is at, as far as being acquainted with this beautiful idea of having a Hope Chest! I’m sure you are quite ready to read my answers, so lets get started, shall we?
What is the traditional age for beginning your Hope Chest?
Having done a little bit of research, I can safely say that there is no specific, traditional age in which young women begin their hope chests (oddly enough!). But there is a specific reason why a young woman is given a chest, and that is so that she might be able to store up needful items for the time in which she is of an eligible age to be married. I have read that some mothers, in times past, even began a hope chest when their daughter(s) were born; and then there are other times when daughters are given chests in their teen years, and they begin to store up items until they are married.
We even have variables in our family as to when we girls receive our hope chests! For instance, I received mine right before my sixteenth birthday, while Brigi received hers right after she turned fifteen. In both situations, we acquired the chests because they were bargain deals, although we were trying to shoot for all three of us to receive hope chests right before our sixteenth birthdays. Right now it seems that whatever chests that come our way, proving to be inexpensive and of good size, we will probably snatch right up! Lets see how things turn out for Charlotte! 😉
How big is your chest?
Size. Well, I guess a good sized chest would be around 2’x4’x2′ (inside space). That is about what mine is. But there are variables. Should any of you decide to invest in one, the most practical advise I could give would be to not get one smaller than the dimensions I just gave. You WANT all that room. You will NEED all that room. I have run out of room, and that is why I have a few Hope Chest items floating around our kitchen cabinets.
Do you ever put money in it for whenever you are married?
As for putting money in your hope chest, I think it would be a good idea to invest in quality household items first, before I put in any money. That way you have a full chest first, then if you still wanted to put some rainy day savings, you could. But I would suggest that you put your larger sums of money in a bank account.
What was the very first thing you ever put in your Hope Chest?
It is hard to recount what exactly I put in my hope chest first, but I do distinctly remember putting a scrapbook in it that I had made over the course of a young woman’s study mom taught the girls and I several years ago. And next came all of my childhood artwork. I probably will take that out soon, just so I can claim the extra space for more deserving items, but it’s nice to think that one day I will get it out again, and reminisce over fond memories.
Do you use the things in your Hope Chest now too (like your gardening tools)?
As to using the the items in my chest, I am remaining firm in a decision I made from the get-go that I will not use anything that has been placed in my chest; even the tea service which currently sits outside my chest down in the kitchen cabinet. All shall remain unused, and as brand-new as possible until they are in my own home.
Do you put dishes in it, or are you waiting for your future husbands input?
I actually have put in a few sets of dishes! I never thought of letting my future husband have some input in what style of dishes we have. That was very thoughtful! But I have decided a while ago that I will use the money I have now to spend on various house hold items now, such as dishes, so that I don’t have to spend much right after I am married. Oh, and my very thoughtful mom has always taught me to buy dish ware that is plain and simple, so the sets I have stored away are of an off-white color, and printless. Keep it simple.
Is the stuff in your hope chest mostly useful or pretty?
When I have brought hope chest things home from a yard sale excursion, I have always been very careful to invest in useful items rather that pretty ones. It is true though that I never buy ugly things, so most of the items are in a way pretty to look at. Very good question!
What made you decide to get one?
What made me decide to get a Hope Chest? Hmm. I believe the best answer I could give, is that we girls decided we wanted to do something like this because we saw it as a big step in preparation for our new homes and families when we get married. So far it has been a blessing to me, in that whenever we go antique, garage sale, auction, estate sale shopping, I have a really good reason to buy a useful item. Whereas if we hadn’t done this, I would be spending my money on more useless, fun-foppery type things.
What book would you recommend looking up for hope chests?
The book I would highly recommend reading for the planning of any Hope Chest, would be:
The Hope Chest: A Legacy of Love
by Rebekah Wilson
Here is a brief review on this book. Sorry there are no pictures! The next post on this series will have more on this book and a few others to help any young lady prepare for her big days ahead. Stay tuned, ladies!
“Rebekah Wilson, with love and enthusiasm, gives young ladies a vision — for the past, in her brief history of traditional hope chests, for the present, with her inspiring explanation of what to collect and what to become during the years of youth, and for the future in her sound words of encouragement to ladies, young and old, single or married.
“Rebekah seems to have thought of everything — books, linens, journals, letters, keepsakes, tools, furniture, useful skills. She explains how to pack items in the chest and even gives many creative ideas for bridal showers! Our three daughters are inspired!”