When my grandmother moved from her house into a condo a few years ago, she began to give away tidbits of family goodies to her children and grandchildren. Now, my family doesn't have 'heirlooms' per se, but we do have some things that are sentimental and quirky. My brother got the frosted glass martini set (although one glass was broken due to my grandmother's very careful packing of it in paper towels) and I got things like a carnival glass vase and old ornaments. I think they may have been my great-grandmother's (my mother can confirm?), but they are all beat up and I'm surprised they passed the editing of my grandmother, who either throws away or spray paints anything with a little bit of age.
I don't trust them on the tree, but instead have them piled in a bowl on the coffee table (just next to the pine cone elf). I love the colors - pinks and teals and mustard yellows. I especially like the ones with little frosted sleigh-riding scenes.