The plea for a "K" topic this morning brought quite a few intriguing suggestions, but I like this one from my lovely friend J.T.
Dictionary.com defines keepsake as "anything kept, or given to be kept, as a token of friendship or affection; remembrance." Synonyms are listed as well: souvenir, memento, token. Also on the page is this alternate definition from the World English Dictionary: "A gift that evokes memories of a person or event with which it is associated."
I have a lot of cherished little gifts I've received from friends over the years, but in my own mind I don't think I've ever referred to them as keepsakes. Or even souvenirs, mementos or tokens. To me, they are precious small reminders of my friends and our friendships. To me, they are reminders of how blessed I am.
So that's the literal meaning of keepsake. Dare we believe there is also a figurative one? Of course. If a gift can be figurative, then it follows logically that a keepsake can be too. I do think, however, that in certain contexts the sentimentality of it can be corrupted. (I shouldn't like to think of sexually transmitted diseases as "gifts," for instance.) Just as a gift is something given, a keepsake is something kept for the sake of a friendship. Shouldn't we just leave it in those simple, literal terms?
In closing, I want to mention it's fitting that this topic suggestion should come from J.T., who unfailingly presents me, every year for Christmas, an absolutely gorgeous keepsake ornament. And I cherish them almost as much as her friendship.
The WGH did quite well with his oral surgery today, but he still bears a bit of care, so I'm off to administer same. Until tomorrow, when we see what we can come up with for "L", read a book. It's good for you.