While many of the gifts we give at Christmas are disposable knick-knacks and soon-to-be out-of-date gadgets, sometimes you want to give a gift that will last a lifetime, something that can some day be passed down to the next generation. Here are a few gift ideas worthy of becoming family heirlooms.
Tree: While hand-forged and expertly crafted gifts are sure to impress, they also come with a pretty hefty price tag. For a more budget-minded option, head to a garden supply store and pick up an apple or pear sapling. A fruit-bearing tree is a great gift that will last a lifetime and continue to give every fall when the year’s harvest ripens on the branches.
Pruning Shears: For the gardening aficionado in your life, there’s no better gift to give than a pair of high-quality pruning shears. And there is none better than the top-of-the-line pruners from Tobisho ($118). Hand-forged with high-carbon steel, these Japanese-made shears will make short work of overgrown brush and bushes. While you can certainly get cheaper pruners from Felco and Corona that will last a long time, if you want a gift that’ll impress and last forever, these are the pruners to get.
Dutch Oven: Not many things are as solidly built as a cast iron dutch oven. The heavy iron construction makes them nearly indestructible, and multiple coats of glazed enamel protect dutch ovens from rust. French-made dutch ovens from Le Creuset and Staub are the standard-bearers, and these high-end pieces of cookware will run you more than $200. But you can also get quality dutch ovens from Lodge and Cuisinart for about half the price.
Kitchen Knife: A good chef’s knife is the single most important tool in the kitchen. While you can certainly get a serviceable knife for around $30, if you want something that will last the ages, you’ll have to shell out a little (or a lot) more. The Bob Kramer 8” chef knife from Henckels ($300) is a masterful piece of work that looks great and will keep a razor edge for a long time. For more personal touch, go with a hand-forged knife from a master knife maker like Murray Carter or Cut Brooklyn. These handmade knives run well above $300, but you can’t beat the master craftsmanship that goes into them.
Desk: If you’re looking for a classy gift for the loved one in your life who works from home, splurge on a high-end desk. Herman Miller designs furniture that is timeless, and their Airia desk is no exception. Fashioned from walnut, its elegant minimalism will look just as good in 20 years as it does today. If you can’t afford the Airia’s $2,200 price tag, however, worry not. Simply hit up a few antique shops, or even a thrift store to score a deal. If you’ve got some basic wood-working skills, you can get a beat-up old desk for cheap and restore it, giving your gift an added personal touch.
Leather laptop bag: For the nine-to-five set, a top-quality briefcase or laptop bag is a classy gift that will put a smile on their faces as they trudge to work each morning. Keeping alive old-world leather craftsmanship, Tanner Krolle’s laptop bags and briefcases ($1,500) are fashioned from premium calf leather that will only get more handsome with age.