One of my most exciting wedding presents was a complete service of fine china. DH’s grandmother gave us a beautiful antique pattern called “The Beaufort” and I don’t think she could ever understand how grateful I am to use it.
His grandmother personally owns several different sets of fine china herself and rotates through them regularly. When we visited with my in-laws last Thanksgiving, every meal featured a different set from the meal before it. She actually began buying her first set piece-by-piece when she worked at a department store during school – you could say it was part of her trousseau. She’s extremely protective of all her china and she knows where or how she got each set AND she bought complete sets for all her grandchildren to recieve when they married.
The Mister and I would have never been able to afford a set as timeless and complete as the one she gave us – heck we don’t yet have any way to display it so we have to keep it in the closet of the spare room. That side of his family is not exactly what I would call “warm and fuzzy” but when I get to use the china I feel connected to her and the tapestry of my husband’s family.