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Sentimental gifts

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stuffed animals

WARM MEMORIES Caroline Kennedy repurposed the baby blankets from each of her children’s deliveries into stuffed animals, like this stuffed elephant. All three stuffed animals were given as gifts to her children.

Buzz Baby is a column about life with little ones. Writer Annie McQueen is a mother of four children under the age of 9.

When baby gifts are sentimental, they can become a coveted treasure. Whether it's a brand-new personalized baby blanket, or a family heirloom passed down through the generations, gifts with a special meaning can strengthen the connection between the child and the gift giver. They are an expression of love. 

They can also help pass on family stories in the form of a tangible keepsake. For one Buzz family, a sterling silver baby rattle was passed down from generation to generation when it was opened at a baby shower. The rattle, now slightly tarnished, is almost 100 years old. 

The rattle had previously been used for the family’s newest baby’s great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and aunt. Nowadays, the rattle is carefully displayed on a floating acrylic shelf for safekeeping.

Buzz mom-of-three Caroline Kennedy stumbled across a creative idea for a sentimental gift to her children. After her third child was born, she decided to pursue it. 

Caroline had held on to the pink-and-blue striped receiving blankets from each of her three children’s deliveries. Caroline knew she wanted to save them for sentimental reasons but was unsure what to do with them. “They were just sitting in a box,” she said. 

She saw a recommendation from a local Facebook group about a lady named Danette Hames who does something extra special with baby blankets. Danette and her mom, Elena, hand make stuffed animals using the material from the blanket. Caroline loved the idea. She thought it was unique and the perfect gift for her children to showcase something she wanted to always hold on to. 

She contacted her via her Facebook page (DD Designs) and they started brainstorming and planning out the designs. She chose three different animals: one was made into a bear, one was made into a bunny, and one was made into an elephant. Caroline was pleased with the outcome and gave them to her children as a gift for their rooms. 

“Now each child has their animal, embroidered with their name and birthdate, sitting in their bedroom,” said Caroline. “It is such a better use than sitting in a box. She did a remarkable job on the seams, matching them up perfectly.” 

Gifts can be sentimental during times of celebration – from a baptism to a birthday to a bris. For one family, a handmade gift was given at a time when one very important question was asked. 

Sarah Loweth, Will Loweth, Owen Loweth

AN UNFORGETTABLE GIFT This past Christmas, Sarah and Will Loweth asked Sarah’s sister, Ellen Cairns, and her husband Jeff (pictured, from left), to be godparents for their youngest son, Owen. They presented them with a special hand-painted bottle of champagne with a special message on it: “Be my Godparents.”

Buzz mom-of-three Sarah Loweth and her husband, Will, recently welcomed their fourth child, Owen. As new parents, they received many lovely gifts for Owen’s arrival, but in this case, the new parents became the gift-givers. 

The family gathered at Christmas like they always do for the holidays. Between Sarah and her sister Ellen, there are seven young cousins under the age of 10. The kids were all playing, dressed in their Christmas attire. Sarah and Will had decided to ask Sarah's sister, Ellen Cairns, and her husband, Jeff, to be Owen’s godparents. They planned to surprise them at the family gathering, so they had a personalized gift made to mark the occasion. 

Sisters Sarah and Ellen have shared a passion for personalized gifts and monogrammed baby items since they became moms. They started an embroidery line together called Winkel. It is their favorite hobby to adorn baby items with personal touches. 

For this special occasion, Sarah commissioned an artist and started to plan. Sarah and Will presented Ellen and Jeff with a hand-painted bottle of Veuve champagne and paired with it monogrammed cocktail napkins made by Sarah. The bottle had a special message on it. 

Sarah had Stratford High School alum Katelyn Valdez hand-paint the bottle with a blue bow for baby boy Owen and it read, “Be my Godparents” with Owen’s name signed. Ellen and Jeff were over-the-moon excited. As the final baby in both families, Owen's arrival is a shared joy for the Loweth and the Cairns families. Now they have a wonderful gift to keep the memory alive of that special evening when they became his godparents.

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