Wednesday, July 10, 2013
A Keepsake Wedding Gift: My Aunt's Jade Ring
John and I didn't ask for gifts or contributions to a honeymoon fund for either of our two US and UK receptions. While both would be very useful indeed, we've never liked the idea of having a registry and don't even have a permanent home at the moment (in fact, we're getting kicked out of our flat in a month's time and have nowhere to go yet since our recent plans to purchase a house fell through), so it seems silly to be asking for things like cookware and bedsheets, which I feel a little strange asking guests to contribute anyway. We asked our guests who will be attending the UK reception to donate to Trinity Hospice instead, which is of special significance to us.
In Chinese culture, relatives often give red envelopes containing money to the bride and groom, and we received very generous monetary gifts from both Chinese and non-Chinese guests alike on Saturday, which we feel embarrassed, but grateful for.
We also received some really special boxed gifts, which I hope to blog about in days to come, as they were all one-of-a-kind and incredibly meaningful.
Nothing matched my surprise, however, when one of my aunts passed a little red velvet box to me on the day before our wedding reception. "This was given to me as a wedding gift, and I wanted to pass it on to you," she explained. "I hope it's subtle enough for you to wear every day. I was criticized for passing on something that was my own, but you've always been like a daughter to me," she continued. In it, contained the most beautiful and delicate jade and diamond ring I'd ever seen - perfectly suited to my taste. My fingers are also outrageously small (I wear a US size 3.75 or UK G on my left ring finger), so I was delighted when the ring slipped comfortably on to my right middle finger.
Jade is precious in Chinese history and culture, and worn by most Chinese women - usually as a bangle around the wrist or pendant around the neck. I have had several jade pieces given to me as a child, which are currently being held by my mom for safekeeping, but it's so nice to have something small that I can wear every day. I was so touched that my aunt thought to give this to me - especially since it holds so much significance to her - and I will treasure it always.