A Family Tradition

Back story: Back in the early 80’s, before my brother was born, we were a family of four (my parents, my sister and I.) Returning from a business trip one day, my dad brought back these jade turtles (2 big ones and 2 little ones) explaining that they were meant to represent the four of us.

About twenty years later, my dad surprised us kids (3 now including my brother) with gifts out of the blue. My sister and I got Bvlgari b.zero necklaces and my brother got a little blue box that held a sparkly crystal turtle. We placed it ceremoniously by the original clan of four and we all felt a sense of fulfillment now that we were complete.

Fast forward eight years, my sister and I (along with 1 child each) arrived in Manila about a week ago. On our first night, we were presented with matching Swarovski gift bags.

Each of our bags held these three boxes…

…and we opened them up to find these. Our own little turtle families!!
Such a beautiful and thoughtful gift! I love my dad!!

Here is my baby turtle placed next to the originals.

To give you an idea of how delicate and tiny our baby turtle is, I placed it next to this chapstick. I cannot wait to bring the turtles back to Chicago and find a place for them in our home. 

I think this may top my list of best gifts received. What’s the best gift you ever received?



  1. Jiye, this is SUCH a wonderful tradition and sentimental gift! Your dad is awesome =)

  2. That is seriously so sweet! What a nice tradition!

  3. your dad is awesome.. he never ceases to amaze even me!

  4. thats awesome. i miss the family!

  5. you have such a thoughtful dad!! thanks for sharing such a heartwarming story. :)


  6. Your dad is so thoughtful – those little turtles are so cute!
    One of the best gifts I got was a diamond ring from my mom when I graduated from college. It’s a solitaire that she always wore (diamond is her birthstone)- I’d always try it on and pretend it was mine – and the day I completed my last final exam – she took it off her hand and put it on mine…I felt so loved! And it is the only piece of jewelry that I wear constantly (other than my wedding ring).

  7. that is the sweetest! what a thoughtful Daddy!


  8. Your father is such a charmer. I think I love him already!

    Just Better Together

  9. omg… Your dad is so sweet! I’m touched :)

    My dad collects wooden ducks for our family..not so cute.

  10. That is so sweet!

  11. Wow that’s such a lovely story – your family sound very sweet x

  12. What an amazing gift! How thoughtful and special!

  13. Beautiful! I was so touched, I even made O read this, hahaha! ;)

  14. steak and french fries says:

    how fitting, now we have 3 turtles, but our family is missing the most important turtle of them all.

  15. That is so sweet! What a beautiful tradition! :)

  16. this is such a great tradition and what a thoughtful present for you and your sister :) i would love to start a tradition like this with my family.

  17. Such a great idea! Love the little baby turtle!

  18. Love it! My family does Swarovski bears. Younger, I had a fit cuz my sister’s was smaller and had a little heart on it. Happy to say I’m over it now. ;)

  19. That has to be the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. What a wonderful little family tradition that your family has started. Can you imagine in years to come when your children have children, they too will pass on the tradition.

  20. Aww this is too cute, and such a thoughtful gift from your dad.


  21. i love these used to collect them xxxx

  22. So sweet! Love the little baby turtle. :)

  23. OMG!!! I love love this idea. I adore turtles and the baby turtle is too cute. A wonderful tradition.
    I have an adorable giveaway today for little or big girls. stop by! fun2bkids.blogspot.com

  24. That’s such an amazingly sweet concept. Turtles are so cute.

    Thanks for sharing!

  25. That is so sweet and thoughtful and touching!! I love turtles so much. Such a great idea!

  26. This is so touching … Awesome symbol !

    Caro xxx

  27. What a beautiful story and such a wonderful way to represent your family.

  28. The baby turtle is so cute!


  29. oh my gosh, i love all your turtles and that baby is toooo cute!! i also collected turtles and swarovski figurines. what sweet gifts.

  30. I love that idea as well! Makes me want to do this for my family. I think that I would choose elephants.

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